Weeks after imposing a heavy fine of 330 millon won (USD 280,000) on Nissan South Korea, the nation’s environment ministry has called for criminal proceedings against the Japanese automaker and the head of its South Korean subsidiary.
The environment ministry of South Korea alleges that the Nissan Qashqai diesel SUV is found to have a defeat system that made it appear less polluting that it really was.
The tests on 20 diesel models that are sold in South Korea were triggered by VW’s dieselgate. Apart from penalizing Nissan, South Korea also banned the sale of Qashqai diesel and ordered the company to recall the 800-odd units of the crossover. The criminal proceedings by the South Korean environment ministry took Nissan by surprise.
In its statement, Nissan South Korea maintains that it has complied with all existing regulations and did not use an ‘unjustified arbitrary setup’ or an illegal defeat device in the Qashqai diesel. The automaker highlighted that the vehicle was tested and approved by the concerned South Korean authorities before it went on sale last year.
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Nissan South Korea also adds that it is currently studying the conclusions reached by the environment ministry and exploring its options. Details of next steps would be communicated to the dealers and customers in due course.