BMW’s South Korean unit apologized for a spate of engine fires, calculated by the country’s transport ministry at 27 over January to July, that has pushed a government investigation and a major backlash from consumers.
BMW stated it will launch a recall of 106,000 diesel vehicles, consisting the 520d, starting from August 20, citing problems in the exhaust gas recirculation system as the root cause of the fires.
“For the recent series of fire incidents happened in the country, we sincerely apologize for causing worry and anxiety among people and government authorities,” BMW Korea Chairman Kim Hyo-joon stated at a press conference on Monday.
BMW, the second-most popular foreign automaker in South Korea, stated it had learned of the issues in 2016, but it discovered the root cause of the problem in June 2018.
The automaker has announced a “technical campaign” in Europe, after the recalls in South Korea, mentioning similar failure rates of the system in both places.
South Korea’s transport ministry stated it has prompted BMW executives to collaborate in the ongoing investigation, saying they were falling short of filing related documents. The government started the investigation into the affected models on July 16.
Last week, Transport Minister Kim Hyun-mee stated the country would probe the case in a “thorough and transparent manner” and take legal action if required.
A total of 13 South Korean owners of BMW vehicles submitted a class action lawsuit against the German automaker on Friday, claiming compensation worth 5 million won ($4,447.13) each, stating they could not drive their vehicles out of fear the defective part could catch fire, Yonhap News Agency informed.