After fining Volkswagen and imposing a recall, the South Korean government now plans to file a complaint aimed at the bosses of Volkswagen AG and Audi AG local units.
After deciding to conduct its own tests on Volkswagen cars, South Korea fined the German carmaker with 14.1 billion won (around 12 million dollars), in November. The government also ordered Volkswagen Korea to submit a recall plan for 125,522 vehicles by January 6, 2016. However, the environment minister said in a statement this week that the plan failed to explain why the problem occurred and how it would be fixed, as required by law, prompting them to file a criminal complaint against Johannes Thammer, managing director of Audi Volkswagen Korea. A spokesman for VW in the country said the company has not received notice of the complaint. “Audi Volkswagen Korea is doing its utmost to resolve the emissions issue,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday, before the minister’s announcement.
However, the minister said Thammer and other VW officials, including VW’s powertrain development chief Friedrich Eichler, paid him a visit earlier on Tuesday to offer a technical briefing on the proposed fix. Volkswagen and Audi were the best-selling imported brands in South Korea last year, together delivering 68,316 units, 17 percent more than a year earlier.
The legal battles are spreading for Volkswagen, after many shareholders in the company now seek compensation and plan to sue the company because of the scandal, claiming hundreds of millions of euros in damages. This month the US Justice Department sued Volkswagen for up to 48 billion dollars, accusing it of violating environmental laws.