BMW Recall Affects 570,000 Vehicles in North America

BMW 3 Series Coupe

A BMW recall affecting 570,000 vehicles in North America has been issued due to a faulty battery cable connector that could cause the engine to stall. The recall affects a total of 750,00 vehicles worldwide with about 100,000 coming from Japan and another 50,000 coming from South Africa.

The BMW recall in North America involves 3-series coupes, sedans, convertibles and wagons from 2007 through 2011, 1-series coupes and convertibles from 2008 through 2012, and Z4 roadsters from 2009 though 2011. All affected vehicle owners will be notified by BMW and will then be able to get the cable replaced at their local dealership, free of charge.

The problem comes from a tin-coated connector that links the positive battery cable and the fuse box. Over time, the coating on the connector can degrade which results in a disruption of the power flow and a stalled engine.

BMW first learned of the problem back in July of 2010 after receiving complaints about vehicles that wouldn’t start. This was later followed up with three complaints from Canadian regulators, all leading up to the current BMW recall. Although no injuries have been reported as a result of the faulty battery cable connector involved in this BMW recall, one of the complaints by Canadian regulators did result in a crash.

In response to the problem, BMW has already changed the coating it uses on the battery connector cable in new vehicles in production. Instead of the original tin coating, they have moved to a new silver coating. This coating is not susceptible to the same degradation as the tin version. Additionally, dealers will be using a new technique when they install the replacement connectors, one that will make them handle vibrations more effectively.

All owners of affected vehicles will be receiving letters asking them to schedule a service appointment with their local dealership as soon as BMW distributes the necessary replacement parts.

Nicole Wakelin fell in love with cars as a teenager when she got to go for a ride in a Ferrari. It was red and it was fast and that was all that mattered. Game over. She considers things a bit more carefully now, but still has a weakness for fast, beautiful cars. When not drooling over cars, Nicole writes for Wired’s GeekMom.