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Seoul prosecutors say Volkswagen fabricated reports on emissions results, noise

All News 16:11 June 10, 2016

SEOUL, June 10 (Yonhap) -- Seoul prosecutors said Friday the local unit of Volkswagen is suspected of forging test results to meet local standards when importing the German vehicles to South Korea.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office said Volkswagen Audi Korea allegedly submitted 37 doctored reports on the vehicles' emissions results, noise level and on-board diagnostics (OBD) equipment from August 2010 until February last year.

Under the local law, all imported cars should first receive approval from the National Institute of Environmental Research (NIER) on their emissions results and noise level.

The automaker allegedly submitted existing test results of similar models when the ones on the new models were not prepared.

"The reports were either issued from external agencies or from the carmaker's own testing department," a senior prosecutor said on the condition of anonymity.

The problem was found in 26 models, including Golf 2.0 GTD and Audi RS7, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors suspect the German carmaker manipulated the reports in a bid to cut prices and fast-track the launch of new models in the local market.

Prosecutors recently confiscated 956 vehicles of Audi Volkswagen Korea from its pre-delivery inspection center in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, and said 606 of them had been imported without proper environmental authorization.

The German carmaker took a beating after its "diesel gate" surfaced last year, when it was found to have faked emissions results for some of its diesel models to meet the tight regulations in the United States.

The environment ministry here on Tuesday rejected Volkswagen's plan to recall its vehicles that fabricated emissions results, saying the local unit of the German carmaker did not admit to using a defeat device to trick vehicle testing.

The ministry rejected two previous recall plans in January and March for insufficient data and the lack of a proper outline to rectify the shortcomings of the vehicles affected.

Prosecutors said they will start summoning related officials starting next week.


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