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Up to 330,000 S.Korean Cars Continue Excess Emissions Despite Recall Pledge

Up to 330,000 cars manufactured by the leading South Korean carmaker Hyundai continue polluting the air despite a voluntary pledge made four years ago to recall the vehicles, industry sources told local media on Thursday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Volkswagen, which has found itself in an emissions test rigging scandal this fall, was ordered to recall 125,000 of its vehicles in South Korea and pay a fine of over $12 million.

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"Almost three times the number of the German cars in question are running on the road, possibly wreaking havoc on the environment by fuming out more hazardous gases," the Yonhap news service quoted the source as saying on condition of anonymity.

The news service cited industry and government sources saying Hyundai Motor Group recalled around 540,000 out of the 870,000 cars it promised to pull off the roads in 2011.

That year, the South Korean government uncovered excessive nitrogen oxide emissions on certain Hyundai and its affiliate Kia Motors cars with a running air conditioning system.

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The industry source told the outlet the conventional recall ratio reaches nearly 90 percent within 19 months.

"If not, the government has to call on the carmaker in question to ramp up its recall efforts," the source stressed.

A Hyundai Motor PR official argued the low recall ratio was due to car owners' unwillingness to cooperate with the effort and the difficulty of reaching drivers.

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