South Korean Prosecutors Raid Volkswagen Over Emissions Scandal

David Lee, May 13, 2016, 10:56 a.m.


Prosecutors on Wednesday raided into the local office of Volkswagen and the agencies handling vehicle registration for the German automaker. Prosecutors said the raid was prompted by suspicions that Volkswagen tampered with results of emissions test submitted to the Korean government.



Foreign carmakers must submit results of emissions tests to sell cars here. But prosecutors who searched the offices of the German automaker and home of a senior executive in February obtained documents showing clear differences in test data sent from headquarters in Germany and those the carmaker submitted to the government here through an agency. 

"It's our view that the documents submitted to the government have been tampered with," a prosecutor said. They were submitted in 2013 and 2014.

"We believe that chances are very slim that the agency doctored the documents," the prosecutor said. "We will look into whether the Korean branch did it on its own or whether headquarters in Germany instructed the local subsidiary to do it."

In January the Environment Ministry filed a criminal complaint against Johannes Thammer, the head of Volkswagen's Korean operation, saying its vehicles do not meet Korean emission standards.

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