Report: South Korea Bans Over 27,000 BMWs From its Roads
After a wave of engine fires, the South Korean government wants every at-risk vehicle inspected before they can be driven again.
South Korea's Ministry of Transportation announced Tuesday that it will place a moratorium on driving un-inspected BMW vehicles due to a high risk of engine fires.
This follows an August 3 advisory against driving potentially affected vehicles, according to Nikkei Asian Review, and has now developed into a first-ever ban from driving vehicles at risk. Of 106,317 affected BMWs in the country, 27,246 were reportedly not yet inspected as of Monday, and owners of these vehicles will receive notices via mail urging them to have their vehicles checked out.
The driving ban takes effect once owners receive government notice, and those that ignore the ministry's driving ban can be punished with up to a year's imprisonment, and a ₩10 million (almost $8,900) fine. Transport Minister Kim Hyun-mee reportedly said that punishment will likely be lighter for most drivers and will instead result in a warning in most cases.
A total of 38 BMW vehicles have reportedly caught fire in South Korea during 2018 alone, according to Aju Business Daily. The source of the fires is thought to be a problem within the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) coolers of diesel vehicles, which can clog too easily with sediment, increasing the temperature of exhaust gases entering the intake manifold. BMW apologized for the issue last week, but the transport ministry is now suspicious that the EGR problem could be related to software meant to cheat emissions and is investigating the matter.
BMW issued a widespread fire risk recall in the U.S. last November for two major faults, affecting a combined million-plus vehicles. It also recalled about 30,000 i3 hybrids last year for an issue that likely impacted only one owner, but the recalls have done little to dissuade customers from buying more Bimmers—the automaker is steaming toward another year of record sales.
- RELATEDHere's the Next-Gen, Lower, Lighter BMW 3 Series Testing at the NürburgringThe upcoming G20 3er hits the Nordschleife for a spot of testing.READ NOW
- RELATED2018 BMW X1 Quick Review: a Good-Driving Crossover More Enjoyable Than a 'Driver's Crossover'A broadly capable and admirably minimalist crossover that has classic BMW DNA—if not the steering feel—in its soul.READ NOW
- RELATEDBMW Reports July Sales: Electrified Demand SwellsBMW's standout performer in July of 2018 was its hybrid lineup, which sold more than 30 percent better than in 2017.READ NOW
- RELATEDAudi CEO Arrested in Connection to Dieselgate Denied BailThe court believes Rupert Stadler could try to tamper with evidence if released.READ NOW
- RELATEDMercedes-Benz Invests in Training Program to Fight Critical Shortage of MechanicsMercedes is expanding its program to train qualified technicians for its dealers, who struggle to find skilled personnel.READ NOW