Police summoned Kim Hyo-joon, 62, chairman of BMW Korea, on May 10 over allegations that he was involved in a controversial BMW vehicle defect which caused a series of fires last year and concealment scandal.
The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency summoned Kim earlier in the day as a suspect in the alleged violation of the auto management law.
"I am sorry for causing anxiety to many people," Chairman Kim said in front of reporters. "With the cooperation of our customers, we are making our utmost efforts to prevent a recurrence of the recall as much of the recalls have been completed."
Chairman Kim did not answer other questions, such as "Did you intentionally hide it even though you knew of the flaws" and "Do you acknowledge your responsibility?"
Police plan to question Kim about whether he knew about the fire vehicle defects and whether he was involved in the process of hiding them. Kim dropped his post as CEO early last month and only maintains his position as registered director and chairman.
Earlier on April 16, police raided the headquarters of BMW Korea and two server storage locations, and secured a large amount of internal documents, including details of repairs related to the intake manifold and fire-related compensation documents.
Members of the "BMW Victims' Group" visited Namdaemun Police Station in Seoul in August last year and filed a complaint, asking the police to investigate BMW's alleged cover-up of the defects.
Earlier, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and a joint public-private investigation team announced that the cause of the BMW fire, which occurred consecutively, was due to a "defective EGR design."
The ministry has also secured circumstantial evidence that BMW has covered up and reduced defects in its vehicles and belatedly responded to them. The ministry has decided to impose a fine of 11.2 billion won on 22,670 units of 39 models that it believes have been belatedly recalled while filing a complaint with the prosecution.