Actress pickets BMW over 1998 accident
An uninvited guest showed up at a hotel where an international conference of BMW, a German luxury automaker, was being held. She was complaining about an auto accident six years ago that she says was caused by sudden acceleration.
The Munich-based company is holding a five-day annual meeting that ends today. Twenty-five executives from around the world, including Michael Ganal, the head of sales and marketing for BMW, are attending.
Kim Su-mi, 53, a television actress, began her solo demonstration at the Sheraton Grande Walkerhill hotel in eastern Seoul at 6:30 a.m.
She was wearing white clothes, a sign of mourning, and held a placard that read, “BMW, examine the sudden acceleration-caused accident and compensate me.” She claims her car abruptly began accelerating without any pressure on the accelerator.
In August 1998, Ms. Kim’s chauffeur-driven BMW shot backward, killing her mother-in-law. Ms. Kim filed a 1-billion-won ($876 million) lawsuit against BMW in 1999. She filed an appeal at Seoul High Court after losing the case in district court last September.
“I spent painful years after I watched the car rushing with a roaring noise to hit my mother-in-law,” Ms. Kim said. “I decided to protest in the hope of preventing a recurrence of such an accident.”
More than 2,000 accidents caused by sudden acceleration have been reported to the Korea Consumer Protection Board over the past 10 years.
The Supreme Court recently ruled in a case filed against the now defunct Daewoo Motor Co. that the automaker was not responsible for the accident.
by Min Dong-ki, Limb Jae-un