BMW Owners Demand Answers As Their Parked Cars Burst Into Flames

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There have been more than 40 incidents over the last five years in which parked BMWs have spontaneously caught fire around the country, raising many eyebrows.

Something very, very mysterious is happening with the luxury car BMW — and it's endangering the lives of owners. 

Yet, the company appears to be sweeping every incident under the rug, refusing to apologize or even acknowledge that their products may be defected. 

Unfortunately, those incidents are fires, and they're reportedly happening all over the country. 

In fact, ABC News launched a sweeping investigation into said incidents, which aired on Good Morning America. Altogether, more than 40 fires have occurred in parked BMW cars around the nation throughout the last five years. Furthermore, these vehicles were not recalled for product failure causing fires.

Bill Macko, 55, was one of many BMW owners whose car burst into flames. In December 2015, his 2008 BMW X5 blew up while it was sitting in his garage in Olney, Maryland, after his wife detected an odd smell.

Macko went into the garage to investigate — just in time to watch it suddenly catch flames. 

A BMW enthusiast and collector, Macko said he was disappointed by the company's response to his perils. Because of the fire, he lost both his BMW and his house. 

"You're at wit's end, you don’t know what to do," Macko said. "I feel like I'm just tossed aside. You know, it's just a number. And so, it's disheartening, I guess, when you're so loyal to a particular product or brand or whatever and then you're treated like this. Not even an apology."

Macko's certainly not alone. Recently, Sarah and Oscar Day's 2011 BMW caught fire after it had been parked for eight hours at their home in upstate New York, ABC 7 reports

"I have no idea," Oscar Day said of the freak happening. "It started in the fuse box. That's where I'd seen it start. Other than that, I couldn't guess."

In March 2016, a fire ignited the engine of a parked BMW in Orange County, New York. Like the Days' BMW, the car had been parked for hours, and investigators have not yet determined why or how the fire started. 

"A little peculiar. This car is on fire after sitting numerous days," Mamaroneck Fire Chief Tracey Schmaling commented. 

It's also bizarre, it seems, that the 2011 BMW cars, in particular, have caught fire in numerous incidents — including one in Los Angeles to owner Steve Copeland, and one in Raleigh to owner Danielle Emerson, a mother of three. 

Emerson's son reportedly screamed when he realized there was a blaze. 

"I'm hearing 'Fire! Fire!' He said, 'Mom the garage is on fire go, go,'" Emerson said to ABC 11. She got everyone outside safely, and then checked out the car in the garage.

"The car is burning from under the front passenger seat," she said. "It's coming up where the side view mirror is, that is burning off, the door is burning off."

Emerson said she needs to understand what happened.

"That could have killed us," she said. 

These mystery infernos aren't just occurring in the United States, either — an investigation by safety officials is underway in South Korea, too, after similar episodes took place there.

"We don't know the exact cause yet," South Korean transport ministry official Koh Sungwoo said. "We are still investigating. We have to investigate those incidents because it's very dangerous to the people in Korea."

According to Koh, BMW said that one of the causes of the fires may have been faulty maintenance by unlicensed dealers. Later, the manufacturer recognized a fuel line deficiency in certain diesel cars.

Still, BMW refuses to apologize, stating that the fires are uncommon, and that due to its own investigation, the company has "not seen any pattern related to quality or component failure. Vehicle fires can result from a wide variety of external reasons unrelated to product defect."

A spokesperson for BMW further added that arson, rodent nesting, a lack of proper vehicular maintenance, and aftermarket adjustments may be responsible for the combustions.

On top of that, the company appears to be shushing those who have experienced the freak fires by paying cash settlements in some cases, which also required the signing of nondisclosure agreements. BMW is calling them "goodwill offers" that consist of "good business" meant to "provide support to our loyal customers."

BMW, it seems, has an interesting idea of what support means. 

"I'd like them to admit to it, and then make it right," Oscar Day said. "That's all I want."

Banner/thumbnail credit: Flickr user Tony

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