October 23, 2020: German carmaker BMW has been forced to recall almost 30,000 plug-in hybrid cars around the world because of a fire risk with the batteries, the company confirmed on October 23.
The models affected, including the 3, 5 and 7 series, Mini Cooper Countryman and i8, among others, were all manufactured between March and September 2020. The batteries are believed to be from Samsung.
“Internal analysis has shown that in very rare cases, particles may have entered the battery during the production process. When the battery is fully charged this could lead to a short circuit within the battery cells, which may lead to a fire,” the company said.
“A total of 26.700 vehicles are affected potentially worldwide, of which only around 9,000 vehicles are already with customers and have been recalled.
“BMW apologises for the inconvenience to customers, but of course safety must come first.”
Of the 29,700 cars recalled, 4,509 were in North America, where a Safety Recall Report says that on August 4, “BMW became aware of a field incident involving a model year 2021 BMW X5 SAV in which the vehicle experienced a thermal event”.
“Between early August and mid-September, BMW became aware of three additional field incidents,” the report says – although a voluntary safety recall was not conducted until September 23.
Vehicle owners were advised not to charge their vehicles, drive in manual or sport mode, or use the shift paddles on the steering wheel to change gear.
At the time of going to press, BMW had still not responded to BESB’s request for a comment.