VW Korea halts sales over ‘too bright’ warning triangles

Volkswagen’s full lineup (Volkswagen)

After the so-called ‘Dieselgate’ in 2015, Volkswagen Korea cut all new car sales due to the ‘too bright’ triangle warning, a car accessory that warns drivers after an emergency stop called an unprecedented precautionary measure. stopped.

According to the South Korean unit, the German headquarters has ordered a suspension of new car deliveries until the issue is resolved, considering a recall of all cars sold.

An official at Volkswagen Korea said, “It was found that the triangular warning lights of imported Volkswagen vehicles exceeded the maximum brightness amount recommended by South Korea’s Road Traffic Act.”

“Although there is no legal obligation to consider tripods as part of the vehicle, they are the best way to ensure driver safety.”

The Warning Triangle is a small red triangle with a highly reflective surface that can be placed behind your car as a tripod in case of an emergency stop on the side of the road. They are used to warn other drivers on the road. Automakers say too much light can block drivers’ vision and cause car accidents.

“We will replace the tripods of the vehicles that have stopped delivering and set a recall schedule with traffic authorities for vehicles already sold. The company will work towards resuming deliveries from mid-February,” it said.

Volkswagen Korea sells seven models, including the sport utility vehicle models Tiguan, Tiguan Allspace, Touareg, Golf Hatchback and Arteon Sedan.

The official added that the German headquarters has learned from the painful 2015 emissions fraud scandal and has implemented thorough safety management processes.

Experts say it is unprecedented for a German automaker to take such “excessive” precautions.

“Instead of gradually fixing the problem on a model-by-model basis, automakers, knowing that they are causing serious inconvenience to consumers, have postponed all deliveries and made all the changes,” said Kim Pil-soo, an automotive engineer. It is unreasonable to issue a recall on a model.” Professor at Daelim University.

Choi Young-sook, a professor of smart mobility at Halla University, agreed with this view, stating, “After the recall, Volkswagen should transparently report the recall rate of vehicles to ensure consumer safety. should,” he stressed.

Choi said the company was deflecting its responsibility to its customers by delaying the 2015 Dieselgate lawsuit and manipulating fuel efficiency data in 2011.

A German automaker has drawn public outrage after the engines of its 500,000 diesel models are equipped with “deactivators” or software that alter emissions performance during testing.

Diesel vehicles actually emit up to 40 times more nitrogen dioxide, a pollutant that can lead to respiratory illness and premature death, than the legally allowed amount. It was tested and certified.

A year later, Volkswagen apologized to its customers and, as of May, had paid about €32 billion ($34.7 billion) in fines, compensation, civil settlements and buyback schemes.

The South Korean government fined approximately 125,000 Volkswagen vehicles worth 14.1 billion won for cheating diesel engine emissions tests in 2015. Volkswagen Korea issued a recall for software upgrades and distributed his 1 million won coupons to customers.

In one of three separate class actions against Volkswagen Korea over the diesel scandal, the Seoul Central District Court ruled that the automaker should repay 79 customers 10% of the purchase price. Did. Another court ruled that 979 customers should be compensated 1 million won for emotional damage. Appeals against all lawsuits are still pending.

By Byun Hye-jin (hyejin2@heraldcorp.com)

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