Authorities have raided the offices of BMW Korea as part of their investigation into a string of vehicle fires in the country.
According to the Yonhap news agency, 30 investigators from the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency descended on the company’s local headquarters to gather evidence about whether or not BMW officials hid information about vehicle defeats. The raid reportedly comes in response to a complaint earlier this month which sought a criminal investigation into the matter.
South Korea’s transport ministry is also investigating the issue and a report from earlier this month suggested the government agency wanted to ban approximately 20,000 vehicles that were included in a fire recall but haven’t received their safety checks yet. The recall was launched earlier this year and involved 106,000 vehicles in South Korea. The recall included 42 different models and called for the replacement of the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system which could potentially be faulty. The recall eventually spread to Europe, where an additional 324,000 diesel-powered vehicles were recalled.
Less than a year ago, 1.4 million BMW vehicles were recalled in the United States due to fire risks. That recall involved a separate issue where the wiring in the air conditioning system could overheat or a fire could be called by an issue related to the positive crankcase ventilation valve.
BMW Korea chairman Kim Hyo-Joon has already apology for the issue, but his pleas have fallen on deaf ears. In a separate report, Yonhap says 1,226 owners in South Korea have joined forces to file a lawsuit against the automaker. They’re reportedly seeking compensation of ₩15 million ($13,450 / £10,336 / €11,528) each.
Thanks to Tim and Song Bon Lim for the tip!