SEOUL: A group of South Koreans consumers jointly filed a lawsuit against BMW over a faulty part which appears to have caused vehicles to catch fire, a local law firm representing the plaintiffs said today.
The lawsuit by 13 owners of the BMW 520d sedan is the second joint litigation filed against the German luxury brand and it’s five dealerships after the first action was lodged by four 520d owners on Monday.
“In the suit, the 13 customers called on BMW to pay 5 million won (US$4,500) in compensation for not being able to drive their 520ds for fear of a faulty part causing a fire in the engine room,” Ha Jong-sun, an attorney at Barun Law, which represents the 13 plaintiffs, told Yonhap News Agency over the phone.
He said they are planning to expand the amount later depending on the outcome of an evaluation. In the suit filed Monday, four 520d owners demanded 5 million won in damages.
Next week, dozens of BMW vehicle owners are expected to take legal against the German carmaker for the same reasons, Ha said.
Given that thousands of BMW car owners have signed on to an internet community set up to explore taking firm actions against the carmaker, more suits are expected to be filed going forward.
The legal actions come after close to 30 BMW 520d sedans and other vehicle models caught fire while being driven in South Korea.
There are suspicions that BMW has not responded properly and in time to a series of fire incidents in its models sold in Korea in the past three years, the lawyer claimed.
BMW Korea said it will voluntarily recall 106,317 vehicles to fix a faulty component at it’s 61 after-sales services centers around the country.
Owners of the affected BMW models can visit after-sales services centers run by the carmaker across the country around the clock to have their exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) fixed starting Tuesday, the company previously said.
BMW has identified the EGR, one of the principal methods used to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions from diesel engines, as the main cause of the recent fires in the engine compartment.
The transport ministry said Friday it will thoroughly investigate what caused the fires in BMW cars and closely monitor the carmaker’s recall plans in South Korea.