The South Korean government has ordered Nissan to recall hundreds of its SUVs that are currently being sold in South Korea after the car manufacturers allegedly fabricated their emissions test.

The Ministry of Environment fined Nissan Korea 340 million won and has banned the sales of its Qashqai models as well as ordering a recall of 814 of its vehicles that were sold in South Korea from November 2015 to May 2016.

The ministry has also filed a criminal lawsuit against the head of Nissan Korea, Takehiko Kikuchi, with the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ office.

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The ministry claims that the Qashqai vehicles sold between November and May used a defeat device to reduce the emissions of nitrogen oxide during its testing. According to the ministry, Nissan manipulated the exhaust gas recirculation device to prevent it from functioning at temperatures over 35°C. Nissan have claimed that the device was stopped to prevent the engines from overheating, however, the government have stated that 35°C is well within the general temperature range of vehicles running at an ordinary speed.

The allegation was uncovered during the ministry’s nationwide investigation into 20 diesel car models as a result of the German carmaker Volkswagen’s emission scandal last year.

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