Audi Volkswagen, which was fined 37.3 billion won for falsely advertising diesel cars as eco-friendly vehicles, filed a lawsuit against the case, but lost.
The Supreme Court said on Oct. 24 that it has upheld the original ruling that ruled against the plaintiff in an appeal against a lawsuit filed by Audi Volkswagen Korea (AVK), Volkswagen AG and Audi against the Fair Trade Commission (FTC).
"AVK and Volkswagen made a mark on the emission gas sign inside the bonnet of the vehicle such as "made suitable for the regulations on the atmospheric environment conservation law." The court said, adding that it does constitute a display under the Display Advertisement Act even though it is not in a position that stands out from consumers.
"Although they advertised their products as vehicles that meet regulations, they actually met emission standards only in indoor certification tests," it said. "They falsely and exaggerate advertising that they were designed to comply with the regulations of the Air Environment Conservation Act, even though they could not be considered to meet emission standards in real terms."
In addition, the FTC decided that the fines were decided based on sales during the period of sale of vehicles after considering the fact that the display was false and exaggerated.
AVK and other companies stressed the eco-friendly nature of their products, including through newspapers and magazines from December 2007 to November 2015, with their products meeting Euro 5, the European Union standard for emission control of diesel cars.
At that time, AVK and others advertised their products as highly fuel efficient and eco-friendly vehicles that meet emission standards while maintaining high fuel efficiency and performance.
However, the investigation revealed that the reduction system was manipulated to satisfy the emission acceptance criteria only during the certification test, and that it did not produce high fuel efficiency when it satisfied the emission acceptance criteria.
In December 2016, the FTC imposed 37.3 billion won in fines and correction orders, "They hid this fact and displayed them as eco-friendly vehicles that meet environmental standards."