MORE COUNTRIES TAKE LEGAL ACTION ON VOLKSWAGEN’S DIESEL SCANDAL
Last week, both South Korea and the European Union noted they would be taking legal action in responses to “dieselgate,” the nickname given to the scandal on Volkswagen vehicles' nitrous oxide emissions. Last year, it was discovered that Volkswagen had intentionally misreported the amount of nitrous oxides that their cars emit outside of the laboratory. South Korea intends to file criminal charges against Volkswagen executives in the South Korean unit for falsely advertising their vehicles' emissions. The European Commission is going after several member states for failing to “police emissions test cheating by carmakers” after the scandal broke in the United States. Under the current system, “national watchdogs” approve whether cars meet EU standards: once approved in one country, the vehicles can be sold throughout the EU. By not issuing heavy penalties, countries are protecting their self-interest to keep manufacturing jobs in their countries. EU carmakers argue they did not violate any EU laws since there is a loophole allowing them to turn off emissions control systems to protect the engines or for safety purposes. The action taken by the Commission last week is the first step in ensuring state-by-state compliance with agreed EU-wide regulation. For the full story on the EU’s actions, see http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-volkswagen-emissions-eu-idUKKBN13X14J. For the full story on South Korea’s actions, see http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-volkswagen-southkorea-idUKKBN13W093.