TOKYO -- Suzuki Motor Corp. is trying to turn the tables on estranged partner Volkswagen AG, accusing the German automaker of violating their two-year tie-up agreement, just a month after Volkswagen lodged a similar complaint against Suzuki.
Suzuki leveled the accusation in a "notice of breach" sent to VW, Executive Vice President Yasuhito Harayama said at a hastily called Oct. 14 press conference here.
Suzuki claims that VW has not lived up to its end of the partnership, formed in December 2009, by failing to give Suzuki access to certain VW technology. It urges VW to remedy the situation by sharing the technology or immediately returning its stake held in Suzuki to Suzuki.
"Getting access to this technology was the top objective of this cooperation," said Harayama, a former top bureaucrat at Japan's economic, industry and trade ministry who has been in charge of handling the ill-fated partnership with Europe's largest automaker.
Harayama said Suzuki was especially interested in gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain systems and other environmental technologies, but that VW never delivered. In a statement, Suzuki Chairman Osamu Suzuki said: "I remain disappointed that we have not received what we were promised."
Harayama said his company would give VW several weeks to reply to Suzuki's latest demands, adding that executives from both companies have been in talks.
The move follows VW's claim on Sept. 11 that Suzuki breached the alliance agreement when it bought diesel engines from Fiat. Suzuki denies that this violated their accord.
The tit-for-tat sparring is the latest in an increasingly public feud between the companies.
At a Sept. 12 news conference, Chairman Suzuki asked for a "divorce" from the VW "ball and chain."
He demanded that VW sell its 19.89 percent stake in Suzuki, and in return said Suzuki would offload its 1.49 percent in VW.
Later that month, Suzuki demanded that VW retract its claim that Suzuki violated their tie-up agreement by sourcing from Fiat.
Citing VW spokesman Michael Brendel, Bloomberg News reported that the German carmaker "regrets" Suzuki's decision to accuse it of breaching their agreement.
VW "can't conceive at all" the assertions made by Suzuki and has done "all it could" to safeguard the partnership with the Japanese carmaker, Brendel told Bloomberg.
VW has said in recent weeks that no intention of selling its stake in Suzuki.