South Korea to reveal results of probe into certifications of other automakers by end of month, after VW violations

31 January 2017 9:56am

First published on MLex Anti-Bribery & Corruption Service 24 November 2016. By Ron Lubosco.

South Korea’s Ministry of Environment, or MOE, is expected to release before the end of the month the results of an investigation into whether other foreign automobile manufacturers — in addition to Audi Volkswagen Korea — falsified documents in order to receive government certification to sell their automobiles.

The MOE started a separate investigation into other foreign car makers after it was discovered that Audi Volkswagen Korea falsified reports on its vehicles’ emissions, fuel efficiency and noise levels.

For those offenses, the company was slapped with an additional administrative fine of 17.8 billion won ($16.1 million) and had certification of 80 of its models revoked.

An official from the MOE told MLex that the results of the investigation are expected to be released at the end of the month and that the ministry intended to send a message that the practice of falsifying documents won’t be tolerated.

Earlier, local news outlets reported that there were rumors three foreign automakers were allegedly discovered to have falsified documents. However, the MOE official told MLex that the reports were unfounded and that the results of the investigation would reveal if any violations occurred.

If any of the foreign car companies operating in the country are found to have illegally falsified documents, the companies in violation could face administrative fines, the revocation of their certifications and an order to cease sales of their vehicles.

Audi Volkswagen Korea was fined 14.1 billion won ($12.31 million) last November for its use of so-called “defeat devices” to cheat on local emissions tests, subjecting it and other automobile manufacturers to additional scrutiny by the MOE and other regulators.

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