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S. Koreans to sue Volkswagen in US over emissions scandal

October 20, 2015
A Volkswagen Touareg diesel is tested in the Environmental Protection Agency's cold temperature test facility, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015, in Ann Arbor, Mich. Volkswagen has disclosed to U.S. regulators that there’s additional suspect software in its 2016 diesel models that would potentially help their exhaust systems run cleaner during government tests. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

A Volkswagen Touareg diesel is tested in the Environmental Protection Agency’s cold temperature test facility, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015, in Ann Arbor, Mich. Volkswagen has disclosed to U.S. regulators that there’s additional suspect software in its 2016 diesel models that would potentially help their exhaust systems run cleaner during government tests. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

SEOUL (Yonhap) — South Korean Volkswagen owners plan to file a class action lawsuit in the United States against the German carmaker over its emission rigging scandal, their lawyer said Tuesday.

Jason Ha said the lawsuit is set to be filed with a federal court in New Jersey later this week in collaboration with Quinn Emanuel, one of the world’s largest law firms handling business litigation and arbitration.

He said his clients are seeking punitive damages in a case that prompted consumer outcry from around the world for deceiving the public about the results of emissions tests.

Weeks before, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency revealed that Volkswagen used software that activates emission controls only when the car is going through official testing in order to fake test results and pass strict emission standards.

The German auto giant — whose brands include Audi and Bentley — admitted to the accusation and was ordered to recall about 500,000 vehicles in the U.S. alone. It also admitted that about 11 million cars sold globally might be equipped with the “defeat device.”

Ha said more than 420 South Koreans filed a suit against Volkswagen Group, Audi Volkswagen Korea and local dealers with the Seoul Central District Court earlier in the day.

The latest move raised to nearly 700 the total number of plaintiffs who filed a similar suit in South Korea, demanding their purchase contract be nullified and the German carmaker return the money.

The German auto giant said earlier in the day it will recall 95,581 Volkswagen vehicles and 29,941 Audi units in South Korea, according to the Environment Ministry.

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