Six car models, two locally-manufactured and four imported, failed to meet their fuel efficiency claims and will be charged with a penalty.
On June 26 the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) inspected Hyundai’s Santa Fe 2.0 Diesel 2WD and Ssangyong’s Korando Sports 2.0DI, and will fine them up to 1 billion won (US$987,890) for inaccurate declarations of fuel efficiency.
On the same day, the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE) also stated in a joint-government briefing that four import cars - Audi’s A4 2.0 TDI, Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TDI, Chrysler Jeep Cherokee, and the BMW Mini Cooper Countrymen - failed in fuel efficiency inspections, and are expected to pay a fine of 3 to 4 million won (US$2,964 to US$3,952).
This is the first time in South Korea that a vehicle manufacturer has been fined for fuel inefficiency.
There is the possibility that consumers will file lawsuits against the production company on the basis of the government inspection.
Contrary to MOLIT’s inspection results of Hyundai’s Santa Fe, MOTIE concluded that the mileage was acceptable during further inspection. It is expected that the discrepancies of both authorities will cause a backlash from manufacturers and confuse consumers.
Due to the discrepancies, both government authorities concluded that the reinvestigation results taken this year are not enough to replace those of last year, and thus reported last year’s results instead.
The Ministry of Strategy and Finance stated that it will fine two manufacturers according to the MOLIT’s investigation results. In accordance with the Automobile Management Act that calls for one thousandth of the total sales in fines, with a limit of one billion won, Hyundai Motors and Ssangyong Motors both are expected to pay fines of one billion won and two hundred million won, respectively. However, there is a possibility of these companies raising objections.
The government released a joint announcement together with MOLIT and MOTIE on reinforcing mileage regulations by allowing no more than a 5 percent difference in the standard mileage of both efficiencies in the city and on the highway. All cars will be subjected to running resistance tests.
In compliance with requests from the automobile industry on repetitive fuel efficiency investigations held by MOLIT, MOTIE, and Ministry of Environment, MOLIT will act as the single investigator of fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions, and will take charge of administrative sanctions against inefficiency.