South Korea probes 23 automakers

South Korea has expanded an investigation into the fabrication of emissions and noise-level test results to all foreign car brands after fining Volkswagen Group for violations.
The environment ministry last week started a probe on 23 foreign automakers involving 110 diesel models, Hong Dong Kon, a director at the ministry said.
  According to him, the results of the investigation will be announced in two to three months.
Earlier this month, South Korea blocked sales of 80 VW Group model and fined the company 17.8 billion won ($16 million) because the automaker fabricated documents related to emissions and noise-level tests.
 Imported cars accounted for about 15 percent of the market in South Korea as of June, and the most popular choices include diesel models made by VW, BMW Group and Mercedes-Benz.
  The Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association said it hasn’t received details of the investigation.
  A spokesman for Mercedes-Benz Korea said the automaker hasn’t received a notice from the environment ministry but would cooperate with the investigation if there’s a request.
South Korea has sought to punish VW aggressively. It may take longer than the typical three months for VW to regain the certification required to restart sales as thorough inspections have to be carried out, the ministry has said.
 Foreign carmakers found guilty of wrongdoing may face a sales suspension and a fine, which could put the brakes on strong sales rises they have enjoyed in recent years, helped by trade deals.
*Courtesy Auto News and Reuters