Recalls ordered of foreign cars

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Recalls ordered of foreign cars

The government said it will punish a number of foreign automakers for recall of vehicles with severe defects.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport announced Wednesday that it found 13 models sold by BMW Korea have defects in their fuel supply devices. A total of 1,751 units manufactured between June 25, 2014 and Sep. 3, 2014 are affected, including the popular 320d and 120d models.

The government will require BMW to offer free repairs for those 1,751 units.

“We will continue to inspect whether such defects are related to fires in vehicles,” said Cho Moo-young, a director at the ministry. There were nine cases of BMW vehicles catching fire in Korea since November. Cho added that the fuel supply device problem might lead to the vehicles switching off after fuel leaks.

The ministry also found three BMW models that have issues with their airbag systems, including the 730d. “We found that airbags might deploy without any damage to the vehicles or they don’t deploy when they should,” Cho said. Some 1,800 units manufactured between July 29, 2015 and Jan. 13, 2016 will be recalled.

Mitsubishi Motors cars equipped with Takata airbags will be recalled as well. The ministry found four units of the automaker’s L200 model, manufactured between Feb. 15, 2012 and Dec. 12, 2013 are operating in Korea. These vehicles are equipped with airbags made by the Japanese company, which has been plagued with fatal quality problems in its products..

The government will also require Scania Korea to recall one of its trailer trucks due to a number of defects related to seat belts and the vehicle frame.

“All vehicle owners will be contacted by automakers through the mail,” said Cho. “If owners repaired the defects on their own, they will be able to request reimbursement.”

The ministry said last month it will recall a total of 3,296 BMWs equipped with Takata airbags. In the United States, some 840,000 such vehicles were recalled in March.

The government is operating a website (www.car.go.kr) that provides information on the recall process and vehicles that have defects.

In another report earlier this month, the ministry said a total of 20,263 foreign vehicles were sold in Korea in April, down 2.7 percent year-on-year, or 25.3 percent from the previous month. On the other hand, some 140,000 locally manufactured vehicles were purchased by Koreans last month, up 4.7 percent compared to the previous year.


BY KIM YOUNG-NAM [kim.youngnam@joongang.co.kr]

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