SEOUL - South Korea says it will fine Nissan for manipulating emissions data on a popular diesel sports utility vehicle, bringing the Japanese car giant into a widening global scandal that has already ensnared Volkswagen and Mitsubishi.
Seoul said it would order recalls of hundreds of Qashqai model SUVs after tests revealed an emission defeat system that made the vehicle appear to be less polluting than it really was.
The decision follows an investigation into 20 diesel-powered cars last December, initiated by Seoul after German carmaker Volkswagen admitted to having installed devices aimed at cheating emissions tests into 11 million diesel engines.
Nissan would be fined 330 million won ($280,000), the environment ministry said Monday.
"Our investigation... concluded that Nissan illegally manipulated emission data," the ministry said in a statement.
Hong Dong-Kon, a ministry official handling transport-related regulations, added: "A group of auto industry experts we consulted with also agreed that this is a clear manipulation of emission data".