Dozens Of Bmws Have Burst Into Flames Long After Owners Say They Turned Them Off
FIRE SCANDAL LATEST US-MARKET WOE FOR GERMAN CARMAKERS
The spate of mysterious fires in BMW vehicles is only the latest trouble for a German car manufacturer in the US market.
Volkswagon is still recovering from the 2015 ‘Dieselgate’ emissions testing scandal, in which it was found the German company had used vehicle software to intentionally trick emissions tests.
The company was sentenced in a criminal trial in April, has agreed to spend up to $25 billion in the US to address claims from owners, environmental regulators, states and dealers, and has offered to buy back about 500,000 polluting US vehicles.
Mercedes, another German carmaker, announced on Tuesday that it would not seek to sell 2017 year diesel vehicles in the US due to increased regulatory scrutiny in the wake of Dieselgate.
If you own a BMW, you may want to take it for a drive pretty soon as there’s been reports that the vehicles are mysteriously catching fire if they’re parked for a long period of time.
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More than 40 parked BMWs have randomly caught fire in the US over the past five years with similar incidents in Sweden, China, India and South Korea, an ABC News report found.
And worryingly none of the models are under an open recall.
The mysterious fires reportedly range across several models, years, and generations of the renowned brand’s vehicles, which can cost more than $100,000 (£77,000)
A previous investigation into fires on BMW vehicles in South Korea led to a mass 1,700-car recall due to a possible fuel leak but it is unclear if the American fires are related.
The spate of fires has led to one man being homeless after his car caught fire in his garage and burned his house down.
In December 2015, Bill Macko and his wife had been in their home in Olney, Maryland, when they noticed a strange smell from their garage.
When they went to investigate, they heard a ‘snap, crackle, pop’ and then their parked 2008 BMW X5 burst into flames.
Though firefighters battled to put out the flames, it ultimately took over their entire home.
Seventeen months later, they’re still staying with relatives, unsure of when they’ll be able to return home.
In another case, the owner of a 2003 BMW in New York told firefighters that his car had been sitting parked for three or four days before bursting into flames.
BMW have denied that that there is an issue causing the fires that hasn’t already been covered by a recall.
A statement issued to ABC News said: ‘In cases that we have inspected and are able to determine root cause, we have not seen any pattern related to quality or component failure.
‘Vehicle fires can result from a wide variety of external reasons unrelated to product defect.’
The company also told the channel that fires could be the result of any number of factors the manufacturer can’t control, including improper maintenance by unauthorized mechanics, aftermarket modifications, rodent nesting and even arson.
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June 12, 2017 at 11:42