BMW to recall 570,000 vehicles due to defective battery cable connector

Article by Anita Panait, on February 19, 2013

BMW will recall around 570,000 vehicles in the United States and Canada due to a faulty battery cable connector that may fail and force an engine to stall, according to the carmaker’s Feb. 7 filing at the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The recall will involve certain 3-series coupes, sedans, convertibles and wagons from model years 2007 through 2011, as well as 1-series coupes and convertibles from model years 2008 through 2012.

The recall also involves Z4 roadsters from model years 2009 through 2011. According the filing made public Saturday on NHTSA’s Web site, BMW will notify owners of the defect. Owners could replace the battery cable connectors for free at dealerships starting next month. The 3 series is the carmaker’s best-selling vehicle and is the No. 1 luxury car in the US, with 99,602 units sold in 2012.  Nearly 450,000 of the 3-series nameplate in the US alone are affected in the recall.

According to BMW, the problem roots 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 disturbs the flow of power and stalls the vehicle engine. BMW disclosed that it learned of the connector defect in July 2010 after receiving two case studies on repairs performed in the US.

The German carmaker then received three complaints from Canadian regulators of cases where the defect caused vehicles to drop power. One of the incidents resulted to a minor crash, but there were no injuries.

The recall involves 504,000 vehicles sold in the US and 65,000 in Canada. According to BMW, it is now using a silver coating instead of tin in new vehicles. When dealers repair the recalled models, they will use a different installation technique that will make the connector better at managing vibrations.

Topics: bmw, recall

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