BMW death traps as 250,000 cars in Britain are at risk of bursting into flames

BMW death traps: More than 250,000 cars in Britain are at risk of bursting into flames... but firm has only told HALF of owners about potentially fatal fault Fault affects 1.6m cars worldwide - it can cause flammable coolant to leak on to burning hot exhaust system near engine, potentially triggering a fire German car giant accused of failing to act quickly enough on threat and is facing criminal investigation in South Korea over delays BMW already faces claims it was slow to recall almost 300,000 cars last year due to separate fault in air con system which may cause them to catch fire New row centres on ‘exhaust gas recirculation’ cooler - designed to reduce emissions - and affects 12 BMW models 

By James Salmon for the Daily Mail

Published: 22:02 GMT, 1 March 2019 | Updated: 22:03 GMT, 1 March 2019

View
comments

More than 130,000 BMW owners have not been warned they are driving cars at risk of bursting into flames.

BMW pledged to contact drivers about the potentially lethal fault last October but has so far issued warnings to fewer than half of owners affected.

The fault affects more than 250,000 cars in the UK – 1.6million worldwide – and can cause flammable coolant to leak on to the burning hot exhaust system near the engine, potentially triggering a fire.

More than 130,000 BMW owners have not been warned they are driving cars at risk of bursting into flames. BMW pledged to contact drivers about the potentially lethal fault last October but has so far issued warnings to fewer than half of owners affected

More than 130,000 BMW owners have not been warned they are driving cars at risk of bursting into flames. BMW pledged to contact drivers about the potentially lethal fault last October but has so far issued warnings to fewer than half of owners affected

A 'crackling' noise... then the car was ablaze

Safe: Jacqueline Anthonipillai (above, with her daughter Leah) was crossing London on November 20 when her BMW 5 Series suddenly lost power and burst into flames

Safe: Jacqueline Anthonipillai (above, with her daughter Leah) was crossing London on November 20 when her BMW 5 Series suddenly lost power and burst into flames

Jacqueline Anthonipillai only found out she was driving a potential firetrap after her BMW burst into flames.

She was crossing London on November 20 when her 5 Series suddenly lost power. On stopping, she heard a ‘crackling’ sound and smelled smoke.

Mrs Anthonipillai, 32, got out but then went back in to fetch her mobile phone.

The door then jammed, meaning she had to barge her way out.

Minutes later the car burst into flames. Videos reveal it was destroyed at the front near where the faulty module sits.

BMW has so far refused to accept liability while the wreckage is inspected. Three months after the incident, the family are waiting for the laboratory results to come back.

Mrs Anthonipillai said: ‘I feel lucky to escape and that my daughter [Leah] was not in the car. I feel scared to drive BMW alone.’

BMW has so far refused to accept liability while the wreckage (above)  is inspected. Three months after the incident, the family are waiting for the laboratory results to come back.

Above, Mrs Anthonipillai's car. BMW has so far refused to accept liability while the wreckage is inspected. Three months after the incident, the family are waiting for the laboratory results to come back

The German car giant has been accused of failing to act quickly enough on the threat and is facing criminal investigation in South Korea over delays.

Last night Graham Stringer, a Labour MP on the Commons transport committee, said: ‘The facts are very disturbing. BMW has not got a very good record on safety recalls. 

'I will write to the Secretary of State for Transport to ask what action will be taken. I also hope the transport committee will look at this as life and limb is at risk.’

BMW is already facing claims it was slow to recall almost 300,000 cars last year

read more from dailymail.....

Get the latest news delivered to your inbox

Follow us on social media networks

NEXT Puerto Rico board files flurry of lawsuits ahead of claim deadline