Laguna Hills, CA – May 17, 2019 – BMW North America is recalling certain 2018 i3 BEV and i3 REx hybrid electric vehicles. A defective electronic module could shut down the high-voltage electrical power supply. If this happens while driving solely on electricity, without gasoline in the tank as a fallback, the car would lose power and stop unexpectedly, potentially causing a crash. As many as 159 vehicles could be affected by this issue.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report on this particular recall, a circuit board problem within the affected vehicles’ electronic module could shut down the supply of electrical power. This would result in a loss of propulsion, increasing the risk of an accident.
Timeline of Events
BMW first learned in September 2018 of a number of incidents involving high-voltage electrical power loss on Model Year 2018 BMW i3 vehicles, with additional reports of the error continuing to surface over the next few months. Despite an initial review after the first cases, the origin of the power problem was not determined.
Additional field incidents occurred in early 2019, leading to further reviews that included the automaker’s supplier and subcontractor. On April 2, BMW learned from its supplier that the electronic modules in question had not been produced to specifications. The printed circuit boards had not been adequately cleaned according to the process laid out by the automaker.
BMW reviewed the supplier’s records to ascertain the time period during which the problem had occurred, as well as the number of affected vehicles. The automaker then decided April 10 to conduct a voluntary safety recall. As of that date, BMW had not received any reports of accidents or injuries related to this issue.
The recall will begin June 7. BMW will notify owners of the affected vehicles, and dealers will replace the defective electronic module at no cost.
Owners may contact BMW customer service at 1-800-525-7417. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to the www.safercar.gov website. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V-310.