“I felt so uncomfortable driving my BMW that we took taxis, I walked to work every day. It was a nightmare, it wasn’t safe enough to drive”, said Mwape. Last year in 2018, BMW was among the top cars manufacturer that recalled many vehicles. The number reached 2 million and above.
2013-2015MY 7-Series, V12
BMW is one of the few automakers still producing twelve-cylinder engines. But the big V12 has an issue, so the Bavarian automaker has had to recall some of them. The vehicle in question is the 2013-15 760Li, precursor of today’s M760i xDrive. Apparently, the ECU was improperly programmed on those three flagship sedans when they were brought in for service, potentially causing the engine to stall. So, BMW’s calling them in to have their electronics reflashed to keep them running like they should.
The issue appears to be limited to the B60 version of the N74 engine, not on the B66 version employed in the Rolls-Royce Ghost, Wraith, and Dawn, the newer B66TU used in the current G12-gen M760i, or the latest B68 powering the new Phantom and Cullinan. None of those other models are affected by this recall which is probably a good thing, because we wouldn’t want to be stuck in a stalled Rolls-Royce or BMW V12 in the wrong neighborhood.
324,000 diesel-powered models
BMW recalled as many as 324,000 diesel-powered models in Europe in 2018, in order to fix a technical issue that has already caused fires in South Korea. At fault is an exhaust gas recirculation module specific to BMW diesel cars, which has led to 27 engine fires and the recall of 106,000 vehicles in South Korea, where BMW Korea chairman, Kim Hyo-Joon has issued an apology. Thirteen South Korean owners of BMW vehicles have filed class action lawsuits against the Bavarian automaker, asking for compensation worth 5 million won ($4,447) each – arguing that they have been unable to drive their cars out of fear.
Automotive News Europe reports that BMW is now prepared to recall European models, with 96,300 vehicles affected in Germany alone, as per German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. While BMW said that it knew about these issues since 2016, the automaker had only identified the root cause in June of this year. As for which diesel-powered models are involved, a previous report calls out the 520d, although other nameplates were part of this recall.
7,500 M5s and 335d: Faulty fuel pumps
The Bavarian automaker also recalled in 2018, M5s due to a problem with the fuel pump. If that’s not working, the engine will obviously not fire, thus BMW is recalling 846 units which were affected. Fixing the problem involved updating the software in the engine control unit.
Along with the M5, BMW has also recalled certain 335d diesel sedans from the 2010-11 model years. The problem here was with the electrical power steering system, which could cause the vehicle to stall. It was fixed by replacing the positive battery cable connector and securing it better.
2003-2011MY: 312,000 1-Series, 3-Series, Z4 and X1 petrol and diesel engine in UK
These vehicles are part of an initial recall of 36,410 cars over identical issues, and they could stall without any warning to the person behind the wheel. The electrical malfunction also causes brake light failure.
An investigation was carried out and revealed one case in which a person was killed, due to this condition. Narayan Gurung was driving his Ford Fiesta on December 25, 2016, when he swerved to avoid a black BMW 3-Series that had stalled on a dark road. The car hit a tree and the driver lost his life, while the passenger, his wife, was seriously injured.
A BMW 3-Series owner stepped forward and told BBC that his car stalled while he was driving it. Mwape Kambafwile contacted the automaker the following day to inform them of the problem, and technicians told him that they had found the fault. “The cable had burnt out and no current was passing through the fuse box”, the man was told. Strangely enough, Mr. Kambafwile was allowed to take the car home without any warning, nor fixes for that matter, and he refused to drive it, finding out later that not only diesels, but petrol versions of the same vehicle had been previously recalled over the same concern.
BMW appears to have failed to inform the country’s Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency about the problem. Moreover, it seems that the automaker has received complaints related to this issue. Also, the company already recalled some half a million vehicles in the United States, back in 2013, and in Canada, Australia and South Africa, too.
Recall of 1.6 million cars
The Munich-based car firm had to call back 480,000 vehicles in Europe and Asia last year. The decision to expand the recall to approximately 1.6 million cars was taken after BMW’s own investigation found more vehicles that have similar technical setups. The problem was that the coolant might leak from the exhaust recirculation unit, and in combination with sparks, the intake manifold could melt. In more extreme cases, this may result in a fire.
All cars included in this recall are powered by four- and six-cylinder diesel engines and have been produced between August 2010 and August 2017.