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Volkswagen faces new lawsuit in S. Korea over faked emissions

All News 09:16 January 20, 2016

SEOUL, Jan. 20 (Yonhap) -- Volkswagen Group and its local unit in South Korea are facing another class-action lawsuit over their manipulation of emissions for some of its 3-liter diesel models in the United States, a local law firm said Wednesday.

This is in addition to the ongoing class-action suit filed by customers of the German carmaker's 2-liter diesel models whose emissions results were proved to be faked by using the so-called defeat device.

"There are many customers making inquiries (about the possible suit) as some 3-liter models were also involved in the emissions manipulation," said Ha Jong-sun, a lawyer of local law firm Barun. "We have decided to seek a class-action suit through cooperation with customers who purchased the cars in question."

Barun is also representing about 4,200 customers owning the 2-liter models.

The new suit will likely be filed with a local court in Seoul to demand the whole car purchase contracts be canceled and money spent on those vehicles be refunded to customers. Subject to the latest legal action are Volkswagen Group, its local unit and dealers.

Vehicles found in the U.S. to have faked emissions through the engine electronic control unit are the A6, A7, A8, Q5 and Q7 that were produced from 2009-2016, along with the Porsche Cayenne and the Volkswagen Touareg.

Some market estimates put the number of the cars of the same models sold in South Korea at 50,000-100,000.

On Tuesday, the environment ministry here asked the prosecution to investigate the head of the local unit of Volkswagen for failing to provide sufficient data related to its recall plan for around 125,000 emissions-faked vehicles.

In November, the ministry ordered Volkswagen Korea to recall the vehicles whose emissions were found to be manipulated through the defeat device. It was also asked to provide data related to how it would maintain fuel efficiency even after removing the device.

Customer complaints are growing in South Korea as Volkswagen has not provided any compensation measures for its customers in the wake of the emissions-cheating scandal as opposed to its offering of around US$1,000 worth of vouchers and other benefits to those in the U.S. and Canada.


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