VOLKSWAGEN FINED BY SOUTH KOREA: Under-fire automaker Volkswagen were fined $125-million by South Korea for equipping an emissions-cheating device on certain diesel models. Image: AFP/ Damien Meyer
Seoul, South Korea - South Korea said on it fined Volkswagen $12.3-million and ordered recalls of 125 522 diesel vehicles after the government found their emissions tests were rigged.
Hong Dong Gon, a director at the Ministry of Environment, said in a live television broadcast that the ministry will continue investigating 30 000 other Volkswagen diesel cars for which it did not find evidence of emissions cheating.
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South Korea's government launched investigations in October 2015 after the automaker admitted that it rigged US tests so it would appear that its diesel-powered cars were emitting fewer nitrogen oxides, which can contribute to ozone buildup and respiratory illness.
The South Korean ministry found that emissions from the Tiguan diesel using EA189 engines breached standards when the car was not under the usual test conditions, such as when the air conditioner was on or when the car accelerated.
Volkswagen was ordered to recall 125 522 diesel vehicles equipped with the same EA189 engines sold in South Korea between 2008 and 2015.
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The ministry will continue investigating Golf, Beetle, Jetta and Audi A3 diesel cars using more recent EA288 engines.
The ministry will also expand the investigation into other auto brands. It said it will announce the result in April after probing emissions levels in diesel cars sold by five local auto companies and 11 imported brands.