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South Korea fines German automakers for rigging diesel car emissions


SEOUL — South Korea’s anti-trust regulator said on Thursday it would impose a combined fine of 42.3 billion won ($33.48 million) on three German automakers for colluding to rig emissions of its diesel cars using software.

Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volkswagen and Audi were involved in collusion that reduced competition and restricted consumer choice, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) said in a statement.

Mercedes-Benz was fined 20.7 billion won, BMW 15.7 billion won and Audi 6 billion won, the regulator said, adding that Volkswagen was not fined because it did not earn revenue relevant to the issue.

Mercedes, BMW, Volkswagen and Audi were not immediately available for comment.

Last year, Mercedes-Benz and its Korean unit were fined 20.2 billion won for false advertising tied to gas emissions of diesel passenger vehicles.

The European Commission in 2021 fined Volkswagen and BMW a total of 875 million euros for colluding to curb the use of emissions cleaning technology they had developed. — Reuters

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