The South Korean government has said it will ban about 20,000 BMWs from its streets after a spate of the vehicles catching fire. The ban will apply to cars which have not yet been sent to BMW for safety checks under a voluntary recall.
Nearly 30 engines caught on fire in 2018 mainly in the BMW’s 520d sedan models. BMW has already come under scrutiny this year, recalling thousands of cars in the UK over safety issues, reports BBC.
“The ministry will ask mayors to order owners of unchecked BMW vehicles to have their cars’ safety checked or to stop driving them,” Transport Minister Kim Hyun-mee said on Tuesday, according to the Korea Times.
Local governments have the authority to issues such orders under South Korean law.
“The order will take effect as soon as the owners receive letters from mayors,” said Mr Kim.
BMW officials in South Korea apologized last week for the fires. They have put the problem down to defects in the exhaust gas recirculation system, according to Reuters. The South Korean government is also investigating the cause.
The German car company has already recalled more than 300,000 vehicles this year, extending a UK recall after the BBC’s Watchdog programme found the vehicles could cut out completely while being driven. Last year, it recalled more than 36,000 petrol cars due to safety issues after a fatal crash.
The BMW had suffered an electrical fault, causing its brake lights to fail and resulting in the vehicle stalling and crashing into a tree. BMW also recalled 500,000 cars in the US in 2013, as well as in Australia, Canada and South Africa.