* Nissan used defeat device that led to excess NOx
* S.Korea only country where Nissan accused of emissions
* Nissan says court decision "regrettable", no illegal
(Add Nissan comments, details of the ruling)
By Hyunjoo Jin
SEOUL, Feb 9 A South Korean court ruled against
Nissan Motor Co on Thursday in an emissions case,
siding with the government in its accusations that the Japanese
automaker had used a so-called defeat device in its Qashqai
sport utility vehicle (SUV).
Nissan sued South Korea's environment ministry last year
after the ministry said Nissan cheated on emissions of the
Qashqai diesel model and fined it 330 million won ($279,900).
The ministry had also halted sales of the model in the
country and ordered a recall of 814 Qashqai vehicles.
The ruling by the Seoul Administrative Court is a blot on
the image of Nissan, which had hoped to be exonerated of the
charges of emissions cheating in the only country where it has
been accused of it.
The court said it believed that Nissan used the defeat
device to deactivate its emissions reduction system in Qashqai
under regular driving, which led to excess emissions of nitrogen
"It is reasonable to believe that the vehicle in this case
achieved certification with false and other illegal means," the
court said in its ruling.
Nissan said the court ruling was "regrettable."
"There is no change in our stance that we have not used any
illegal devices in our vehicles," a Nissan Motor spokeswoman
"We will consider possible measures," she added, without
The government conducted tests on 20 diesel vehicles made by
various automakers after it had found Volkswagen AG
had manipulated emissions of some vehicles sold in the country.
The Qashqai SUVs affected by the probe were produced at
Nissan's UK plant and use 1.6-liter diesel engines supplied by
its partner Renault SA.
(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Edwina Gibbs and