Judge Sarah Berkeley was told in the Circuit Civil Court today by barrister Kristian Douglas that Rimma Vasjuka’s 2014 Five Series Beamer spontaneously combusted at the Clara-Moate exit of the motorway just two days before Christmas 2018.
After settling her claim Rimma’s solicitor Dermot McNamara, Rush, Co Dublin, read a statement in which the Russian national now living in Co Roscommon, urged BMW owners with similar vehicles to urgently contact the manufacturer to see if their car also may have potentially dangerous defects.
David Whelan, counsel for BMW had been given time this morning by Judge Berkeley to negotiate with his client in Germany over possibly settling the case.
Following talks Mr Douglas told the court the case had settled and could be struck out with an order for the legal costs of Ms Vasjuka, a 39-year-old cleaner of Manor Valley, Monksland, Athlone. Although the settlement figure was not disclosed in court Mr McNamara said his client was happy with the figure offered by BMW.
Ms Vasjuka, in her claim stated that on December 23, 2018 she had been a front seat passenger in her BMW when she and her partner had noticed the car filling with smoke. They had pulled onto the hard shoulder and on lifting the bonnet the car had been “consumed by flames.”
In October 2018 motoring correspondents globally reported that BMW was recalling 1.6 million diesel cars affected with a potential fire hazard. Just over 10,380 cars in Ireland were inspected and repaired as part of the global recall. The three, five, six and seven series vehicles manufactured between 2010 and 2016 were affected.
Ms Vasjuka, who claimed to have suffered serious psychological injuries, including nightmares, following the fire alleged that her day-to-day life had been seriously affected particularly because she had to drive as part of her work.
She sued BMW Automotive (Ireland) Limited of Swift Square, Santry Demesne, Dublin 9, which dealt with the proceedings on behalf of the Munich-based manufacturer. She claimed BMW had distributed dangerous and unsafe motors, had not issued a recall relating to her 142RN988 car and had sold cars with defective parts.
Ms Vasjuka claimed she had been prescribed medication for anxiety and stress she had suffered as a result of the accident and to help her through Christmas holiday flights she had booked over the 2018 Christmas break.
Judge Berkeley, by consent of both parties, struck out her €60,000 claim and awarded costs to Ms Vasjuka.
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In 2018 the South Korean government fined BMW $10million dollars over its handling of a spate of engine fires in the country and had considered taking criminal charges against the manufacturer.