Posted in: Cars,
by Gregg Laskoski on Feb 23, 2013 05:00 AM
It's the largest BMW recall ever in the U.S. 504,000 vehicles.
The luxury auto producer told NHTSA this week that it will recall about 570,000 vehicles in the United States and Canada because of a faulty battery cable connector that can fail and cause an engine to stall. Bloomberg says the problem is necessitating a recall of 750,000 vehicles worldwide.
The North American recall includes certain 3-series coupes, sedans, convertibles and wagons from 2007 through 2011, as well as 1-series coupes and convertibles from model years 2008 through 2012 and Z4 roadsters from 2009 though 2011.
AutoNews.com says that in a Feb. 7 filing made public on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Web site, the German automaker said it will notify owners of the defect and allow them to replace the battery cable connectors for free at dealerships, starting in March.
The 3 series is BMW's top seller and is the No. 1-selling luxury car in the United States, with 99,602 of all variants sold in 2012. The recall affects almost 450,000 of the 3-series nameplate in the United States alone.
BMW said the problem stems from a tin-coated connector that links the positive battery cable and the fuse box in each of the models. The coating can degrade over time until it disrupts the flow of power and stalls the engine.
BMW says it learned of the defect in July 2010 after receiving a pair of case studies on repairs performed in the United States.
The automaker later received three complaints from Canadian regulators of incidents where the defect caused vehicles to lose power. One of the incidents led to a minor crash but no injuries.
BMW says it has already started using a silver coating instead of tin in new vehicles. The company says that when dealers repair the recalled vehicles, they will also use a different installation technique that will make the connector better at handling vibrations.
In a statement, BMW said once it "distributes the necessary replacement parts to authorized BMW centers, customers with affected vehicles will receive a letter via First Class Mail asking them to schedule a service appointment."
The automaker said customers with further questions should contact BMW Customer Relations at 1-800-525-7417 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.