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Audi, Volkswagen owners sue ministry over recall approval

A group of customers who bought Audi and Volkswagen vehicles involved in a diesel emissions scandal has filed a complaint against South Korea’s Environment Ministry over its approval of the German carmakers’ recall plan.

In August, the ministry approved the plan to carry out a software update on a total of 82,291 units of Volkswagen and Audi models equipped with the emissions-cheating 2.0-liter EA189 diesel engine. However, the planned software update is insufficient to curb emissions and is not enough to compensate the damage they suffered, said the 27 customers who joined the suit. 

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

The 82,291 units of German vehicles approved by the Environment Ministry to go through the recall action are part of 126,000 units subject to recall.

In approving the recall plan, the ministry said the software update was found to have reduced the emissions of nitrogen oxide by up to 72 percent, which it determined by conducting tests. Therefore, this satisfies the suggested emission limit.

According to the complaint, customers said that the software update only reduces nitrogen oxide by 20-33 percent. They argued that the ministry’s decision was too lenient, as it had not demanded that Audi Volkswagen install hardware equipment, such as selective catalytic reduction that converts exhaust constituent nitrogen oxide into nitrogen and water.

Around 5,000 customers are engaged in civil suit against the German carmaker, demanding compensation.

Rumors have been circulating that Audi Volkswagen Korea -- importer and distributor of the German vehicles, which has suspended sales since the late 2015 -- will resume selling cars next month.

By Cho Chung-un (christory@heraldcorp.com)
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