BMW is to recall more than 10,000 cars in Ireland because of a fire risk. It is part of a global recall affecting some 1.6 million diesel cars worldwide.

The problem has arisen because of a potential fire hazard in engines and previously involved repairs to just under 500,000 vehicles in Europe and Asia.

According to Bloomberg, the voluntary service action follows a BMW investigation that found coolant could leak from the car’s exhaust re-circulation unit. The defect can lead to sparks while driving and cause fires in extreme cases, BMW told the agency in a statement today.

BMW in Ireland is recalling some 10,384 cars. Most diesel versions of the 3 Series and 5 Series diesels built between 2014 and 2016 will be affected. Other cars in the company’s range are also expected to be affected, including 1, 4 and 6 Series models. Four cylinder engines with a 2.0 litre capacity are at the root of the problem.

According to Reuters, BMW’s South Korean subsidiary apologized over a spate of engine fires, estimated by the country’s transport ministry at 27 over January to July, that has prompted a government probe and a major backlash from consumers.

BMW said it would launch a recall of 106,000 diesel vehicles, including the 520d, citing defects in the exhaust gas recirculation system as the root cause of the fires.

"For the recent series of fire incidents happened in the country, we sincerely apologize for causing worry and anxiety among people and government authorities," BMW Korea Chairman Kim Hyo-joon said at a press conference.

A total of 13 South Korean owners of BMW vehicles filed a class action lawsuit against the German automaker on, claiming compensation worth 5 million won ($4,447.13) each, saying they could not drive their cars for fear the faulty part could catch fire, Yonhap News Agency reported.

BMW, which trails only Mercedes in imported car sales in South Korea, saw sales more than double to 59,624 vehicles last year, from five years ago.

BMW Ireland is to contact owners in the coming weeks to have the issue addressed at garages and said this evening that anyone concerned about their car can contact their local retailer without having to wait.