BMW Launches Massive Recall Due to Backup Camera Glitch

Laguna Hills, CA – October 23, 2019 – BMW of North America is poised to recall an extraordinarily large number of models due to a backup camera system snafu that may prevent motorists from seeing what’s behind them while shifting into reverse.

Affecting potentially 257,500 vehicles, a handful of the models that may contain this camera glitch include:

  • 2018 – 2020 540d
  • 2018 – 2020 640i xDrive Gran Turismo
  • 2018 – 2020 Rolls Royce Phantom
  • 2018 – 2020 530 ixDrive
  • 2018 – 2020 540i xDrive
  • 2018 -2020 X3 sDrive
  • 2018 -2020 X3
  • 2018 – 2020 M40i,
  • 2018 – 2020 X3 M and Z4 sDrive models

Motorists affected by this BMW recall are urged to bring their vehicle to a local BMW dealer so the system can be updated with the appropriate software. There will be no charge for the repair if one is required.

The defect

As documented by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, BMW intends to recall an estimated 257,481 2018 – 2020 model year vehicles because the backup camera can be manipulated in such a way that prevents the display from appearing on the driver’s screen.

In addition to the 2020 Toyota Supra and 2018 – 2019 Rolls Royce Cullinan and Phantom, over 20 BMW models may have faulty backup cameras in place. These included but aren’t limited to the following:

  • 330i
  • 530e
  • 530i
  • 540d
  • 540i
  • 640i
  • 740 Le
  • 740Li
  • 745 i3
  • 750Li
  • 840i
  • M340i
  • M5
  • M550i
  • M850i

Multiple X models, as well as the Z4, are also a part of the recalled BMW model population. 

Timeline of events

In mid May, NHTSA’s Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance reached out to BMW in order to obtain details on the performance of the automaker’s X4, specifically in terms of how the rear view camera system was functioning from an overall performance standpoint.

Roughly three weeks later, BMW provided the OVSC with an exhaustive report of the backup camera unit, which led to a meeting regarding compliance rule FMVSS 111.

The minutes from this confab revealed that the units may be out of compliance, specifically Section 5.5.6 of FMVSS 111, which pertains to rear visibility.

In 2014, NHTSA mandated that all 2018 models have backup cameras as standard inclusions to guard against the potential for serious injury, particularly to young children who may be out of motorists’ view when putting their cars in reverse.

Concerned that other backup cameras may be out of compliance aside from certain X models, BMW decided to launch a voluntary recall on additional models for which there was sufficient evidence to suggest they may be compromised.

It’s possible that all of the 257,481 automobiles involved may contain this flaw.

Some of the models affected by this BMW backup camera recall also have other separate safety recalls in effect. For example, a small portion of M340i models may have rear headrests that could fold down improperly during operation.

Additionally, M40i vehicles are subject to a voluntary recall over a seat defect that appears to emanate from a welding issue.

The solution

The fix appears to be as simple as updating the software that’s used to make the backup camera functional. Motorists thusly advised by first-class mail are encouraged to bring their car to a dealer so these units can be fully inspected.

The software refresh will come at no cost. Operators can expect to receive a notification in late November or December, as the automaker intends to distribute the notices starting November 19.

For more information on the BMW backup camera recall or others announced by different manufacturers, visit Be sure to have your VIN information available, which you can use to see if your car is subject to an existing recall.

Sean ReyesBMW Launches Massive Recall Due to Backup Camera Glitch

BMW sedans, convertibles recalled over deadly Takata airbags

Laguna Hills, CA – October 22, 2019 – BMW is pulling over 3,900 models from the marketplace due to the possibility that installed air bags are compromised. In the event of an accident that the air bags to deploy, sharp metal fragments could break through them, potentially leading to a severe injury.

The recall includes the following vehicles:

  • 2000 – 2002 325i
  • 2000 – 2002 325xi
  • 2000 – 2002 323Ci
  • 2000 – 2002 325Ci
  • 2000 – 2002 330Ci

The defect

The cause of this issue is believed to be the propellant used in the release of the air bags. The propellant has the potential to break down over time due to exposure to high levels of humidity and temperature cycling.

Timeline of events

The 2000 – 2002 BMW air bag recall is one of several that have affected the auto industry tracing back several years.

The Office of Defects Investigation arm of the NHTSA opened a sweeping inquiry into this issue back in June 2014 after learning of six separate incidents where air bags ruptured, which involved five vehicle manufacturers.

The ODI determined that the common link between them all was the manufacturer of the air bags – Takata – and the locations of where these air bags were installed. All six took place in either Florida or Puerto Rico.

These events led to a much wider investigation of Takata air bags and their potential to cause serious injury to motorists.

All told, at least 37 million automobiles had been equipped with 50 million defective air bags manufactured by Takata, according to the most recent statistics available from the NHTSA. Repair rates among automakers with Takata air bags installed rose 30% in 2018 compared to the previous year.

“Communicating the urgency for recall repairs with the help of stakeholders and DMVs is proving effective to protecting lives on our nation’s roadways,” NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi King said at the time.

