BMW, or Bavarian Motor Works, is a German auto manufacturer. The company is based out of Munich, and has been in business since March of 1916. The company designs and produces a wide array of luxury vehicles, and owns the Mini brand, and acts as parent company to Rolls-Royce. BMW distributes vehicles worldwide, and its vehicles have a distinctly recognizable appearance and style about them. The brand has a number of different types of models, ranging from motorcycles, to sedans, to SUVs, and even rally and sport vehicles for the professional circuit. Some models of sport cars and sport motorcycles are available for private ownership and use, as well.
BMW Recalls, Malfunctions And Other Issues
BMW vehicles are within their own brand, and not owned by any other company. For this reason, BMW recalls are likely to only affect specific BMW models, however, because BMW owns Mini they may coincide with recalls on models of the Mini brand. BMW’s vehicles are often named within a numbered series, with each series having individual models with slightly differing features. The models are typically named with three digits followed by a letter, with the first digit indicating what series the vehicle belongs to, and the remaining characters indicating the properties of the vehicle. Occasionally, the numbers are prefixed with letters to indicate whether the vehicle is a in a luxury or high performance line. When recalls or public alerts are issued they normally pertain to the series, and sometimes will cite individual models.
BMW of North America has issued a recall on on the 2014-2015 BMW i3 hatchback models. BMW cites a manufacturing error that affects the front airbag. The company has stated that the airbag may not deploy if the vehicle is involved in a low speed crash. Even in a low speed crash, impacts can be serious, and the airbag is one of the most important safety features for front seat passengers. Failure for an airbag to deploy can cause serious injury to driver and passenger. The company has urged drivers whose vehicles may be affected to go to a local dealership to schedule a replacement, or inspection. BMW has stated that there are 6,073 vehicles affected by the airbag issues.
BMW, and several other companies are also alerting customers to a recall that affects the airbag. The airbag manufacturer Takata has issued a global airbag recall that affects several different auto manufacturers. BMW has issued a recall on their 2002-2003 3 series and M3 models as a response to Takata’s recall. Takata has stated that the recall is due to a manufacturing error in the propellant used to inflate the airbags, which can in turn potentially injure passengers and drivers with metal fragments. BMW drivers have been instructed to contact their local dealership to see when parts are available and to schedule an airbag replacement. The recall affects 3.4 million automobiles worldwide, however only affects 42,080 BMW models.
BMW has also issued a precautionary alert to drivers of years 2000-2006 models in its 3 series due to potential defects in the passenger side airbag. The defect can potentially cause the airbag to rupture during the inflation process, effectively rendering it useless. The company has stated that this alert is a voluntary precautionary measure, as similar vehicles in other auto makers have experienced this same issue, though no current cases have been reported in BMW vehicles. The alert has been issued for over 574,000 vehicles.
Fuel Pump & Engine Issues
A recall has been announced on cars in BMW’s 2, 3, 4 series due to issues related to the fuel pump. The vehicles affected may have improper plating on their fuel pump, which may result in the fuel pump to fail, in turn causing vehicles to stall without warning. If this were to occur while a car was on the road, the risk of an accident would be greatly increased. The recall affects 18,054 vehicles across the brand.
BMW has also put out a recall order on vehicles in its 1, 3, 5 and 6 series due to potential issues with the engine. Loose bolts in the engines of these vehicles may cause the engine suffer power loss or to stall, which can increase accident risk while on the road. The recall affects 156,137 vehicles in total.
BMW has also issued a recall on vehicles in its 3, 4, and 5 series stemming from issues with the power braking system. Insufficient lubrication may cause the system to fail, which can increase accident risk when on the road. The recall affects 8,988 vehicles across the BMW line.
Some BMW models have also experienced significant issues unrelated to vehicle performance. In 2012, push-to-start BMW models encountered an issue where they could be stolen simply by programming a blank key fob. In addition, a later analysis run in 2014 showed that some of the software used in locking the car could also be remotely unlocked, which could lead to theft of property within the vehicle, or the vehicle itself. The company has since updated these features.
BMW Safety Ratings
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has rated all the vehicles in BMW’s current line. At present, in spite of the large number of recalls ongoing with the company, the IIHS maintains that overall, many BMW models meet “G” ratings for safety, which is the highest rating that the institute bestows. Some of the models in the 3 series, however, received “M” for “marginal” ratings on their front and side impact ratings, which may be potential weaknesses in the vehicles safety overall.
Auto manufacturers are expected to make their safest vehicle possible, and prevent defects in manufacturing or design from reaching the road. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of an auto defect or motor vehicle accident, contact attorney Jeremy Rosenthal today.