South Korea Finds 6 BMW Fires Were Unrelated to EGR Systems

Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport finds all sorts of problems that caused car fires.

South Korea Finds 6 BMW Fires Were Unrelated to EGR Systems

Posted in Investigations

— Six BMW car fires that occurred in South Korea weren't caused by the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) systems as first suspected by regulators.

According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, previous BMW fires related to the EGR systems had nothing to do with the six vehicle fires that occurred within a two-week period, including fires in BMW 328i, 5GT and BMW 640d vehicles.

One thing that concerned regulators was that three of the six vehicles had been recalled for EGR problems before the cars caught fire.

In a short time span in 2018, at least 40 BMW fires were reported, finally causing recalls of 170,000 vehicles in South Korea.

Investigators determined defective EGR systems caused the fires in 2018, leading regulators to believe fires in three recalled cars may have indicated the recall repairs weren't adequate.

BMW Korea denied the EGR systems had anything to do with the six fires, but government investigators weren't convinced until they reached the same conclusions.

BMW argued from the beginning the six affected vehicles had not be maintained properly at authorized BMW dealers, and that all the vehicles were so old all kinds of causes for the fires were possible.

According to the investigation, some of the BMW vehicles had problems with their turbochargers and diesel particulate filter traps.

One of the six fires occurred in a gasoline-powered 328i that wasn't equipped with an EGR system. South Korea regulators say the evidence shows the catalytic converter caused the fire due to a lack of proper maintenance over the course of having 10 different owners.

Investigators said a BMW 640d that caught fire wasn't even supposed to be on the road because it had been under water during a typhoon and was supposed to be sent to the scrap yard.

A BMW GT5 fire occurred from a combination of factors, including age, the fact the vehicle had been in five crashes and non-BMW facilities had worked on the vehicle.

BMW released stats that showed more than a 50% drop of fires in its vehicles in 2019 compared to 2018. The automaker also emphasized there were nearly 4,000 car fires reported in Korea in 2019, but only 37 BMW fires have been reported so far this year. has owner-reported complaints about BMW vehicles.