BMW Recall Alert: 312,000 Vehicles Affected In The UK

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Photo: Florin Profir
When you read a headline that includes the word “recall” on publication’s website, you would expect the large ones to happen in the United States of America. But for a change, BMW has announced that it’s extending a recall in the United Kingdom, encompassing an estimated 312,000 vehicles built.
How did it all begin? Back in 2017, BMW UK called back 36,410 vehicles over the risk of stalling while being driven. Affecting only gasoline-fueled (or should we say petrol in British English?), the recall came and went, but the saga didn’t end there. According to the automaker, “we now recognize that there may have been some cases of similar power-supply issues in vehicles not covered by the original recall.”

By that, BMW refers to the B+ battery connector. The 1 Series, 3 Series, X1, and Z4 manufactured between March 2007 and September 2011 constitute expanded recall, both gasoline- and diesel-fueled models this time around. The automaker assures customers that they’ll be contacted in the next three weeks by post, “advising them on how they can book their car in to have the work carried out.” To be more specific, known owners should receive a letter by the end of May 2018.

The automaker’s UK office explains on Twitter “the work should take no more than two hours and there will be no cost to the customer.” That seems a lot of time if you take into consideration the problem boils down to the battery losing connection to the fuse box, rendering the car powerless. Without electric power from the battery, the power steering, power brakes, and even the airbags can’t operate as intended. Switching on the hazard lights in the case of an emergency is impossible as well.

BMW of UK received complaints of the electrical issue as early as 2011 according to the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency. But unfortunately, it took the death of a motorist on Christmas Day in 2016 for the DVSA to slap BMW on the wrist.

What makes these circumstances worse is, an estimated 500,000 vehicles were recalled in 2013 in the United States, Australia, Canada, and South Africa over the problem British motorists are facing today. This begs the question, why did the DVSA wait for so long and why didn’t BMW issue the recall sooner in the UK?

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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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