This isn’t the first time this year that BMW has been affected by an air bag safety issue. In June, the luxury automaker announced it was recalling approximately 2,000 SUVs whose air bags were installed improperly.

Prior to that, around 1,700 2-Series, 3-Series and 4-Series models were also recalled because of compromised passenger knee air bags.

The solution

As for the 2000 – 2002 BMW air bag issue, the luxury automaker is getting ready to start distributing mailers that will inform owners about this problem. BMW says it will begin sending the notifications out starting November 25.

Recipients of the safety notices are urged to bring their vehicle to a local dealer. If appropriate, a replacement air bag will be installed free of charge.

Is your vehicle part of the recall?

Over 3,900 airbags were originally part of this recall. As of April 9, 2021 – the last date for which information is available – 1,425 airbags had been replaced. To see if your car still needs to be repaired, use MotorSafety’s free lookup tool.

Note: June 8, 2021

We have noticed a large number of readers are interested in this recall. For that reason, we have added the last section to allow the driver to check if his or her car is part of the recall and include the most up-to-date information on the recall’s completion ratesThe article has also been updated to reflect the latest editorial standards.

Sean ReyesBMW sedans, convertibles recalled over deadly Takata airbags

Three Hybrid Vehicles Listed in Recent BMW Recall

Laguna Hills, CA – September 29, 2019 – Field incidents demonstrating the failure of a specific part on three different BMW hybrid electric vehicles has led to a small but very significant recall from the manufacturer.

As part of the action, BMW has recalled 139 vehicles due to potentially faulty Electric Motor Electronics (EME) modules, across three different models.

BMW estimates that roughly 10 percent of those 139 vehicles contain the defect, which has the potential to cause a complete shut-down of high-voltage electric power – increasing the risk of a crash should the error occur while the vehicle is in motion.

Owners of the vehicles containing the defect should be notified within the coming weeks, with repairs conducted by dealers afterward.

The defect

The exact part causing the defect on the vehicles is the EME’s printed circuit board (PCB), which BMW reported was not produced to proper specifications.

According to paperwork the manufacturer filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “this [defect] could lead to an increase in transition resistance at certain PCB contact points and cause a loss of electrical contact.”

Following this loss of electrical contact, the EME module would shut down high-voltage electrical power on the vehicle, resulting in a loss of propulsion and increasing the risk of a crash. 

The vehicles involved in the recall are the:

  • 2019 BMW i3 BEV
  • 2019 BMW i3 REx
  • 2019 BMW i8

While there is unfortunately no “warning” or other indication presaging the errors caused by the defect, BMW did report that in the event of a shut down of high-voltage electrical power, the affected vehicle would still retain power steering and braking via its 12-volt power. 

Timeline of events

According to the safety recall report that BMW filed with the NHTSA, the manufacturer first became aware of the possibility for the defect via field incident reports from non-U.S. markets involving high-voltage electrical power loss on the i3 and i8 vehicles.

“Further reviews were conducted, which also involved the EME supplier and sub-supplier,” the safety recall report stated.

“The Tier-1 supplier informed BMW that certain EME modules may not have produced to specifications. The supplier indicated that the EME’s PCB may not have been produced to specifications on a specific assembly line by the Tier-2 supplier.”

By reviewing production records held by the “Tier-2 supplier”, BMW identified the production dates of the PCBs which potentially contained the defect.

Following that, other records were cross-referenced in order to determine the exact vehicles which contain those PCBs (and potentially, the defect along with them).

BMW decided to conduct the recall on August 7, 2019

The solution

BMW has indicated that owners of the vehicles involved in the recall will be notified by first class mail no later than October 7, 2019. Owners will be instructed to bring their vehicle to an authorized BMW center to have the EME replaced free. 

For more information on other recalls involving BMW and additional major auto manufacturers, visit

Sean ReyesThree Hybrid Vehicles Listed in Recent BMW Recall

BMW Recalls Two M340i Vehicles Due to Rear Center Headrest Defect

Laguna Hills, CA – September 26, 2019 – BMW has announced the recall of two vehicles, one 2020 M340i and one M340i xDrive, due to a rear center headrest that may fold improperly in the event of a rear-impact crash.

If the headrest were to fold down in such a setting, the risk of injury to the occupant would dramatically increase.

The defect

During production of both vehicles listed for the recall, the head restraint interlock was not welded sufficiently to the head restraint support rod bracket, according to paperwork filed by BMW with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

As of September 26, manufacturer has not received any reports, nor is it otherwise aware, of any accidents or injuries caused by the defect.

However, the improper production could lead to a break of the weld in the event of a collision, which in turn increases the risk of injury for the occupant in the rear center seat.

Timeline of events

On July 29, BMW first became aware of an instance where a foldable rear center head restraint did not function as intended via an internal rear crash validation test. Further analysis ascribed the defect in that case to a broken weld of the interlock on the head restraint frame. 

