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Korean BMW Owners File Lawsuit against BMW Korea, Deutsche Motors
Amid Recall of 100,000 BMW Cars
Korean BMW Owners File Lawsuit against BMW Korea, Deutsche Motors
  • By Jung Min-hee
  • July 31, 2018, 11:14
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A BMW 520d car destroyed by a fire on a road in Korea.
A BMW 520d destroyed by a fire on a road in Korea.

Korean consumers have filed a class action lawsuit against BMW Korea amid the latter’s recall of more than 100,000 BMW vehicles due to the possibility of an engine fire.

In the lawsuit, they claimed that they suffered financial and mental damages caused by the restrictions on the use of their cars, although they did not experience fires on their BMW cars.

Some people argue that BMW intentionally covered the defect through design changes.

According to law firm Bareun on July 30, four BMW owners filed a lawsuit against BMW Korea and Deutsche Motors, which sells BMW cars in Korea, for compensations. They demanded that BMW Korea and Deutsche Motors compensate them for the time they have to wait as it will take much time for the service centers to fix the 100,000 recalled vehicles, and for the drop in the value of their cars due to the possibility of an engine fire.

"Customers who bought brand-new BMW cars filed the lawsuit against the dealership while those who bought second-hand BMW cars took action against BMW Korea,” said Ha Jong-sun, a lawyer of law firm Bareun representing the plaintiffs. “We temporarily set the amount of compensation at five million won for each plaintiff by taking into account the inconveniences car owners suffer. The results of the appraisal may ramp up the amount of the compensations and the number of the plaintiffs."

BMW Korea announced that there are about 100,000 BMW vehicles with the possibility of bursting into flame. The company said that they found that there was a possibility that such BMW vehicles will catch fire due to the failure of the exhaust gas recirculation device EGR module. The models in question are 100,617 units of 42 diesel models produced from March 2011 to November 2016.

In particular, in the letter of complaint, the plaintiffs claimed that BMW tried to cover up the flaws. "It is possible to make inference that the company already knew that there was a problem with EGRs used in the past when taking into consideration the fact that EGRs whose design had been changed were used beginning in 2017 models."