Things look a little hot for BMW — it’s recalling about 1,000,000 vehicles for two different faults that could cause a fire, and it may expand the recalls to other countries.
One recall covers 670,000 2006-2011 U.S. 3-Series vehicles to address a wiring issue for heating and air conditioning systems that may overheat and could increase the risk of a fire. The second recall covers 740,000 U.S. 2007-2011 vehicles with a valve heater that could rust and lead to a fire in rare cases. The recall includes some 128i vehicles, 3-Series, 5-Series and X3, X5 and Z4 vehicles.
BMW spokesman Michael Rebstock said the recalls overlap and cover about 1 million vehicles, nearly all in the United States and about 15,000 in Canada. He said the recalls may be expanded. “We are examining whether it will be necessary in the future to widen this (recall) into other countries,” he said. BMW said 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 got a report of an incident in 2008 involving heat- related damage to a 2006 3-Series sedan, but did not determine a root cause. The automaker 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 between 2007 and 2014, but in 2015, BMW was made aware of three incidents in which there were allegations of injuries. In early September, BMW learned of another incident involving a 2011 BMW 3 Series vehicle.
Dealers 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.