South Korean Court finds Nissan Guilty of Using Defeat Devices

Automotive - Pavan Pandey - Feb 10,2017

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south korean court finds nissan guilty of using defeat devices

According to a South Korean court, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd has been found guilty of using a 'defeat device' on its 1.6-litre diesel engine Qashqai SUV sold in South Korea.

The South Korean court said in its accusations that the Japan-based automobile manufacturer, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd had used a so-called defeat device in its Qashqai SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle).

The Seoul Governmental Court overruled the case filed by the Japanese carmaker in June 2016, seeking nullification of the government's decision.

The Ministry of Environment of South Korea, slapped $286,000 (340 million won) in penalties on Nissan Korea earlier in the month and also banned sales of its Qashqai SUV model for manipulating emissions results.

The carmaker was also ordered by the ministry to recall 814 of its Qashqai SUV vehicles sold in the country from November 2015 to May 2016.

Nissan Motor Co. took the case to the court, saying the company did not manipulate emissions on the automobile or use any other illegal emission cheat devices. The court, however, admitted that the automobile manufacturer gained sales authorization based on false test results.

The South Korea court stated that it believed that Nissan used the defeat device to neutralize its emissions reduction system in Qashqai SUV under regular driving, which led to excess emissions of NOx (nitrogen oxide).

The court further added in its ruling, it is reasonable to believe that the automobile, in this case, achieved authorization with false and other illegal means.

According to a government spokesperson, the South Korean administration independently tested real-world emissions of 20 diesel vehicles in the wake of the Volkswagen emission cheat scandal, and it was believed the defeat device discovered was related to Nissan's emissions-reducing EGR system (Exhaust Gas Recirculation System), which stopped functioning when the engine's temperature touched 35 degrees Celsius.

He further added that usually, some vehicles turn off the emission reduction device (ERD) when the temperature touches 50 degrees Celsius, to avoid the engine from overheating. The Nissan’s Qashqai SUV was the only car that turned it off at 35 degrees Celsius.