VW’s diesel ads draw record fine from S. Korea

VW’s diesel ads draw record fine from S. Korea

South Korea has slapped Volkswagen with record fines for falsely advertising its diesel models as environmentally friendly. The country has also filed criminal complaints against five former and current VW execs for their roles in the diesel emissions scandal.

According to Reuters, South Korea has levied a 37.3 billion won ($31.87 million) fine against Audi Volkswagen Korea for advertising its TDI models as cleaner alternatives to gas-powered vehicles. VW admitted in September 2015 that its TDI models were actually equipped with a cheating device that allowed them to pass government tests but then spew illegal levels of CO2 emissions during normal driving.

Additionally, authorities in South Korea are going after five VW execs for “false, exaggerated or deceptive” claims in the advertisements. André Konsbruck, now the vice president of sales for the Americas at Audi, and Audi’s Head of Sales Overseas Terence Bryce Johnsson are among those targeted by the criminal probe. If convicted they could face up to two years in jail or fines up to 150 million won.

South Korea has already fined VW $15.3 million for its diesel scandal. The German automaker is also facing stiff fines from several other governments, including a $16.5 billion settlement with the United States.