| 2:02 PM EST

Korean Owners Demand Criminal Probe into BMW Fires

Twenty BMW owners in South Korea have filed a criminal complaint that claims the carmaker hid a defect blamed for 27 diesel fires this year, The Korea Herald reports.
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Twenty BMW owners in South Korea have filed a criminal complaint that claims the carmaker hid a defect blamed for 27 diesel fires this year, The Korea Herald reports.

Last week BMW told Korea’s transport ministry that it had been collecting information in Europe about similar fires for two years but only recently identified a defective exhaust gas recirculation module as the cause.

The complaint against BMW officials in Korea alleges they violated Korea’s Automobile Management Act, which carries maximum penalties of 10 years in prison and fines of 100 million won ($89,200).

The complaint asks for an immediate investigation to secure evidence about a possible coverup. The criminal lawsuit follows two civil lawsuits since late July that seek compensation for owners.

BMW already has agreed to recall 106,300 affected diesel-powered models in Korea. On Tuesday the company also recalled 324,000 similar vehicles in Europe to fix the same defect.

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