Mercedes-Benz fined millions in South Korea

Status: 06.02.2022 5:35 p.m

The competition authorities in South Korea accuse the German carmaker of having installed prohibited software in its vehicles. Once again it’s about wrong exhaust gas values. The penalty for this is the equivalent of almost 15 million euros.

Mercedes-Benz is to be fined the equivalent of 14.7 million euros (20.2 billion won) in South Korea for false information on emissions from diesel cars. South Korea’s competition authority accused the German automaker of having installed banned emissions control software in its vehicles. The emission of nitrogen oxides should therefore not have corresponded to the regulations.

The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) called on Mercedes-Benz AG and Mercedes-Benz Korea to take corrective action. The carmaker said it was cooperating with the authorities and had given them its point of view. Since the decision is not yet available in writing, one cannot comment further on it.

Higher nitrogen emissions than advertised

According to the FTC, the company is said to have falsely advertised that the vehicles could reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 90 percent in accordance with the Euro 6 emissions standard. Mercedes-Benz advertised it between April 2012 and November 2018. 15 diesel models are affected.

The systems used for the so-called selective catalytic reduction (SCR) would have deteriorated significantly after 30 minutes of normal driving, it said. The cars would have emitted up to 14 times more nitrogen oxides than permitted by South Korean environmental regulations.

SCR stands for emission control technology. The FTC dismissed claims by the automaker that the ad claiming the 90 percent reduction in NOx emissions was just a common phrase used by industry and research.

Already fined two years ago

Two years ago, South Korea’s Ministry of the Environment fined the Stuttgart-based car manufacturer, which was then still trading under the name Daimler, for installing banned emissions software in diesel cars. At the time, the company announced that it would object to the decision. The procedure concerned vehicles with the Euro 6b emissions standard, the production of which was discontinued by mid-2018 at the latest. Daimler AG has been called Mercedes-Benz Group AG since February 1.

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