August 06, 2018 11:27
Another BMW 520d sedan caught fire in Mokpo, South Jeolla Province on Saturday despite having previously passed a safety check. It was the fourth spontaneous combustion in a week.
Experts say the incident shows that BMW's account of the cause of the fires cannot be trusted. "I wonder if BMW really has any idea what causes the fires," one expert said.
BMW blames the exhaust gas recirculation module in diesel cars but fires also broke out in four gasoline models in the first half of this year, which are not covered from a massive recall this time.
The German carmaker was allegedly aware of the problem when the government authorized a recall of 55,000 cars in April to rectify excessive emissions. At the time BMW volunteered to replace the EGR valves and coolers on scores of models including the 502d.
Moon Hak-hoon at Osan University said, "The EGR valves and coolers, which were the reasons behind the recall at the time, are identical to the causes of the fires this month." Moon added that BMW "obviously knew about the increased risks of fire."
It has led to the accusations that BMW has been hushing up defective components. After around 20 mysterious fires from 2015 to 2016, the German automaker either claimed it was unable to determine the cause or blamed the incidents on drivers.
Critics say the latest incidents could have been prevented if the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport had properly cooperated with the Environment Ministry in the probe.
The former is being accused of dragging its heels when the first fire broke out in 2015 and even when it was notified of the recalls of BMWs by the Environment Ministry in April.
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com