Fire risk prompts massive North American BMW recall

James Raia

BMW is recalling more than 1.4 million cars and SUVs in the United States and Canada for two overlapping heating issues that could increase the risk of fires.

According to a manufacturer representative, one recall includes more than 670,000 2006-2011 U.S. BMW 3-Series vehicles to address a wiring issue for heating and air conditioning systems.

The first recall includes: the 323i, 325i, 325xi, 328i, 328xi, 330i, 330xi, 335i, 335xi and M3 from the 2006-2011 model years. Also covered are the 2007-2011 328i xDrive, 335i xDrive and 335is, and the 2009-2011 335d.

Fire risk prompts massive North American BMW recall 1
BMW has recalled 1.4 million vehicles in North America.

The second recall includes more than 740,000 U.S. 2007-2011 vehicles with a valve heater that could rust and lead to a fire. The larger of the two recalls covers more than 740,000 328i, 328xi, 328i xDrive, 525i, 525xi, 528i, 528xi, 530i, 530xi, X3 3.0si, X3 xDrive30i, X5 xDrive30i, Z4 3.0i, Z4 3.0si and Z4 sDrive30i vehicles from 2007-2011. Also included is the 2008-2011 128i. All have six-cylinder engines.

While the recall primarily involves vehicles in the U.S., about 15,000 vehicles are affected in Canada. A BMW spokesman said the recall may expand to other countries

Both recalls followed recent meetings with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

In the heating and air conditioning recall, BMW told NHTSA it first received an incident report in 2008 involving heat-related damage to a 2006 3-Series sedan. The cause wasn’t determined, but BMW continued to monitor additional field incidents in the following years.

In 2011, BMW made a quality improvement to the blower-regulator wiring harness. No injuries were reported through 2014. Since then, the carmaker has received notice of four incidents in which injury allegations were involved.

According to BMW, dealerships will replace a wiring harness if necessary and potentially additional parts.

In the valve heater issue recall, BMW first received a report in 2009 of an incident in a 2007 X5 involving heat-related damage to the engine compartment, the company told NHTSA.

It received other reports and continued to review the issue and inspect returned parts, but had no reports of injuries or crashes related to the issue. Dealers will replace the valve heater.




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