South Korea confirms Volkswagen emissions rigging

Seoul, Nov 26 (IANS) The South Korean government on Thursday confirmed that German car giant Volkswagen used software to manipulate emission levels in cars sold in the country and ordered a recall of over 120,000 vehicles.

This is the first time that Volkwagen’s emissions rigging has been officially confirmed outside of the US, the Korea Herald reported.

The environment ministry said it found the defeat device software working in Volkswagen Tiguan Euro 5 equipped with the EA189 engine. The device turned on the exhaust gas recirculation system in the indoor test to fake the emission levels and turned off the system in actual outdoor driving conditions, meaning excessive emissions were not detected.

The ministry suspended the sales of unsold Volkswagen cars that are equipped with the same engine as the Tiguan Euro 5 and ordered a recall of 125,522 cars. It also imposed 14.1 billion won ($12.3 million) in penalty.

The models subjected to the recall order include Tiguan and the Volkswagen Beetle and Audi Q6, Q3 and A4.

The ministry vowed to expand the probe to 16 other carmakers that sell diesel vehicles including Hyundai Motor, GM Korea, BMW, Mercedes-Benz Korea, Porsche, Jaguar Land Rover Korea, Volvo, and Ford.

Vehicles weighing over 3.5 tonnes will be covered by the test starting from January 2016 and those under 3.5 tonnes from September 2017.

Vehicles which fail to pass the outdoor emissions test will be taken off the market.

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