German automaker Volkswagen AG has offered
to stop selling models sold by its Korean unit caught up in a scandal involving emissions
test rigging. That is in compliance with the Korean government’s
findings of numerous irregularities the automaker had committed over the past decade.
Our Kim Hyesung has the details. Audi Volkswagen Korea said Friday the sales
suspension will start on Monday and involves 34 models.
The 79 sub-models on the list include the Golf, Jetta TDI, Audi A6 and other diesel-powered
vehicles and gasoline-powered cars. Seoul’s environment ministry has been pushing
for a sales suspension based on an investigation into allegations the company submitted forged
documents to obtain sales approval certifications. The German carmaker sent notices to dealers
in Korea on Thursday. It said it made the decision because distributors
in Korea reported struggling with management strategies and its consumers are confused.
But experts say the carmaker made the move to quell deteriorating public opinion against
the company in Korea. “If Audi Volkswagen Korea hadn’t suspended
sales of the troubled models themselves, the Korean government would have forced the suspension
by the end of the month.” Audi Volkswagen Korea is expected to clarify
its position on the sales suspension at a hearing held by the environment ministry on
Monday. If the sales suspension is confirmed, the
German automaker will not be able to sell the cars in Korea until it renews its emissions-related
certifications. Kim Hyesung, Arirang News.