DRIVING A plush BMW is a registered trademark for brand-conscious South Koreans. It has become a source of concern lately. After 40 diesel models of the German automaker were mysteriously detonated, the parking garages drove them out and forced desperate drivers to park illegally on the street. “BMW Phobia” is a trend in social media. As part of the July defect, the company recalled 106,000 vehicles in the country. In August, the government banned several models of the road. On August 30, police raided BMW’s offices in the capital, Seoul.
South Korea is not the only country where BMW had to recall vehicles due to a faulty exhaust between 2011 and 2016. In Europe, it replaces the defective part in more than 300,000 cars. Inexplicably, however, only cars burned in South Korea. This explains why the anger was stronger and the government’s response was tougher than elsewhere. The episode also demonstrates the willingness of the Seoul authorities to impose tough sanctions on companies they consider irresponsible.