Improperly crimped wiring for the fuel pumps in gas tanks found in numerous BMW models may cause small fuel leaks, according to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Drivers may notice the smell of gasoline inside their vehicles, and might also see their check engine lights turn on. In addition, the fuel pumps could stop working, causing engines to stall and increasing the risk of a crash.
BMW is recalling 136,188 vehicles in the U.S. and 18,284 in Canada as a result of loose wiring that could cause connectors to melt, resulting in the fuel leak. The list of affected models includes the 2007-2011 X5, the 2008-2011 X6, the 2010-2011 X6 ActiveHybrid, the 2010-2011 5-Series Gran Turismo, the 2011-2012 528I, the 2011-2012 535I, the 2011-2012 550I, the 2012 640I and the 2012 650I.
- June 2011 – BMW first learned about customer complaints of a fuel odor. Further analysis found that the evaporative fuel tank leak diagnostic system could detect the issue. BMW began to alert customers.
- September 2014 – The growing number of warranty claims related to this issue caused BMW to issue a worldwide extended warranty program, providing coverage for 10 years and unlimited mileage.
- October 2014 – BMW conducted a part recall in China for the same issue, and submitted a Part 579 report to the NHTSA, referencing the existing warranty program.
- February 2015 – BMW extended its recall to Japan. It amended the Part 579 report and resubmitted it to the NHTSA.
- June 2016 – BMW performed a service action in South Korea in response to a request from the Korean government over this issue.
- October 2016 – BMW found that the issue was still common in vehicles that had not already had their fuel delivery modules replaced. BMW conducted a voluntary recall on all vehicles that had not been repaired.
BMW will notify all owners of the issue and offer fuel pump replacements free of charge. This will begin Dec. 5, 2016.