Nearly 1M BMW Vehicles Recalled Due To Risk of Vehicle Fire While Driving or Parked
Federal auto safety regulators warn that nearly 1 million BMW vehicles are being recalled because of a short circuit which may cause a vehicle fire while the car is in operation and even while parked and turned off.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the BMW recall (PDF) on March 8, affecting certain model year 2003 through 2013 vehicles. The recall is similar to two recalls conducted in 2017 and 2019.
BMW indicates the problem involves a valve heater in the positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) which could short circuit. This can lead to the vehicle catching fire while in operation or soon after being parked. BMW has indicated at least eight reports of fires have been linked to the problem. However, no accidents or injuries were reported.
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The impacted heaters are composed of a copper tubing that has a continuous supply of electrical current. Irregularities in the manufacturing process may result in cavities in the area of electrical contacts near the PTC element and copper tubing. Moisture could then enter and cause a short circuit, melting the plastic coating and material surrounding the PCV valve heater. This increases the risk of a fire, even when the vehicles are turned off.
The recall includes model year 2008-2013 BMW 128i, 2006-2012 BMW 3 Series, 2006-2010 BMW 5 Series, 2007-2010 BMW X3 SAV, 2007-2010 BMW X5 SAV and 2006-2011 BMW Z4 vehicles. Some of the affected vehicles were recalled previously for the same problem, and owners will have to get them repaired again, according to BMW.
The recall affects an estimated 917,106 vehicles sold in the United States.
Two similar recalls affected nearly 1.2 million BMW vehicles collectively for the same problem. The first BMW fire recall, issued in November 2017, affected nearly 1 million vehicles, and a second BMW recall issued in April 2019 affected another 200,000.
The auto manufacturer indicates that a remedy for the problem is currently in development and owners will receive recall notices beginning on April 25.
Owners with questions can contact BMW customer service at 1-800-525-7417.
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