BMW in South Korea has had to make an apology in the wake of a series of engine fires in a number of its vehicles. According to the South Korean transportation ministry, in just between January and July, engine fires were recorded in 27 cars manufactured by BMW, forcing the government to order an investigation into the matter.
Following severe backlash from consumers, the German carmaker’s South Korean division has announced that starting August 20, it will launch a recall of the affected models, which includes the 520d. The estimated number of vehicles affected by this recall is expected to hit 106,000.
BMW has revealed that the engine fires are being caused by defects in the exhaust gas recirculation system. While this problem had been identified in 2016, it was only in June this year that the cause of this problem was identified, closely following which the country’s transport ministry launched an inquiry to look into the issue earlier in July.
Earlier this week, South Korea’s Tansport Minister, Kim Hyun-mee, said that the country’s officials would investigate the case in a “thorough and transparent manner”, even suggesting that the country will go down the legal route if necessary. In the past, the ministry has accused BMW executives of not co-operating by failing to submit necessary documentation.
At a press conference earlier today, BMW Korea Chairman Kim Hyo-joon said: “For the recent series of fire incidents happened in the country, we sincerely apologise for causing worry and anxiety among people and government authorities.”
BMW is the second most popular foreign auto manufacturer in South Korea, but whether or not this incident affects this standing still remains to be seen.