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BMW expands recall on fire risk to 1.6 million diesel vehicles

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UPDATED: 10/23/18 9:45 am ET – corrected

Editor’s note: This report has been updated to clarify that the recall is global.

MUNICH — BMW is recalling about 1.6 million diesel cars worldwide to fix a potential fire hazard in their engines, expanding repairs from just under half a million vehicles in Europe and Asia.

The voluntary service action follows a BMW investigation that found coolant could leak from the car’s exhaust recirculation unit. The defect can lead to sparks while driving and cause fires in “in extreme cases,” the automaker said Tuesday in a statement.

South Korea’s government, after reports of 40 fires this year, asked drivers to keep vehicles off roads until undergoing checks. Police also raided the automaker’s office in Seoul to probe the safety issue, after videos of cars engulfed by fire went viral.

The vehicles affected — diesels with four- and six-cylinder engines — were produced between 2010 and 2017, BMW said.

After the initial recall announced in August, BMW’s internal investigation found more vehicles with similar technical setups. The company said it will replace the components as necessary.

BMW last month cut its profit forecast, blaming an increase in warranty provisions alongside trade tensions and pricing pressure.

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