South Korea said Monday it will fine BMW $9.9 million and will file a criminal complaint against the German automaker for delaying a recall of cars with faulty engines that caught fire.
South Korea's transport ministry said its investigation uncovered that BMW knew about the faulty engines, but did not execute a prompt recall.
The ministry said BMW deliberately tried to cover up the technical issues with the exhaust gas recirculation, or EGR, even after dozens of fires had been reported earlier this year.
"BMW announced earlier that it had become aware of the connection between the faulty EGR cooler and the fire only on July 20 this year," the ministry said in a statement. "But we discovered that . . . BMW's German headquarters had already formed a special team in October 2015 tasked with solving the EGR problem."
BMW did eventually mount a recall of more than 170,000 cars.
The French news agency AFP reports some South Korea parking lots had refused to accept BMW cars for fear the cars would catch fire.