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Nissan to face charges over emissions?

South Korea has said it wants Japanese carmaker Nissan to face criminal charges for allegedly falsifying emissions data on a popular sports utility vehicle. The automaker itself insisted the accusations were unfounded.

The South Korean government on Tuesday called for Japanese car producer Nissan to face criminal charges, saying it had rigged emissions data.

The Environment Ministry in Seoul called on state prosecutors to probe the

Japanese carmaker,

adding tests had shown an emission defeat system on the Qashqai model that made it appear to be less polluting than it really was.

Last month, Japan's No. 2 automaker was already hit with a $280,000 (246,300 euro) fine, with Seoul insisting on recalling affected vehicles.

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"Dealers are working closely and transparently with the Korean government concerning real-world NOx emissions of the Qashqai," Nissan said in a statement.

But it hastened to add that it had always "complied with all existing regulations and did not use an 'unjustified arbitrary setup' or an illegal defeat device in the vehicle."

South Korea's push for criminal charges came after an investigation into 20 diesel-powered cars that was launched after German carmaker Volkswagen had admitted having installed devices aimed at cheating emissions tests in 11 million vehicles globally.

hg/cjc (AFP, Lusa)

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