Ask any car enthusiast the top three cars he/she would want to have, and there would be a German-made car on that list for sure. Such is the build quality and driving experience of these cars.
Safety is also one of the biggest priorities for those who buy any of the big German cars, and it was the same for Sanjay Tripathy when he bought his BMW 320d back in 2011. Things though took a wrong turn for him early in the morning on 13 November when he pulled out of his parking space.
As he drove out of the parking lot, Tripathy was stopped by a security guard who kept pointing to flames and sparks underneath the car. The sparks soon turned into a small fire and footage shows the security guards trying to put it out first using water, and then a fire extinguisher.
The actual concern for safety came about when Tripathy called the BMW roadside assistance helpline number and the BMW agent informed him that they would not be able to do anything about it, since the car was over five years old.
Tripathy also alleged that the BMW agent took the situation lightly since he and his daughter who occupied the car at the time were both safe and unhurt. He was asked to contact the dealership from where he had purchased the car.
It was only about four hours since the actual incident that BMW contacted Tripathy, as his tweet expressing anger and disappointment in the German auto giant had gone viral by then. The car was finally taken to the service centre at noon.
It is indeed strange that this issue popped up now, as it was only ten days ago on third November, that BMW issued a massive recall in North America encompassing nearly 14 lakh vehicles sold between 2006 and 2011 which also included 3-series models like the one driven by Sanjay Tripathy.
The recall came about, nearly ten years after the first instance of a BMW catching fire was reported. This of course raises questions as to what took BMW so long, especially when there were lives at danger here.
There have been a few instances of BMWs catching fire in India, but almost all of them involved the car crashing before the fire starts. The Incident involving Sanjay Tripathy's 3-series though is the first instance wherein the car was being driven normally when flames erupted.
BMW is a globally renowned automobile manufacturer with a good reputation that has been tarnished by such incidents in the last ten years. BMW has so far had a god image in India in the eyes of those who had no clue about the cars erupting in flames in North America, but now after Sanjay Tripathy's tweet went viral, things might change. Watch this space to know how BMW handles the situation.
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