The Ministry of Environment announced on May 16 that it looked into 20 diesel vehicles available in South Korea for 150 days or so and found that the exhaust gas reduction system of the Nissan Qashqai was tampered with. “The Nissan Qashqai’s NOx emission is 20.8 times the legislative limit of 0.08 g/km and the Renault Samsung QM3’s is 17 times, but the latter is not intentional,” the ministry explained.
The ministry imposed a penalty of 330 million won on Nissan Korea and told it not to sell the model in question any more. In addition, it told the already sold 814 Qashqais to be recalled, accused Nissan Korea CEO Takehiko Kikuchi of violating the Clean Air Conservation Act and began to cancel the authorization of the model.
According to the ministry, the exhaust gas recirculation device of the Qashqai stopped its operation during lab and open-air tests alike. Furthermore, it released that much NOx in various conditions such as hot start, road driving and gasoline mode. Regarding the other 19 models, the ministry failed to detect an arbitrary setting for stopping the EGR device at an engine intake temperature of 35 degrees Celsius. Renault Samsung Motors, in the meantime, is planning to come up with system improvement measures for the QM3 before the end of this year.
After the recent investigation, the ministry is going to keep checking 100 diesel vehicle models a year on an ongoing basis while trying to detect similar flaws of 50 vehicle models in operation a year to confirm the presence of absence of such arbitrary setting.