BMW said it's recalling more than 1 million vehicles in North America over a couple of issues, both of which involve fire risks. It could expand the recall to other countries as well, though a timeline hasn't been set.
One recall affects 670,000 3 Series models from 2006 to 2011. Apparently, an issue with these cars' wiring and air conditioning system could cause them to overheat and increase the risk of a fire.
BMW Cars Being Recalled
These are the following cars being recalled: 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 models from 2007 to 2011. In addition, the 128i from 2008 to 2011 is also included. These are at risk of having a valve heater that might become rusty and end up in flames, though such cases are rare.
The recall affects about 15,000 vehicles in Canada, but they may be expanded to include vehicles sold around the globe.
"We are examining whether it will be necessary in the future to widen this (recall) into other countries," said Michael Rebstock, BMW spokesman.
The recall was decided after BMW held meetings with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, over fire risks on its vehicles.
BMW Cars Suddenly Lighting Up Into Flames
In the last five years, investigations found more than 40 cases in which BMW owners said parked cars spontaneously burst into flames, regardless if some of them, reports said, had been turned off for hours or even days.
As mentioned, there are primarily two issues occurring among cars BMW are recalling: one involves the positive crankcase ventilation, and the other involves wiring and electrical connectors in the system that controls airflow for heating and air conditioning. Safety recall reports for both — PCV and wiring — are available online.
In terms of heating and air conditioning-related issues, BMW first got a report in 2008 about damage to a 2006 3 Series vehicle possibly caused by heating issues, but the exact root cause wasn't determined. As a recourse, BMW continued to look at similar cases that occurred in the years following.
In 2011, BMW improved the wiring on affected car models. No injuries surfaced between 2007 and 2014.
In 2015, at least three incidents came up involving injuries. Then, in September, there was one more incident that involved BMW's 2011 3 Series model.
Recalls are scheduled to begin on Dec. 18.