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Volkswagen Dieselgate recall plan rejected again by South Korean environmental ministry

The environmental ministry of South Korea has rejected a proposed recall plan from Volkswagen to address the company’s emissions cheating in that country on certain VW and Audi diesel-powered models. The decision is the second time that South Korea’s Ministry of Environment has rejected a plan proposed by Audi Volkswagen Korea, the Korean division of Volkswagen AG, to address emissions problems uncovered during the Dieselgate scandal.

In September 2015, Volkswagen admitted that it had installed a software “defeat device” on 11 million VW and Audi “TDI Clean Diesel” models, which made the cars appear to emit significantly lower levels of greenhouse gasses during emissions testing than they did under real-world driving conditions. South Korea fined Volkswagen $12.5 million in November 2015 in response to the allegations of emissions cheating and ordered the company to recall its diesel models affected by the Dieselgate scandal.

Volkswagen’s first proposal to address emissions cheating problems in Korea was rejected by the Ministry of Environment in January. The environmental ministry said that the plan contained insufficient data and did not fully address how the German automaker planned to fix the emissions issues caused by the defeat device installed on VW and Audi “clean diesel” models.

Volkswagen submitted a second plan to the Ministry of Environment in March. The agency said that this plan also contained insufficient information and requested supplemental details from Volkswagen in order to correct the shortcomings of the company’s emissions plan. Because the environmental ministry rejected this second Volkswagen plan, the German automaker will be forced to completely restart the recall process for its VW and Audi diesel models.

South Korean officials also recently confiscated 950 Volkswagen-manufactured models—the Audi A1, A3, and Volkswagen Golf—over concerns that these vehicles fail to meet emissions standards. South Korean prosecutors suspect that these models may also emit higher levels of greenhouse gases that what is allowed under the country’s environmental laws.

Volkswagen is also under investigation by officials in the U.S., Germany, and European Union for its actions in connection with the Dieselgate scandal. Prosecutors in Germany have said that more than a dozen Volkswagen employees and executives could face criminal charges in connection with the company’s emissions cheating. Federal officials in the U.S. say that Volkswagen could face up to $18 billion in fines and penalties for violations of the Clean Air Act.

Lawsuits Filed Against Volkswagen over Emissions Cheating

Volkswagen is facing thousands of lawsuits filed in the U.S. by VW and Audi diesel vehicles owners whose cars were involved in the company’s alleged emissions cheating. Volkswagen, Audi, or Porsche vehicle owners who purchased or leased one of the diesel models involved in the VW diesel recall may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the automaker.

The vehicles included in the Volkswagen diesel recall include the 2009-2015 Audi A3 TDI, the 2016 Audi A6 Quattro, the 2016 Audi A7 Quattro, the 2016 Audi A8, the 2016 Audi A8L, the 2016 Audi Q5, the 2015 Porsche Cayenne, the 2009-2015 Volkswagen Beetle TDI, the 2009-2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI, the 2009-2015 Volkswagen Jetta TDI, and the 2012-2015 Volkswagen Passat TDI. Emissions “defeat devices” have also been discovered on the 2014 Volkswagen Touareg, the 2015 Porsche Cayenne, and the 2016 Audi A6 Quattro, A7 Quattro, A8, A8L, and Q5, although so far these vehicles have not been recalled.

The law firm of Heygood, Orr & Pearson has filed lawsuits on behalf of VW owners whose vehicles were affected by the company’s emissions cheating. One of our partners, Michael Heygood, was recently named to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee that will oversee the Multidistrict Litigation (or MDL) in California involving the Dieselgate scandal. Our attorneys expect to remain involved in these cases throughout the litigation process as we work to achieve the best results possible for our clients who were harmed by Volkswagen’s fraudulent conduct.

If you purchased or leased one of the VW, Audi, or Porsche diesel-powered vehicles involved in the Dieselgate recall, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson to learn more about whether you qualify to file a lawsuit. For a free legal consultation about your case, please contact us by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by following the link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few simple questions to get started.

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