Self-igniting fires make for dramatic headlines, just ask Samsung or BMW. After a string of F10-generation 520d caught fire in Korea (32 cases as reported this year alone), BMW Korea called a press conference not only to apologise to its customers, but also to announce a product recall involving more than 106,000 units of the 520d saloon in Korea.

According to BMW (as published on BMW Korea’s website), “The recall is an exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) recall of E84 and F0x F1x F2x F3x with B47, N47 and N57 engines. A component defect causes a coolant leak in the EGR cooler. The glycol component of the coolant may be combined with soot and oil deposits, which can cause ignition. These deposits can be ignited by high exhaust gas temperatures, which can create holes along the intake manifold and cause a fire. BMW has shared this information with the Ministry of Land, and will cooperate fully with the authorities in the future. “

The F10 520d sold in Malaysia is rated Euro 3 and has a different emission system compared to the ones sold in South Korea and Europe.

In addition to the recall in Korea, BMW is also working on ‘technical measures’ to address the same issue which have caused similar incidences in Europe. Both Korean and European specification F10 520d sedans have Euro 4-compliant emission systems and uses the same offending part, i.e. the EGR cooler.

Is your F10 5-Series affected?

BMW Malaysia has clarified that the issue does not involve petrol-powered F10 5-Series and while the 520d was sold in Malaysia, it was fitted with a Euro 3-compliant emission system and had different technical specifications compared to the model sold in Korea and Europe (which are Euro 4). Hence, the 520d sold in Malaysia is not part of the recall. But just to be safe rather than sorry, do watch out for ‘engine and coolant low warning lights, engine power drop, screeching, exhaust gas odor, and wind noise from the engine,’ all of which are symptoms that could precede an engine fire, says BMW Korea. No injuries or deaths have been attributed to the 520d engine fire thus far.


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Denis Wong
In the age of misinformation and spin, Denis prefers candour and a counterpoint, because the truth matters.