On Tuesday, Ministry of Transportation announced a ban on uninspected BMW automobiles due to a threat of engine fires. An advisory was issued on 3rd of August about vehicles with potential risk and has eventually resulted in a ban.
106317 vehicles had been affected by the threat, till Monday 27246 of them had not been inspected. Owners of those vehicles had been notified by mails and urged to get them checked. The ban will be effective only after the notice issued by the Government has reached the respective owners. And after that the punishments that will follow are a yearlong imprisonment and a fine upto $8900. But the punishments will be lighter for most drivers, said the transport Minister Kim Hyun-mee.
“The ministry will ask mayors to order owners of unchecked BMW vehicles to have their cars’ safety checked or to stop driving them. The order will take effect as soon as the owners receive letters from mayors” ,transport minister Kim Hyun-mee said on Tuesday, according to the Korea Times. He further added at a press conference, “I am asking owners of the BMW cars subject to the recall to actively cooperate to prevent bigger accidents, despite your inconvenience.” Also the Chairman of BMW South Korea, Kim Hyo-joon, apologized, “For the recent series of fire incidents happened in the country, we sincerely apologize for causing worry and anxiety among people and government authorities.”
38 BMWs in South Korea have alone caught fires in 2018. Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) coolers of diesel vehicles, which can clog too easily with sediment is suspected to be the primary reason for the fire as it increases the temperature of intake gases. The transport ministry also thinks that the EGR problem might be a result of software malfunction which was used to cheat emission checks. Right now they are looking into the matter quite suspiciously.