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Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Corp. are facing a fraud and air-pollution probe by Frankfurt prosecutors over allegations they used defeat devices in diesel cars to mask the harmful emissions pumped into the air. Picture: BLOOMBERG
Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Corp. are facing a fraud and air-pollution probe by Frankfurt prosecutors over allegations they used defeat devices in diesel cars to mask the harmful emissions pumped into the air. Picture: BLOOMBERG

South Korean vehicle manufacturers Hyundai and Kia are facing a fraud and air-pollution probe by Frankfurt prosecutors over allegations that they used defeat devices in diesel cars to mask the harmful emissions pumped into the air.

Eight premises in Germany and Luxembourg were raided by 140 officers on Tuesday, prosecutors said. They are investigating people at both carmakers as well as at BorgWarner, which now owns Delphi Technologies,  one of two companies that allegedly provided the software for the diesel engines, prosecutors said.  

Both Kia and Hyundai separately confirmed that their offices were raided and said they are co-operating with the authorities. 

BorgWarner is also co-operating with the authorities and declined to comment further. A Robert Bosch spokesperson declined to comment, adding that the company settled with Stuttgart prosecutors in 2019.

The Frankfurt probe covers 210,000 cars sold until 2020 that, prosecutors say, were allegedly equipped with software that “massively” reduced or completely switched off emission reductions when the vehicles were used on the roads. Customers were not told that they did not comply with EU rules, according to the statement.

The diesel scandal has roiled the car industry since 2015 when US authorities disclosed they were probing Volkswagen.  It quickly spread to other carmakers and several remain embroiled in probes.

Bloomberg. More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

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