Japanese Automaker Nissan Faces South Korean Fine and Recall Over Bogus Emissions Results
May 16, 2016 04:01 AM EDT
South Korea is accusing Japanese automaker Nissan Motor of manipulating emissions tests on its sports utility vehicle models. The government is planning to fine the company and sue the head of its Korean operations over the said allegation which Nissan has denied.
South Korea's Environment Ministry announced on Monday its plan to fine Nissan Korea Co. 330 million won ($28,000) and recall 814 Qashqai vehicles sold since November. According to Money Control, it is also set to file a complaint with prosecutors against the head of the company's South Korean operation.
Ministry director Hong Dong-kon alleges that the emission reduction device attached to the SUVs stops operating when the engine's temperature reaches 35 Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) or about 30 minutes after the engine starts.
"Usually, some cars turn off the emission reduction device when the temperature reaches 50 degrees Celsius, to prevent the engine from overheating. The Qashqai was the only vehicle that turned it off at 35 degrees," Hong said in a press conference, as quoted by ABC News.
When the said device stops working, the diesel car's level of emissions is almost similar or a bit higher than Volkswagen's which was also fined for its diesel emission violation.
Hong added that all auto experts had the same opinion about it, calling it a "clear manipulation of the emissions reduction device."
The Japanese car manufacturer, however, denied the allegation, arguing that the country's finding is different from that of the European Union's. The latter reportedly concluded that the Nissan-produced vehicles have not used any illegal device. Nonetheless, it did assure assessment of the situation and cooperation with South Korean authorities.
"Nissan Motor has never illegally manipulated any vehicles we have produced so far and used defeat devices in those cars." the company said in a statement, according to BBC.
South Korea has probed 20 diesel car models sold in the country after Volkwagen's admission to falsification of emission tests in November.