SEOUL Feb 14 South Korea has sued Nissan
Motor's South Korean unit alleging that the Japanese
car maker manipulated the fuel economy test results of its
Infiniti Q50 sedan, a government official said on Tuesday.
The ministry is also investigating BMW and Porsche
on a similar matter, the official, Koh Sung-woo, told Reuters.
The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office has launched
a probe into Nissan after a criminal compliant was filed by the
transport ministry, a spokesman at the office said.
Makers of imported cars, which have surged in popularity in
recent years in South Korea, have been facing growing scrutiny
following Volkswagen's emissions-test cheating
Last month, the environment ministry banned the sale of 10
models of Nissan, BMW and Porsche after the car makers were
found to have fabricated documents on emissions and noise-level
tests. The models banned include BMW's X5M and Porsche's Cayenne
and Macan models.
The transport ministry has been expanding the probe into
whether the three car makers have falsified documents on fuel
economy tests of the 10 models as well, Koh said.
Koh said Nissan overstated the fuel economy of the Q50 so
that it is 3.4 percent higher than the actual test result.
"They manipulated the test results of the car to make the
fuel economy look better," he said.
Nissan Korea said it reported "some inappropriate problems"
in certification documents to authorities last year, saying the
errors were caused by the misconduct of a manager at the
"We express sincere regret over those issues," a spokeswoman
A BMW spokesman in Seoul said the company has not been
notified of the probe, while a Porsche spokesman in Seoul did
not have immediate comments.
The complaint adds to the troubles in South Korea for
Nissan, which is already accused of cheating on emissions of its
Qashqai diesel model.
Last week, a South Korean court sided with the government
which had said the Japanese automaker used a so-called defeat
device in its Qashqai sport utility vehicle to turn off its
emissions reduction device during regular driving.
(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)