BMW Recalls Roughly a Million Vehicles at Risk of Catching Fire

BMW Recalls Roughly a Million Vehicles at Risk of Catching Fire


BMW is recalling about a million vehicles at risk of catching fire even when they are not in use.

Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

The luxury automaker BMW has issued two recalls involving about one million cars and sport utility vehicles that are at risk of catching fire even when they are not in use.

The first recall covers more than 672,000 cars. It includes several BMW 3 Series models from 2006-11 with wiring and electrical conductors in the climate control system that are vulnerable to overheating, BMW told the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration on Thursday.

The second, larger recall involves the 2008-11 128i and various other 2007-11 models with six-cylinder engines, such as the 328i and the 525i. In these vehicles, the heater designed to keep the positive crankcase ventilation from freezing has the potential to short-circuit, causing the parts inside its valve to melt. The crankcase ventilation system helps gases escape from an internal combustion engine.


A BMW 328i in 2011, one of the vehicles affected by the recalls.

Andreas Gebert/DPA, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

More than 740,000 vehicles are included in this group.

There is some overlap among 3 Series models in both recalls, bringing the total number of vehicles affected to approximately one million.

The risk of fire is “extremely rare,” Hector Arellano-Belloc, a BMW spokesman, said in an email.

The company said it was asking car owners “in an abundance of caution” to keep their affected vehicles parked outdoors until they are repaired, he said. He said the company knew of three injuries that may be related to the climate control system wiring, but no injuries related to the P.C.V. heater.

An ABC News investigation that aired in May found more than 40 instances in the last five years where parked BMWs — some had been turned off for days — spontaneously burst into flames. ABC News reported Friday that 12 of those vehicles were subject to one or both of the recalls.

BMW announced that dealers will replace the recalled components without charge. Owners are expected to be notified on Dec. 18.

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