BMW's suddenly bursting into flames has consumers and the public concerned.
Vehicle owners and fire departments across the country have been left wondering how parked BMWs could suddenly burst into flames. According to an ABC News investigation, dozens of incidents have been reported where these luxury cars have caught fire even though owners said they had parked their vehicles and turned them off. After initially saying they were not aware of such incidents, a BMW spokesman told ABC that they did look at the fires brought to the company’s attention by ABC News and have not “seen any pattern” relating to a product defect.
40 Fires Reported
During its investigation, ABC talked to several BMW owners including 55-year-old Bill Macko, a devoted BMW aficionado who said his 2008 BMW X5 self ignited on December 1, 2015. It was parked in his garage. The fire spread throughout his home and burned it to the ground. Thankfully, no one was injured. Macko said he later learned that he was not the only BMW owner to face these mysterious fires. ABC has found reports of more than 40 fires occurring in parked cars in cities across the country – Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Raleigh and more.
BMW Says There is No Problem
BMW has doubled down saying it has nothing to apologize for and no need to issue a recall because there is no problem with its vehicles. “Vehicle fires can result from a wide variety of external reasons unrelated to product defects,” officials said in a released statement. A spokesperson told ABC News these fires might have been caused by lack of proper maintenance, aftermarket modifications, rodent nesting or even arson. ABC has turned over its findings to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
However, in South Korea, the government is taking action. Korean safety officials have launched an investigation after a series of car fires involving BMWs, some parked and some not, attracted media attention. Officials have said that while poor maintenance may explain some of the fires, it doesn’t explain all of them. They are still investigating the matter.
An Investigation is Warranted
As auto defect lawyers who represent victims and their families, we believe that BMW owners deserve answers other than these fires are “unexplained.” It is appalling that there is a man who has lost his home after the car self ignited and he was simply given the cold shoulder by the automaker. We hope NHTSA launches a probe into this issue as the South Korean government has done and provide baffled consumers with answers. More importantly, we hope this issue doesn’t result in serious injuries or loss of life.