Exclusive Volkswagen, Under Investigation for Dieselgate, Stops Most of its Sales in South Korea

Volkswagen will stop sales of most of its models in South Korea, according to Reuters, which cited a spokesperson at VW’s South Korean unit. The news comes as authorities in South Korea reconsider their certification of 32 of the carmaker’s diesel models including VW, Audi and Bentley. The South Korean environment ministry is looking into whether the carmaker fabricated information about the models’ emissions and noise levels. Prosecutors in South Korea had provided the ministry with a list of VW models it suspected were affected and last month an executive was arrested. Volkswagen will present its case to the ministry on July 25 and after the authorities reach a decision, VW will consider whether to appeal. Separately, South Korea’s trade regulator may file criminal charges against Volkswagen executives and fine the company for advertising that its cars meet emissions regulations, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. South Korea is VW’s second-largest market for diesel cars in Asia but sales are falling and the carmaker has been hit by multiple lawsuits following the revelation of its Dieselgate emissions scandal. In its annual report for 2015, Volkswagen noted that various mass legal proceedings were pending in South Korea, where several hundred lawsuits had been aggregated seeking damages and to rescind purchase contracts. “We have decided to suspend sales of the affected models to reduce confusion among dealers and customers,” said a spokesman at VW’s South Korea. It would take three months for the carmaker to regain the necessary certification for the models, the spokesperson said. Picture source: AP