Dieselgate: Sales of 80 Volkswagen models suspended in South Korea

Officials in South Korea have ordered Volkswagen to suspend sales of 80 models as part of an investigation into the ongoing Dieselgate emissions scandal.

South Korea’s environment ministry has revoked certification for 80 derivatives of Volkswagen, Audi and Bentley vehicles – and hit the shamed carmaker with a 17.8 billion Korean won (£12 billion) fine for allegedly forging documents on emissions or noise-level tests.

Although South Korea is a relatively small market for Volkswagen, its upmarket Audi and Bentley brands were increasingly popular in the country before news of the scandal broke.

Around 68% of the 300,000 Volkswagen Group cars sold in South Korea since 2007 were powered by diesel.

It could take at least three months before the suspended cars are able to be sold again in the country.

Environment ministry director Hong Dong-gon told Reuters: “It usually takes three months for vehicle certification, but this may take longer for Volkswagen, as we will take thorough steps.”

The sales halt comes after Volkswagen’s offices in South Korea were raided by investigators as part of a probe into the scandal.