South Korean authorities have so far shown no forgiveness towards Volkswagen’s emissions trick and further harsh measures are set to come.
Unlike other governments, South Korea did not hesitate in taking actions against Volkswagen, following the company’s acknowledgment of its wrongdoings of fitting 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide with cheating emissions software. Authorities fined the German carmaker with 14.1 billion won (around 12 million dollars), ordered the local branch to recall around 125,000 vehicles, raided its offices, filed a criminal complaint against two executives, while a court recently issued an arrest warrant for another of VW’s manager. Reuters now reports that South Korea’s environment ministry said it would hold a hearing on July 22 to decide whether to cancel the certification of 32 Volkswagen group models, as a consequence of the diesel manipulation. 27 of the 32 models are currently offered in South Korea and if they are to be revoked, all VW cars will be banned from sale. A decision on the matter is expected to be made towards the end of the month, after the hearing.
VW’s cheating scandal humped the demand for imported cars in South Korea. After sales increased last year for a sixth consecutive year of double-digit growth, registrations fell 2.6 percent to 116,749 vehicles in the first six months of the year, according to the country’s auto importers’ association. In 2015, deliveries of imported new cars surged 24.2 up to 243,900 units, with Volkswagen accounted for 35,778 units and Audi for 32,538 units. This year so far, VW’s core brand plunged by 33 percent to 12,463, while its four-rings marque dropped 10 percent to 13,058.