South Korea police raid BMW office over car fires

There have been dozens of engines fires in BMWs in South Korea. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP)
Updated 30 August 2018

South Korea police raid BMW office over car fires

  • South Korean police are investigating whether the company covered up vehicle defects
  • BMW Korea last month started recalling 106,000 vehicles with an exhaust gas recirculation module

SEOUL: South Korean police raided German carmaker BMW’s Seoul headquarters Thursday in connection with dozens of engine fires.
An official at the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency’s white collar crime unit said officers were investigating whether the company covered up vehicle defects and had confiscated documents and other materials.
He declined to give further details but Yonhap news agency said a team of 30 investigators were involved. There was no immediate comment from BMW Korea.
“We will conduct a thorough investigation to reveal the truth,” Yonhap quoted a police official as saying.
The move came after reports more than 40 BMW vehicles have burst into flames so far this year, with some parking lots refusing to accept the cars because of fears they could catch fire.
South Korea this month temporarily banned from the streets BMW cars that had not yet passed safety checks and dozens of BMW owners filed complaints seeking a criminal investigation into the firm, its local unit and their nine top officials.
BMW Korea last month started recalling 106,000 vehicles with an exhaust gas recirculation module, which it says caused the recent fires. The recall applies to 42 models, all with diesel engines.
The company is facing a series of legal actions over the issue in the country, and has said the problem was “not Korea specific.”
In South Korea, six out of 10 imported cars are from Germany, with BMW selling nearly 39,000 in the first six months of this year, according to the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association.


Report: 2 Iranian lawmakers arrested for ‘disrupting’ market

Updated 22 August 2019

Report: 2 Iranian lawmakers arrested for ‘disrupting’ market

  • The report did not reveal if they have been charged with any financial crimes
  • Iran arrested several people since 2018 on corruption charges

TEHRAN: Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency says two lawmakers have been arrested for unspecified actions described as “disrupting” the country’s car market.
The report says the two lawmakers — Fereydoun Ahmadi and Mohammad Azizi — were initially taken to the Evin prison in Tehran but they were later released for about $85,000 in bail.
The report didn’t specify if the two have been charged with any financial crimes.
Iran is trying to crack down on corruption and has arrested several persons since 2018. Two prominent local businessmen have been hanged.
Iran’s economy nosedived since the US pullout from the nuclear deal last year. Prices of cars have skyrocketed as Western manufacturers pull out of the country and foreign-produced parts are becoming harder to find. China is trying to fill the void.