BMW Staff Jailed for Tampering with Exhaust Data

Jay Yim, Jan. 11, 2019, 9:18 a.m.

The Seoul Central District Court on Thursday sentenced three BMW Korea staff to eight to 10 months in prison for tampering with emissions data while another three were given suspended sentences.

The German carmaker's Korean subsidiary was slapped with a W14.5 billion fine (US$1=W1,120).

The staffers were convicted of tampering with exhaust data to win approval from the National Institute of Environmental Research to import and sell 29,000 cars in Korea since 2011.

The presiding judge said they "obstructed the duties of administrative officials to improve environmental conditions and damaged the trust of customers."

Last month the court sentenced a Mercedes-Benz employee for importing and selling around 7,000 luxury cars in Korea that were equipped with parts other than those authorized by the NIER.

"In the past, staff committing such offenses were slapped with fines, but punitive measures are being drastically strengthened," a court official said.

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