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.


World should back Vision 2030 strategy says global risk guru

Updated 22 November 2019

World should back Vision 2030 strategy says global risk guru

  • Ian Bremmer: When I see how much more dynamic Riyadh is compared to two years ago, it’s really undeniable that they are actually trying to modernize society
  • Bremmer: They are hosting the G20, and that could help to make them confident enough to push forward on a resolution to the Qatar issue

BEIJING: The world should back Saudi Arabia’s transformation strategy under Vision 2030 despite the challenges the Kingdom has faced, according to Ian Bremmer, one of the leading political risk advisers in the world.

“When I see them moving toward Saudization, when I see how much more dynamic Riyadh is compared to two years ago, it’s really undeniable that they are actually trying to modernize society. I think that’s really important and we should all be rooting for that process to continue,” he told Arab News on the sidelines of the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Beijing.

He said that the ongoing reforms in the Kingdom were helping it rebuild its international reputation following criticism over the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year. “They are hosting the G20, and that could help to make them confident enough to push forward on a resolution to the Qatar issue.”

“It would be nice if there could be some reduction in the problem with Qatar, and some reintegration of the GCC, and there has been some progress toward that. The fact that we have a peace deal in south Yemen, that will make a difference too, and hopefully it will reduce some of the tension with Iran as a consequence,” he added.

Bremmer was speaking about climate change and other issues at the forum, at a session that acknowledged the difficulty of meeting targets to get rid of fossil fuels by the year 2050. He also talked about the looming “technology wars” between China and the US.