VW Stops Sales In South Korea After Gov’t Arrests Executives

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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Volkswagen will halt vehicle sales in South Korea as the country continues to target the German automaker over its fuel emission scandal.

“We have decided to suspend sales of the affected models to reduce confusion among dealers and customers,” a spokesman for Volkswagen in South Korea said Friday.

The move to end sales in the country comes as the environment ministry considers whether to revoke certification of the 32 VW vehicles, and its Audi brand, which would essentially ban the company’s operations. VW will present its case July 25.

South Korea’s investigation led to a court issued arrest warrant in June for a VW official in connection with last year’s fuel emission cheating scandal.

The country conducted tests on 20 diesel vehicles after finding the German automaker manipulated emissions of some vehicles sold inside South Korea.

The investigation, the arrest warrant, and the subsequent halt of sales in the Asian country stems from a scandal last year that involved the company affixing 482,000 diesel vehicles with cheating devices that switched off emissions measurement data during road-testing conditions.

The company has set aside $16 billion to cover the cost of the scandal. It will set aside $10 billion to fix or buy back the 475,000 diesel vehicles tainted with cheat devices, represents the largest automotive settlement in history. Customers can either sell their cars back to the German auto company, or have them repaired.

“The latest costs show that the dieselgate scandal is far from dealt with,” NordLB analyst Frank Schwope said.

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