South Korea to Sue Audi Volkswagen Head – Wall Street Journal

Posted: Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Johannes Thammer, right, head of Audi Volkswagen Korea, and Thomas Kuehl, left, head of Volkswagen Korea, attend an inspection conducted by the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Committee in Seoul on Oct 8, 2015.
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SEOUL—South Korea will sue the head of Volkswagen AG
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’s Korean office over its failure to comply with an order to recall diesel vehicles equipped with emissions-cheating devices.

The Ministry of Environment said Tuesday it will file a complaint with the Seoul Central Prosecutor’s Office against Johannes Thammer, managing director of Audi Volkswagen Korea.

“Recall plans the company submitted to us earlier this month were insufficient and lacked key information, and thus are unacceptable,” the ministry said in a statement.

Volkswagen Korea officials weren’t immediately available for comment.

In November, the government ordered Volkswagen Korea to recall more than 125,000 diesel-powered cars after it found that emissions-cheating software had been installed in the vehicles. It also fined the German car maker 14.1 billion won ($12.3 million).

The government ordered Volkswagen Korea to present detailed recall plans by Jan. 6, including how to improve emissions results and maintain fuel efficiency after removing the software in question.

The scandal first erupted in September, when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency revealed that Volkswagen had deceived diesel emissions testers for years and then falsely claimed technical problems when challenged.

Write to In-Soo Nam at In-Soo.Nam@wsj.com

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