* Ministry says Nissan falsified fuel economy test results
of Q50 sedan
* Ministry probes BMW, Porsche on similar matter
(Adds response from Porsche spokesman)
By Hyunjoo Jin
SEOUL, Feb 14 South Korea has filed a complaint
against 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
The transport ministry is also investigating BMW
and Porsche on a similar matter, the official, Koh Sung-woo,
The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office has launched
a probe into Nissan after a criminal compliant was filed by the
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
in the country following Volkswagen's emissions-test
The latest government action follows an announcement by
South Korea's environment ministry last month that the sale of
10 models of Nissan, BMW and Porsche had been banned 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 probe was then expanded to 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
Representatives of BMW and Porsche in Seoul said the
companies have not been notified of the probe.
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)