The environment ministry said Nissan were guilty of using software on diesel versions of the SUV to hit pollution targets. The South Korean Government is expected to fine Nissan almost £200,000 and order the recall of more than 800 affected models sold there.
The Qashqai was tested by the EU and as part of the UK’s own emissions review and no “defeat devices” – similar to those used by VW – were found. But South Korea regulators found differently.
Nissan denies the accusations but said it would work with authorities.
The Qashqai – one of the best selling cars in the UK – is produced in Sunderland and was one of 20 diesels retested by South Korean regulators following the VW scandal. The Japanese SUV was the only one that failed the tests.
Hong Dong-kon, a director at the ministry, said the discrepancy surrounded emissions controls and engine temperature during testing. He added: “Usually, some cars turn off the emission reduction device when the temperature reaches 50 degrees Celsius, to prevent the engine from overheating. The Qashqai was the only vehicle that turned it off at 35 degrees,” Mr Hong said.
“All auto experts expressed the opinion that it was clearly a manipulation of the emissions reduction device,'” Mr Hong added.
Nissan is the latest manufacturer to get drawn into an emissions scandal after the VW problems at the end of last year. While last month, Mitsubishi admitted to falsifying fuel economy figures for 20 years.
And just last week, it was revealed Nissan will take a 34 per cent stake in Mitsubishi to become its biggest shareholder.
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