South Korea issues arrest warrant for VW executive in emissions probe

Fri Jun 24, 2016 4:29am EDT
 
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By Hyunjoo Jin

SEOUL (Reuters) - A South Korean court on Friday issued the first warrant for the arrest of a Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE: Quote) executive in connection with its cheating of vehicle emissions tests, in another blow to the German automaker's efforts to move on from the scandal.

The warrant is the first to be levelled against a Volkswagen executive anywhere in the world after the firm in September admitted to using software to falsify pollution tests on some diesel cars, spurring legal action in the United States, Germany, South Korea and elsewhere.

"This is just the beginning of the investigation," an official at the prosecution office said, declining to be named because the investigation was ongoing.

The Volkswagen Korea executive, identified by his last name Yun, faced five accusations including fabrication of documents and violation of the Air Quality Preservation Law, Seoul Central District Court spokesman Shin Jae-hwan said.

"The court acknowledges the reason and the necessity of the arrest," he told Reuters, declining to give further details or name the executive.

A Volkswagen Korea spokeswoman declined to comment.

South Korea has taken a particularly hard line against the automaker, filing a criminal complaint against two other executives, fining it 14.1 billion won ($11.97 million) and ordering it to recall 125,522 vehicles.

About 4,400 Korean consumers also have filed a class action lawsuit against Volkswagen and sister marque Audi demanding compensation over the false emissions claims.   Continued...

 
A VW sign is seen outside a Volkswagen dealership in London, Britain November 5, 2015.   REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett/File photo