Police investigating the BMW's alleged "car fire cover-up" case have handed over the company's headquarters, Korean corporation and executives and employees to the prosecution.
According to the police on Nov. 2, the intelligence crime unit of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency sent BMW headquarters, BMW Korea, and eight people, including BMW Korea Chairman Kim Hyo-joon, to the prosecution on Oct. 31 after they were indicted for violating the Automobile Management Act.
Police launched an investigation into the alleged cover-up of fires caused by a defect in the company's vehicles on Aug. 9 last year when a 41-member accusers' group filed complaints against BMW Korea and its headquarters.
On April 16 this year, the police conducted a nine-and-a-half-hour raid on BMW Korea and its server storage site, Sejong Telecom and Biz & Tech, and secured repair details related to air intake manifold, instructions for air intake multi-instrument work, and documents for compensation related to fire.
In August and September last year, the police also raided the headquarters of BMW in Toegye-ro, central Seoul, the headquarters of K, a supplier of automotive parts such as EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) system cooler and pipe in Yangsan, South Gyeongsang Province, and the research center in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province.
When Kim appeared at the police in May and October as a defendant, the police reportedly grilled him about whether he was aware of the defects in the vehicle and whether he was covering it up.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport announced its final conclusion on Dec. 24 last year by a private joint investigation team that BMW covered up and narrowed the problem and belatedly took measures to recall the cars even though it knew the cause of the fire while driving 520d vehicles at an early date.
The ministry decided to file a complaint against BMW with the prosecution, while imposing a fine of 11.2 billion won.