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BMW Korea agrees to follow new lemon law

Feb 22,2019
BMW Korea announced Thursday it will also abide by Korea’s lemon laws for automakers, joining a small but growing list of foreign auto brands that accept the new voluntary regulation.

Automakers that comply with the newly introduced rule, which went into effect at the start of this year, are obligated to exchange or reimburse customers for recently purchased vehicles that exhibit problems.

The measures, similar to U.S. lemon laws, apply to vehicles bought within a year that have exhibited a major fault that persists after two repairs or a minor issue that persists after three repairs. The regulation must also be stipulated in written purchase contracts.

The automaker said in a statement that newly bought BMW and Mini vehicles and also those purchased since Jan. 1 will be protected under the regulation. It added that it has reached out to its dealerships to ensure they track repairs so the system can be properly implemented.

BMW’s decision comes a day after its luxury brand Rolls-Royce announced that it will accept the regulation. Volvo is the only other overseas brands to openly adopt the regulation. Most local automakers have accepted the new law.

Mercedes-Benz Korea said it is currently reviewing the rule.

BMW is currently recovering from two series of recalls last year after its vehicles went up in flames due to faulty components. It also faced a 14.5 billion won ($12.9 million) fine earlier this year from the Seoul Central District Court for fabricating emissions certificates.

Domestic sales for BMW dropped 15 percent to 50,524 units last year from 59,624 a year earlier, according to the Korea Automobile Importers & Distributors Association.

BY CHAE YUN-HWAN [chae.yunhwan@joongang.co.kr]