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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:37 pm    Post subject: S. Korea bans Audi, VW Porsche Diesels in emissions scandal Reply with quote

South Korea will ban domestic sales of eight models of Audi, Volkswagen and Porsche diesel cars for violating emissions regulations, the Ministry of Environment said this week.

The ministry said it will also slap fines on Audi Volkswagen Korea and Porsche Korea and seek a prosecution investigation. The ministry's probe has found that the German automakers manipulated pollution control devices used in those vehicles. A total of 1,261 cars in the eight models were sold in South Korea from May 2015 to January last year.

"They were manipulated so that the emission mitigation devices perform at lower levels in driving conditions that are different from those when they were certificated," a ministry official said. The rigging caused the cars to emit 10 times more nitrogen oxide gas than the level of normal operation, the ministry said.

The ministry plans to cancel import certifications of those models, order correction measures and impose penalties, estimated to be 7.9 billion won ($6.5 million) for Audi Volkswagen and 4 billion won for Porsche. The ministry said it will also file complaints with the prosecution to investigate the companies. The inquiry was launched in June last year when Germany detected falsified emissions control systems in Audi cars.

Audi Volkswagen Korea said it reported the problem to the ministry and submitted its recall plans in November and January. The company will continue to cooperate with the ministry and take measures to ease customer inconvenience, it said.

The eight models involved are Audi A6 40 TDI Quattro, two Audi A6 50 TDI Quattro models, two Audi A7 50 TDI Quattro models, Volkswagen Touareg V6 3.0 TDI BMT, Volkswagen Touareg 3.0 TDI 4 Motion and Porsche Cayenne.

The investigation

This showed that two types of defeat software - dual clutch transmission and exhaust gas recirculation on actual driving conditions - have been installed in the vehicles. The dual clutch transmission software alters the operation of exhaust gas recirculation according to the rotation angle of the steering system. Such defeat software was found to be applied in three models - Audi A7 (3 liter), A8 (3 liter), and A8 (4.2 liter) - sold in between August 2012 and June 2014. The models were manufactured based on Euro 5 emission standard.

The remaining 11 models manufactured based on Euro 6 emissions standard were loaded with a different defeat software that increases the operation rate of exhaust gas recirculation system for up to only a certain period of time after starting the engine and then the rate would fall afterwards. The models include Audi A6, A7, A8, and Porsche Cayenne, the ministry said. Both devices could detect when the cars were being tested, changing the performance accordingly to improve emissions results.

The latest setback comes at a time when Audi and Volkswagen are gearing up their car sale in Korea. They late last year resumed vehicle sale, more than a year after their car sale in the country was banned in the wake of an emissions-test cheating scandal and have been launching massive promotional events to revive Korean consumers’ appetite for their cars.

They had completely suspended their vehicle sale since the Korean government revoked the certifications of 80 models in 32 variants of the two German brands in August in 2016 upon finding that they had fabricated emissions reports to obtain permission to sell their vehicles in Korea.
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