South Korea is returning 2,500 vehicles manufactured by Volkswagen and Audi in the aftermath of Volkswagen’s emissions scandal, according to news reports Monday.
It has been reported that the 2,500 automobiles, which include VW’s Tiguan, Golf and Jetta models, have been held at a port in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, since last year following the government’s sales ban slapped on Audi Volkswagen Korea, the domestic distributor of the two German brands. The company is said to be sending the fleet of cars back to Germany.
Volkswagen logo (Yonhap)
Audi Volkswagen Korea had already returned 1,300 units last month and is slated to return an additional 1,200 units by the end of this month. According to industry insiders, it is estimated that there are more than 10,000 vehicles still remaining in Pyeongtaek.
Last year, the Ministry of Environment canceled the certification and banned the sales of 80 models under the domestic distributor after Volkswagen was accused of fabricating emissions reports in order to meet and obtain permission to sell its vehicles in Korea.
Audi Volkswagen Korea is reportedly still in the midst of determining what it should do with the thousands of remaining cars. There had been some speculation suggesting the company would attempt to offer large discounts for its idle vehicles once the distributor was approved by the government to resume business. However, the company has not yet made any public statement on whether it was planning to offer any future discounts.
Earlier this year, Volkswagen Korea filed an administrative suit with the Seoul High Court looking to appeal the Fair Trade Commission’s decision to hit the company with 37.3 billion won ($32.7 million) in fines for false advertising linked to its emissions scandal. The decision marked the watchdog’s largest penalty ever imposed for false advertising.
According to the FTC, Volkswagen advertised that its models met strict European emissions standards that stressed the company’s vehicles were both environmentally friendly and highly energy efficient.
Approximately 126,000 VW vehicles in Korea were set to be recalled following an investigation that accused the company of using a defeat device to alter emissions readings. However, thousands of local VW consumers have rejected the recall measures and filed suit against the company seeking punitive damages.
By Julie Jackson (firstname.lastname@example.org