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The government of South Korea will be pursuing criminal charges against 5 Volkswagen execs (current and former) in relation to false advertising concerning vehicle emissions, according to recent reports.

Policy & Politics

South Korea Filing Criminal Complaints Against 5 Volkswagen Execs, Fining Company Record ~$31.87 Million (37.3 Billion Won)

The government of South Korea will be pursuing criminal charges against 5 Volkswagen execs (current and former) in relation to false advertising concerning vehicle emissions, according to recent reports.

The government of South Korea will be pursuing criminal charges against 5 Volkswagen execs (current and former) in relation to false advertising concerning vehicle emissions, according to recent reports.

volkswagen-south-korea

In addition, the South Korean government will be fining the company 37.3 billion won (~$31.87 million) — apparently a record in the country for such a fine.

These moves follow on the suspension of Volkswagen’s sales in the country (including the Audi and Bentley brands) in August; the earlier levy of a 17.8 billion won fine for emissions fraud; and also the arrest of a local Volkswagen exec for the fabrication of documents and the violation of air quality laws, amongst other things.

Reuters provides more: “The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) said on Wednesday it would ask prosecutors to investigate Volkswagen’s headquarters, its South Korean unit and 5 former and current executives including André Konsbruck, currently vice president of sales for the Americas at Volkswagen unit Audi, and Audi’s Head of Sales Overseas Terence Bryce Johnsson. It alleged Volkswagen made ‘false, exaggerated or deceptive’ claims in the advertisements, with punishments ranging from jail terms of up to 2 years or fines of up to 150 million won, an FTC official told reporters.”

As you’ll recall, Volkswagen’s diesel vehicles were often advertised as being “environmentally friendly.” Even though they only met this description when they were within very strictly limited test conditions (since were equipped with software to limit performance to game the test process), outside of test conditions the vehicles were (and are) responsible for far more air pollution than was advertised.

For further background see:

Notably, a spokesperson for Audi Volkswagen Korea stated that no formal notifications had been provided as of yet by the government of South Korea, when queried by Reuters.

A public statement from the company read: “AVK is committed to rebuilding trust with the authorities and with customers and other stakeholders in Korea.”

Image by Geun Choi (some rights reserved)

 
 
 
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Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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