August 31, 2018 12:23
Police raided the offices of BMW Korea in downtown Seoul on Thursday amid suspicions that the German automaker hid information about spontaneous engine fires that have been breaking out in its cars.
Earlier, a group of owners reported BMW Korea chairman Kim Hyo-joon and BMW CEO Harald Kruger to police.
Police have been combing through documents BMW submitted to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and the Ministry of Environment about problems with the exhaust gas recirculation modules in diesel cars that it blames for the fires. There are suspicions that the problem in fact stems from faulty software that opens a bypass valve and causes the engine to overheat.
A police source said, "We are looking into whether BMW knew about the causes of the fire but dragged its heels in reporting the defects to the government."
Meanwhile, three more BMWs caught fire on Wednesday and Thursday. A BMW 320i model went up in flames on Thursday night in northeastern Seoul, while a 750li model caught fire in Daejeon. Neither model was on BMW's recall list. On Wednesday, a BMW 528i caught fire in Paju, north of Seoul. It was also not on the list.
BMW Korea said that the fires do not appear to be related to the defective EGR since they are all gasoline rather than diesel models.
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