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(LEAD) Another BMW sedan catches fire amid safety concerns over German brand

All Headlines 20:55 August 13, 2018

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with confirmed car model and more details)

NAMYANGJU, South Korea, Aug. 13 (Yonhap) -- A BMW sedan again caught fire on a road in South Korea on Monday, the latest in a spate of reported car fires related to the German brand that have heightened safety concerns and prompted a recent massive recall here.

The car was confirmed to be a gasoline-powered BMW M3 that was excluded from a voluntary recall.

The fire broke out in the rear part of the vehicle while it was being driven on a expressway in Namyangju, northeast of Seoul at around 5:53 p.m., according to police and firefighters.

They said no one was hurt because the driver immediately parked the car and escaped to safety. The fire was put out as soon as firefighters arrived at the scene, but the car had burned to a husk.

"There was a bang in the rear of the car while I was driving it, so I put it on a variable lane, and soon after, it caught fire with smoke," the car's owner told the police.

The incident was the 39th case of a car fire linked to the German brand to have been reported so far this year. Of the 38 cars that previously caught fire, nine were models not subject to recall.

"After checking the vehicle registration, we found that it is M3 model that was excluded from a recall," a police officer concerned with the issue said. "The driver stated that there has been no special problem with the vehicle until recently."

Police and firefighting authorities are trying to determine the exact cause of the fire.

Last month, BMW Korea announced a voluntary recall of 42 models -- 106,317 vehicles -- to fix a faulty component that appears to have caused fires in the engine area.

(LEAD) Another BMW sedan catches fire amid safety concerns over German brand - 1


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