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(LEAD) BMW stops selling 7 models due to document errors

2017/11/09 18:07

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(ATTN: ADDS Mercedes-Benz comments in last 4 paras)

SEOUL, Nov. 9 (Yonhap) -- BMW Group Korea said Thursday it has voluntarily suspended the sale of its seven models in the wake of a South Korean government probe into the carmaker's failure to submit documents for vehicle certification.

BMW's voluntary sales suspension comes after the Korea Customs Service (KCS) found that the German carmaker didn't submit additional documents to the customs office from 2012 to early 2015 to report a change of parts in the seven models, the group said in a statement.

The seven models are the MINI Cooper S Convertible, the MINI Cooper S, the BMW M4 Convertible, the BMW M4 Coupe, the BMW M6 Gran Coupe, the BMW M6 Coupe and the BMW X1 xDrive 18d, it said.

"The customs office began the probe in March and we have decided to immediately suspend the sale of the seven models," a company spokesman said over the phone.

As the sales suspension has nothing to do with the quality of the seven models, people who own any of the cars can continue to drive them without any safety concerns, he said.

Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz Korea also came under fire for belatedly submitting documents to report changes to parts in its vehicles that were imported from 2012 to 2017. It submitted the papers to the KCS after customs import declarations were made.

"Regarding those cases in which customs import declarations were made before completing the certification process, the certification was completed prior to sales of the vehicles," Mercedes-Benz Korea said in a statement.

As for vehicles for which modification certification or modification reporting had been omitted, none of the cases were related to safety or performance, the statement said, adding there has been no cancellation of product certification by the government.

The German companies said they will fully cooperate with the Korean authorities in the investigations.

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr

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