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Recall: 570,000 BMW models for power failures

Late-model 1-Series, 3-Series and Z4 models are affected.

By Exhaust Notes Feb 18, 2013 12:08AM
BMW is recalling 570,000 cars in North America for power failures and engine stalling, according to filings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The battery cable supplying power to the fuse box has a terminal that can wear out over time, particularly due to road vibrations, BMW said. About 504,545 models of the 2008-2012 1-Series, 2007-2011 3-Series and 2009-2011 Z4 are affected in the U.S.

An additional 33,000 BMW models are being recalled in South Africa, where a significant percentage of 3-Series models are built and exported to the U.S. The 1M and M3 models are not included.

If the battery-cable terminal wears out, "variations in electrical resistance" could occur, which could cause the instrument panel to flicker or the engine to cut power. At worst, the engine could stall completely while driving, or if parked, may not start. Other systems, such as the power steering, would also be affected by the electrical failure.

BMW said it received two U.S. reports of "no-start" problems during July 2010 and additional problems through 2011, when the company switched its terminal coatings from tin to silver to better handle electrical heat. BMW said it continued to fix "occasional warranty claims" for the same issue even after the fix. In Canada in May 2012, BMW said it received multiple owner complaints of the same problem, including a collision allegedly due to an engine stalling.

Dealers will replace the battery-cable connector and secure it to the fuse box with a "vibration-safe method" beginning in March. Owners can contact BMW at 1-800-525-7417 or at

In March 2012, BMW recalled 1.3 million cars worldwide to fix improperly mounted battery-cable covers that could cause dead engines, fires or other electrical problems. About 368,000 5- and 6-Series models were recalled in the U.S.

On Friday, BMW recalled 30,265 X5 models to fix brake vacuum lines that could cause the power assist to fail.

[Source: NHTSA]
Feb 18, 2013 9:09AM
Mechaniccaly my 2007 328i has ran superb, BUT cosmetically it STINKS!!!! I have a crack in my drivers side seat, the passenger side door handle - the leather is coming off, the vent knobs have ALL broken off, plus more....I traded a 2001 Hyundai Elantra and it was in better condition than my BMW is only being 6-years old, in on this car because it was my 'Dream' car well I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER ONE!!! 
Feb 18, 2013 8:35AM
For spending all that money on a car that is supposed to be "The ultimate driving machine" I would not be happy with all the recalls lately from BMW.  If chose to spend $40,000 +++ (Which I won't, I want my money to go to an appreciating asset)  on a vehicle it better be right the FIRST TIME.  Heck you can buy a Kia and have better reliability!  I still find it puzzling how Americans can bash American products and have not clue that there jobs are tied to Americans working....

Feb 18, 2013 8:34AM
A car is merely a symbol for something else that is lacking.
Feb 18, 2013 8:24AM
LOVE my BMW! Was given to me from a DODGE dealer because of my defective Jeep product!  Service is expensive, but the drive is well worth it!  Plus because of safety ratings the insurance is cheaper on my BMW than my husbands truck!  Try having a recall on your break lines so bad that Chrysler won't let you leave the lot! I always feel safe in my BMW!
Feb 18, 2013 7:54AM

OH!!, I thought BMW was going to install a speedometer and turn signals.  The cars either don't have them or worse off the drivers DON'T use them.  They just purchased the car, not the road.

Feb 18, 2013 7:51AM
They only make one thing "the ultimate driving machine"
Feb 18, 2013 7:50AM
hes gona get the black mans and whiteys cars too obama is a socialist and were gona get in yhe largest war ever under obamas watch , the end  is near obamas  pushin us to the brink of collapse
Feb 18, 2013 7:39AM
obama is gona take your beamer away and give you a pinto     SOCIALISM AT ITS FINEST.....
Feb 18, 2013 7:39AM

I have a toyota and a bmw.

typically for americans to bash on oversees cars, this is the third day in a row I see this recall to be on some front page. A while ago over 1 million ford F-150's got recalled and nobody noticed. Both my card are over 6 years and have never been in the shop. On my commuting route I always see american products on the side of the road broken down. I live in the bay area where most of the cars on the road are oversees cars, so it is not a " but percentage wise there are more american cars on the road kind of a thing"

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