BMW announces its largest recall ever

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BMW 5 Series

The BMW 5 Series is one of the models affected in a new recall. Image: UggBoy<3UggGirl/Flickr/CC BY

BMW AG, the largest luxury automaker in the world, announced Monday that it will be recalling 1.3 million cars worldwide over a potentially faulty battery connector. The recall affects more than 367,000 cars in the U.S.

BMW’s largest recall ever

It is a large recall, even by industry standards, and the largest ever in BMW’s history. It nearly equals the number of cars BMW sold worldwide in a very brisk 2011. About 293,000 cars in Germany are affected by the recall. Another 109,000 are being recalled in Britain. About 102,000 are in China.

Affects 5 Series and 6 Series models

The German automaker said that it will recall all BMW 5 Series Sedans and Sport Wagons manufactured between June 1, 2003, and March 31, 2010. The recall also includes all 6 Series Coupes and Convertibles assembled between Sept. 1, 2003, and July 31, 2010.

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Faulty bulkhead connector blamed

BMW said in a statement that the issue stems from a potentially faulty insulated battery connector:

“In rare cases, the insulated bulkhead connector may have been incorrectly attached to the trunk floor panel. Over time, this can lead to a loosening of the bolt connection causing various systems in the vehicle to malfunction.”

These malfunctions can potentially be quite serious. BMW elaborated:

“This can result in the electrical system malfunctioning, the vehicle failing to start and, in some cases, to charring or fire.”

The problem could potentially start a fire even if the car is not being driven, according to BMW.

Fewer than 1 percent

The problem was found in fewer than 1 percent of the vehicles BMW has tested so far. BMW says it is unaware of any fires, injuries or accidents resulting from the issue.

Owners notified by mail

Affected owners can expect to receive a letter from BMW in April, requesting they take their cars to a local dealership. BMW says the inspection and fix will take about 30 minutes. BMW’s technicians will also add a protective layer of grease and replace the plastic cover on the battery cable.

Second recall in March

It is BMW’s second recall this month. Both recalls are for issues that could potentially cause fires. On March 7, the German automaker announced a recall for nearly 90,000 of it its Mini Cooopers over a possibly faulty turbocharger water cooling pump.

A good year for BMW

BMW had a lucrative year in 2011. The high-end automaker sold 1.4 million cars last year worldwide. Of those, more than 300,000 were sold in the U.S.

Sources

Forbes
Reuters
Los Angeles Times

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