Mercedes-Benz Korea has lost a lawsuit to cancel the disposition of the fine. According to legal circles on June 28, the Seoul Administrative Court ruled in favor of Benz Korea's loss of the plaintiff in a lawsuit filed against the Ministry of Environment, asking the ministry to cancel the fine. In November 2017, the ministry imposed 70.3 billion won in fines on three imported carmakers -- Mercedes-Benz Korea, BMW Korea and Porsche Korea.
The ministry's position is that they violated emission certification rules in importing cars into the country. The fine imposed on Benz Korea is 7.8 billion won. Benz Korea filed an appeal, saying the fine was unfair.
According to the ministry, Mercedes-Benz Korea applied parts different from those previously certified while carrying out certification procedures for 19 models it imported between 2011 and 2016. The company sold ignition coils, transmissions, coolant temperature sensors and canisters by replacing them.
Two more models were replaced in the same way. The ministry found that 8,246 units of 17 models, including seven diesel-powered cars and nine gasoline-powered vehicles, were sold by bypassing certification procedures.
In April this year, Mercedes-Benz Korea was also fined 2.7 billion won by an appeals court. In December 2018, Mercedes-Benz Korea was fined 2.81 billion won in the first trial for importing and selling 7,000 cars made with auto-emission-related parts that were different from its original certification.
The employee in charge, identified only by his surname Kim, was sentenced to eight months in prison and arrested in court. Mercedes-Benz Korea was also found guilty in the appeals court, but the sentence was somewhat reduced.
The court judged that the company and its staff were not intentional. The fine was set at 300,000 won per car sold by Benz Korea. The total amount was reduced, but the number of targets increased to 9,013 units.