South Korea on alert for vehicle fires: Chrysler sedan catches fire

By Kim Bo-gyung
  • Published : Aug 19, 2018 - 16:51
  • Updated : Aug 19, 2018 - 16:51

With Korean drivers on alert for vehicles catching fire in the midst of the BMW engine fire crisis, reports of fires breaking out at vehicles manufacture red by other automakers have been making the rounds recently, reflecting the public’s raised concerns.

The most recent case was a fire that reportedly started in the engine of a Chrysler 300C sedan after showing signs of malfunction, according to a local fire department on Sunday.

“We are investigating what started the fire in the engine room of the Chrysler 300C. It will take some time to figure out the cause,” the officer of Daejeon Jungbu Fire Station told The Korea Herald.

The driver surnamed Lee, 58, called the fire department after an engine fire broke out on a road in Daejeon at 6:11 p.m. Saturday, causing damages worth an estimated 5.1 million won ($4,560), although no one was hurt, according to the local fire department.

Chrysler 300C sedan burnt due to engine fire in Daejeon on Saturday (Daejeon Jungbu Fire Station)
“We are unsure if the affected vehicle is diesel- or gasoline-based. We are currently looking into the case,” said the spokesperson for FCA Korea.

Earlier at 4:46p.m. Friday, SsangYong Motor’s Musso midsize SUV also caught fire on Olympic highway, Jamsil bound, according to the Yeongdeungpo Fire Station. The driver reportedly noticed smoke coming out of the hood and pulled over to the side. SsangYong Motor was not immediately available for comment.

On Aug. 15, an overheated engine set fire on Kia Motors’ 2006 Lotze, the predecessor of the K5 midsize sedan, in Gyeonggi Province on Aug. 15, the local fire department said.

According to data from the National Fire Agency, approximately 5,000 cases of vehicle fires occur annually, or about 14 per day.

Out of 4,971 cases last year, fires caused by mechanical problems totaled 1,648, electrical faults 1,215, followed by 774 cases of carelessness, such as engine oil leakage, the NFA said.

By Kim Bo-gyung (