BMW owners ask U.S., Germany to investigate

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BMW owners ask U.S., Germany to investigate

About 1,000 Korean consumers on Monday asked the United States and Germany to open an investigation into BMW over its alleged concealment of defects in its cars.

The move came amid lingering safety concerns about BMW cars as fires broke out in the engine compartments of 40 BMW vehicles in Korea so far this year.

The cars affected were mainly diesel-powered 520d sedans from the luxury carmaker.

BMW has stated that defects in exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valves and coolers are the main cause of the fires. The EGR is one of the principal devices used to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions from diesel engines.

BMW’s Korean unit has begun a recall of more than 106,000 BMW cars.

BMW owners here asked U.S. President Donald Trump to issue an order to initiate an investigation into the EGR valves and coolers in BMW vehicles, citing an immediate need to check the safety of EGR valves and coolers in BMW cars sold in the United States to prevent car fires there.

“We are looking forward to your leadership in ordering the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to initiate its own expeditious investigation into the potential defects in EGR valves and coolers of BMW’s SUV vehicles,” Kim Hyun-jong and Lee Gwang-deok wrote in a letter to Trump on behalf of the Korean BMW owners.

They also asked the head of the NHTSA to investigate possible defects in EGR valves and coolers of diesel SUVs sold in the United States.

Lee said he is willing to provide his burnt BMW 520d for inspection and forensic analysis by the American safety administration.

The BMW owners were also set to meet the top German envoy in Korea later in the day to deliver a similar letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“Our appeal to you, as Chancellor of Germany, [is] that your Government give this scandal a top priority and starts [an] investigation on why BMW concealed their knowledge of such defects and why it took more than 2 years to reach a ‘conclusion’ that the defective EGR valve and cooler is the root cause for the fire,” Kim and Lee wrote in their letter to Merkel.

Separately, Tom Dahl-Hansen, a Norwegian businessman in Seoul, called on Berlin to initiate its own investigation.

“My feeling is that BMW Group is not honest and has not given out all relevant information either to the government authorities or to the car owners,” Dahl-Hansen said in a separate letter to Merkel.

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