Local units of luxury carmakers Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW), Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche have been hit with a combined 70.3 billion won ($63.1 million) in fine for forging emissions reports and installing random auto parts, the environment ministry said on Thursday.
According to the ministry, it has informed three carmakers with administrative measures such as cancellation of certifications and fines for violating the country’s Clear Air Conservation Act. The move comes a day after Seoul’s customs office also reported the carmakers to prosecutors on charges of violating the country’s customs law by generating illicit earnings.
BMW faces the biggest penalty of 60.8 billion won, Mercedes-Benz 7.8 billion won, and Porsche 1.7 billion won.
The ministry has also decided to ban the sale of 65 models including BMW 5 Series 528 xDrive, and Mercedes Benz-Maybach S500 4M.
According to the environment ministry, BMW was found to have forged emissions documents of 81,483 units, or of 28 models including 10 diesel and 18 gasoline ones sold in Korea between 2012 and 2015. Mercedes-Benz and Porsche were found to have randomly modified emissions and noise-related documents.
The ministry will finalize administrative actions on the car makers after a hearing.
By Lee Seung-hoon and Lee Eun-joo
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