South Korean prosecutors raid Volkswagen office in emissions probe

The logo of German carmaker Volkswagen is seen on a Volkswagen Golf GTI car at a showroom of Swiss car importer AMAG in Duebendorf, Switzerland February 12, 2016. Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean prosecutors on Friday searched the local office of Volkswagen AG VOWG_p.DE and sister firm Audi AG NSUG.DE as part of a probe into an emissions case, a spokesman for the German carmakers' local unit said, confirming media reports.

Volkswagen and Audi face a flurry of legal complaints globally after Volkswagen admitted in September to falsifying U.S. emissions tests on some of its diesel cars.

Yonhap News Agency said investigators from the Seoul Supreme Prosecutors’ Office raided the office and the house of an unidentified senior company official on Friday. They seized emails exchanged with headquarters and documents on emissions verification and vehicle certification, the report said.

A spokesman for Volkswagen Korea confirmed the raid but provided no other details, and reiterated that the company is cooperating with the probe.

Two officials with the prosecutors’ office were not immediately available for comment.

The country’s environment ministry last month filed a criminal complaint against the South Korean unit of Volkswagen/Audi and two company officials, saying that their vehicles do not meet permissible emission levels required by law..

Under South Korean environmental law, a guilty conviction could result in a prison term of up to seven years and a fine of up to 100 million won ($81,253), the ministry has said.

Volkswagen and Audi top the imported car sales rankings in South Korea, the second-biggest Asian market for diesel cars after India.

Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Michael Perry and Tony Munroe