‘뻥’ 안전등급 광고한 토요타, 8억 과징금 문다

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【카미디어】 뉴스팀 = 공정거래위원회가 한국토요타자동차에 8억원의 과징금을 물렸다. 우리나라 출시 차량에는 있지도 않은 운전석 안전장치를 넣은 것처럼 광고한 데 따른 조치다.

공정위는 15일, 세종시 정부세종청사에서 송정원 서울사무소 총괄과장을 통해 이같이 밝혔다. 문제가 된 차종은 토요타 자동차의 준중형 SUV 라브4. 소형 SUV 라브4는 미국 고속도로안전보험협회로부터 최고안전차량에 선정된 바 있는 모델. 이에 한국토요타는 2015년과 16년에 라브4 모델을 국내에 판매하면서 ‘최고 안전 등급’이라는 문구를 홍보에 활용했다. 이 광고를 보는 소비자로서는 ‘라브4=안전한 차’라는 생각이 들기 마련인 셈.

 

그러나 당시 국내에 판매된 라브4에는 미국 판매 모델과 달리 운전석에 안전보강재 ‘브래킷’이 없었던 것으로 드러났다. 이 부품이 빠진 2014년형 라브4의 경우 미국에서 가장 낮은 안전 등급을 받기도 했다(전측면 충돌 실험). 한마디로 중요한 안전 부품을 쏙 빼 원가는 절감하면서 포장만 그대로 가져간 셈이다.

이 같은 광고 행위에 대해 ‘소비자 기만 행위’라 밝힌 공정위는 한국토요타에 광고중지명령과 함께 과징금 8억 1,700만 원을 부과하기로 결정했다. 공정위는 앞으로 국내와 해외에서 팔리는 동일 제품에 대한 기만적 광고 행위를 엄중히 단속, 제재를 강화할 방침이다.

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