The crossover's engine allegedly has a defeat device that activates during normal driving.
The South Korean government alleges Nissan is the latest automaker to equip some of its models with an emissions defeat device. According to Reuters, the country’s environmental ministry claims there are 814 examples of the latest Qashqai diesel crossover there that cheat pollution regulations. Nissan denies these accusations.
South Korea’s environmental ministry conducted emissions tests on 20 diesel vehicles in the wake of Volkswagen’s cheating scandal. According to Reuters, the regulator allegedly found that the new Qashqai diesel shut off its pollution reduction system when driving at normal temperatures. The agency requested Nissan recall these vehicles, and it plans to fine the automaker the equivalent of $280,000 at current exchange rates.
"Nissan has not and does not employ illegal defeat or cheat devices in any of the cars that we make," a company spokesperson told Reuters. The automaker has 100 days to prove the regulator’s allegations are incorrect, according to Automotive News Europe.
If these accusations are true, they could harm Nissan’s environmentally friendly marketing message. Through high-tech initiatives and the popularity of electric models like the Leaf, the company tries to present itself as especially green. The automaker also already faces the challenge of rehabilitating the image of the recently acquired Mitsubishi, after that company’s years of fuel economy cheating in Japan.