South Korea Suspends Sales, Decertifies Most of the Country's Volkswagen Products

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
south korea suspends sales decertifies most of the countrys volkswagen products

Consider it a low point in German-Korean relations.

Thanks to the diesel emissions scandal, South Korea just decertified about 68 percent of all Volkswagen, Bentley and Audi vehicles sold in that country over the past decade, Reuters reports. The country also revoked the certification of 80 model variants and leveled a large fine, meaning VW’s one-time Asian market breakthrough is truly busted.

The embattled automaker knew this was coming. In late July, it voluntarily pulled the plug on sales of certain diesel vehicles as it awaited a ruling from the country’s environmental ministry.

Besides the stop-sale order and decertification of 209,000 existing vehicles, VW now finds itself on the hook for $16.06 million in fines. The automaker plans to appeal the ruling, calling it “most severe.”

VW fought hard to scratch out a meager market share in the country over the past decade, and despite a steep sales slide in the wake of the scandal, it intends to fight to keep its customers. The automaker told its customers (via a letter on its webpage) that it might request an “injunction of execution.” There’s also a chance it could take the country’s government to court to salvage its reputation.

South Korean lawmakers anticipate a lengthy sales shutdown.

“It usually takes three months for vehicle certification, but this may take longer for Volkswagen, as we will take thorough steps,” environmental ministry director Hong Dong-gon told Reuters. The ministry warned that any delay in recalling the vehicles for an emissions fix would lead to further penalties. VW could be forced to swap existing vehicles for different models.

Volkswagen sales slid 33 percent in South Korea in the first half of the year, a harsh blow for a company that was so eager to foist its luxury models on the hot vehicle market. The scandal’s financial toll hit hard, with VW reporting a 12 percent drop in quarterly profits last week.

[Image: Volkswagen]

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  • Voyager Voyager on Aug 03, 2016

    Just read that the EPA gave BMW diesels the green light. That's gotta hurt.

  • Amancuso Amancuso on Aug 05, 2016

    What about Hyundai/Kia's Over inflated MPG claims. I actually have a relative that bought one of their cars (2012 Accent) and the MPG was horrendous for a 4 banger. How about we throw them out with the bathwater too?

  • MaintenanceCosts Despite my hostile comments above I really can't wait to see a video of one of these at the strip. A production car running mid-eights is just bats. I just hope that at least one owner lets it happen, rather than offloading the car from the trailer straight into a helium-filled bag that goes into a dark secured warehouse until Barrett-Jackson 2056.
  • Schurkey Decades later, I'm still peeved that Honda failed to recall and repair the seat belts in my '80 Civic. Well-known issue with the retractors failing to retract.Honda cut a deal with the NHTSA at that time, to put a "lifetime warranty" on FUTURE seat belts, in return for not having to deal with the existing problems.Dirtbags all around. Customers screwed, corporation and Government moves on.
  • Bullnuke An acquaintance of mine 50+ years ago who was attending MIT (until General Hershey's folks sent him his "Greetings" letter) converted an Austin Mini from its staid 4 cylinder to an electric motored fuel cell vehicle. It was done as a project during his progression toward a Master Degree in Electrical Engineering. He told me it worked pretty well but wasn't something to use as a daily driver given the technology and availability of suitable components of the time. Fueling LH2 and LOX was somewhat problematic. Upon completion he removed his fuel cell and equipment and, for another project, reinstalled the 4 banger but reassembled it without mechanical fasteners using an experimental epoxy adhesive instead which, he said, worked much better and was a daily driver...for awhile. He went on to be an enlisted Reactor Operator on a submarine for a few years.
  • Ajla $100k is walking around money but this is almost certainly the last Dodge V8 vehicle and it's likely to be the most powerful factory-installed and warrantied pushrod engine ever. So there is some historical applicability to things even if you have an otherwise low opinion of the Challenger.And, like I said up thread, if you still hate it will be gone soon anyway.
  • Carlson Fan GM completely blew the marketing of the Volt. The commercials were terrible. You'd swear they told the advertising company to come up with an ad that would make sure no one went out and shopped a Volt after seeing it!...........LOL My buddy asked why I bought a car that only goes 40 miles on a charge? That pretty much sums up how confusing and uninformative the advertising was.