Nis­san, BMW and Porsche face sales

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

SOUTH Korea is to ban sales of some cars made by Porsche, BMW and Nis­san, and fine the auto com­pa­nies over US$5 mil­lion as a probe into emis­sions doc­u­men­ta­tion wi­dens.

Seoul be­gan in­ves­ti­gat­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion on im­ported cars af­ter Volk­swa­gen last year ad­mit­ted to in­stalling emis­sions cheat­ing soft­ware in some 11 mil­lion diesel ve­hi­cles world­wide.

The so-called de­feat de­vices could de­tect when a ve­hi­cle was un­der­go­ing tests and low­ered tailpipe fumes ac­cord­ingly to make the cars seem less pol­lut­ing than they were.

The South Korean gov­ern­ment said it had found cer­ti­fi­ca­tion er­rors in 10 models sold across the coun­try – two from Nis­san, one BMW and seven Porsche – and would slap a com­bined 6.5 bil­lion won ($5.6 mil­lion) fine on the car­mak­ers in­volved.

“We will al­low Nis­san and BMW to clar­ify their po­si­tions through a hear­ing and file a le­gal com­plaint if ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties are con­firmed,” Hong Dong-Kon, an en­vi­ron­ment min­istry of­fi­cial in charge of auto en­vi­ron­men­tal stan­dards said.

Porsche has al­ready ad­mit­ted its er­rors with the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion doc­u­ments and has stopped sell­ing four of the seven af­fected models, Mr Hong said.

In Au­gust, the South Korean en­vi­ron­ment min­istry banned the sale of 80 Volk­swa­gen models and fined the com­pany $16 mil­lion for forged doc­u­men­ta­tion on en­gine noise levels, fuel ef­fi­ciency and emis­sions.

The scan­dal has taken its toll on the com­pany’s rep­u­ta­tion in the coun­try, with its sales in South Korea plung­ing 33 per­cent in the first-half of this year from a year ear­lier, the com­pany said.

For­eign car­mak­ers, es­pe­cially Ger­man brands like Volk­swa­gen, have steadily ex­panded their pres­ence in the South’s auto mar­ket long dom­i­nated by lo­cal gi­ant Hyundai and its af­fil­i­ate Kia.

For­eign cars ac­counted for about 15pc of to­tal auto sales last year, up from 10pc in 2012. –

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