Seoul - Global carmakers were hit with a double blow on Monday as Nissan was dragged into the emissions cheating scandal and Norway's sovereign wealth fund said it was planning to sue Volkswagen in the German courts over the fraud.
South Korea's environment agency announced it had found that Nissan had used a “defeat” device for its Qashqai and said it would suspend sales of the model in the country and order a recall of 800 vehicles sold since last November. Nissan denied manipulating emissions data and pointed out that European Union tests had previously given its vehicles a clean bill of health.
“Nissan does not manipulate data related to our vehicles. Nissan has not and does not employ illegal defeat or cheat devices in any of the cars that we make,” a company spokesman said in a statement.
But in a potentially worrying development for the UK car manufacturing industry, the Japanese carmaker did say that the vehicles in question were built at its Sunderland plant.
And the charge comes after Nissan's partner, Mitsubishi Motors, was sucked into the scandal in Japan after disclosing that some employees had been overstating fuel efficiency by up to 10 percent in four types of petrol-powered car. Last week, Nissan agreed to acquire a 34 percent stake in Mitsubishi. In turn, Nissan is 43 percent owned by France's Renault.