Volkswagen SUV with controversial nine-dash map could be destroyed

By Anh Tu   October 30, 2019 | 04:45 am PT
Volkswagen SUV with controversial nine-dash map could be destroyed
The 2020 Volkswagen Touareg model with the controversial nine-dash line in the navigation map at the 2019 Vietnam Motor Show, Ho Chi Minh City on October 27, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Luong Dung.
The Volkswagen SUV displayed in Vietnam last week with the China’s fraudulent nine-dash line map could be destroyed, instead of auctioned.

A representative of Vietnam Customs said that the agency is studying the laws to deal with the Volkswagen Touareg that appeared at the Vietnam Motor Show 2019 on Sunday in Ho Chi Minh City.

The agency will strictly handle this sensitive issue, and the highest measure would be to confiscate the vehicle for destruction instead of auctioning it as usual, the representative told VnExpress.

The agency will meet Wednesday with related government agencies to take a decision on this issue, the representative said.

However, an official from Vietnam Register said that destroying the SUV will be an overreaction and is not necessary.

Nguyen To An, head of the vehicle quality department under the agency, said that people who put the map into the SUV are responsible for this incident, not the car itself.

"We should remove the software and warn other organizations and individuals on the matter," he said.

Last Sunday, a visitor to the motor show noticed the nine-dash line map in the navigation app of the car.

The vehicle was imported earlier this month from China for display purposes only and was scheduled to be re-exported next February, according to Vietnam Register’s records.

Do Nguyen Vuong, General Director of Volkswagen Vietnam, said earlier that the car's navigation app has been deactivated and will be re-exported.

All Touaregs in the world are manufactured in Slovakia, Central Europe, and when customers buy the new model, the SUV would be imported from Slovakia with no fraudulent map features, he added.

The infamous and controversial nine-dash line is a demarcation that claims 90 percent of the 3.5-million-square-kilometer East Sea, known internationally as South China Sea. The unilateral demarcation has been strongly opposed by the international community. Apart from violating Vietnam’s sovereignty, it overlaps with claims by Brunei, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

Last week, the Vietnam Register ordered a Vietnamese car distributor of four made-in-China vehicles including Zotye and Baic, to remove the infamous map from its cars.

Earlier this month, Vietnam banned online game Onmyoji developed by Chinese firm NetEase and stopped screening Dreamworks' animation movie "Abominable" since they both showed the nine-dash line.

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