South Korea’s environment ministry has accused local VW officials of fabricating reports on emissions and noise-level tests.
As a result, Volkswagen may have sales of its vehicles in South Korea suspended later this month. The environmental authority in South Korea, the National Institute of Environmental Research, will decide at a hearing on July 22 whether to suspend the sale of 32 VW Group models, which includes the Audi brand too, currently available in the market.
Prosecutors last month raided the Seoul offices of the German automaker and arrested an employee as part of the investigation. The automaker stands accused of fabricating reports on 26 different VW Group models including the VW Golf and the Audi RS7.
The South Korean unit of Volkswagen has seen sales slide dramatically in the first half of 2016. Sales are down 33 percent to 12,463 units for January through to June compared to the same period last year.
Volkswagen has said it may take legal action to fight any decision to halt sales.
The situation with VW isn’t without precedent.
Earlier this year, South Korea suspended sales of the Nissan Qashqai after accusing the Japanese automaker of manipulating the model’s emissions control system. The local Nissan unit has filed a lawsuit against the environment ministry in response.