“A check of other parts was initiated,” according to the chronology that BMW filed with the NHTSA, “and two additional suspect head restraints were found.”

The vehicles included in the recall were produced between July 4 and July 31. BMW reviewed vehicle assembly information and supplier production records in order to determine the specific vehicles that carry the defect.

Their investigation resulted in the identification of two specific vehicles in which the head restraint interlock was not properly welded.

On August 7, BMW decided to conduct a voluntary recall on the two vehicles suspected to carry the defect. The manufacturer’s paperwork notes that dealers were notified August 14, and that notification to owners “is expected to begin and end on October 7, 2019.”

The solution

BMW plans to notify the owners or dealers currently in possession of the two automobiles, at which point local dealers will replace the rear center headrests of the vehicles on the manufacturer’s behalf.

For more information on other BMW recalls, be sure to visit

Sean ReyesBMW Recalls Two M340i Vehicles Due to Rear Center Headrest Defect

Seat Defect Spurs Recall of BMW SUVs

Laguna Hills, CA – Aug. 12, 2019 – BMW of North America is recalling a small number of predominantly X3 and X4 models whose seat assemblies may suddenly fold while someone is seated and the vehicle is in motion. The confluence of this scenario and a crash could lead to injury for the passenger. The BMW passenger seat recall is limited in scope and no injuries have occurred thus far, but owners notified should nonetheless schedule to have the seat replaced by an area dealership.

The Defect

According to filings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, BMW plans to recall a combined 20 X sport utility vehicles over a seat installation issue that may have occurred at some point during the assembly process. The model types involved are:

  • 2018-2019 X3 sDrive30i
  • 2018-2019 xDrive30i
  • 2018-2019 M40i
  • 2019 X4 xDrive30i
  • 2019 M40i

As noted in the Part 573 Safety Recall Report, certain front seatbacks’ frames were not welded in accordance with the manufacturers’ specifications, and as a result, they could fold either forward or backward, depending on the circumstances of the moment and how the person seated is positioned. This could dramatically increase the risk of injury if motorists are involved in a collision.

Although highly rare, passenger seat failures have led to tragic deaths in previous years. In 2018, for example, a Ohio teenager was killed after becoming trapped in the third row bench seat of a Honda Odyssey, a story which made national and international headlines. The 16-year-old called 911 but tragically, the boy died of asphyxiation before responding officers were able to locate him.

Such a scenario is isolated, but nevertheless, it speaks to the gravity of what can happen should foldable seats release from their anchors.

Timeline of Events

Officials first got wind of what would ultimately lead to a BMW passenger seat recall when the company received word of an incident affecting a customer in China July 17. The owner noted that at some point during the course of travel, the seat folded downward while someone was positioned in the chair at the time.

BMW launched an investigation of this issue immediately thereafter and discovered that the customer’s front seatback frame may have been assembled during a time at which some of its AI-powered robots were malfunctioning. Further inquiry determined the manufacturing period in question was somewhere between May 29 and June 10 of 2018.

No one was harmed during the aforementioned incident, but nonetheless, BMW deemed it appropriate for a voluntary safety recall to move forward, which occurred July 24. NHTSA acknowledged and officially approved the precautionary measure Aug. 8.

Several separate recalls are now in effect for the German automaker. One involves approximately 2,000 X7 and xDrive 40i automobiles, whose air bags may be improperly installed. Another BMW recall, which officially got underway July 2, affects 5,000 2019-2020 models whose knee air bag assemblies were not folded away correctly.

The Solution

As to the BMW passenger seat recall, the front seat will need to be replaced to ensure this problem doesn’t occur. As such, the company will notify the 20 owners about this issue via first-class mail. They’re encouraged to take their vehicle back to the dealership – or any other BMW dealer, for that matter – so the front seat structure can be swapped out for one that’s fully functional. Motorists can expect to receive a notification alerting them to this starting Sept. 23. Dealers have already been informed.

For more information on this or any other automotive recall, visit and enter your 17-digit VIN.

Sean ReyesSeat Defect Spurs Recall of BMW SUVs

Another Air Bag Issue For BMW Owners

Laguna Hills, CA – June 17, 2019 – BMW of North America seeks to recall nearly 2,000 X7 xDrive 40i and X7 xDrive50i models after learning that some of these vehicles may have head air bags errantly installed As a result, their deployment after a crash may result in injury or exacerbate the resulting effects. The German automaker advises owners of these SUVs to take their vehicles to their local BMW dealer to determine if a repair is necessary. If so, it will be arranged free of charge. The correction may involve entirely removing the air bag system and replacing with a new one or repair the existing air bag.

The Defect

In official paperwork filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is an arm of the U.S. Department of Transportation, BMW is recalling 1,822 SUVs, specifically 2019 X7 xDrive40i and X7 xDrive50i.

The German automaker says that the head air bags – installed within the wheel on the driver’s side and the dashboard for the passenger – may be out of alignment with the vehicle trim. The issue is not with the air bag itself but rather improper installation.

Because they weren’t loaded according to the manufacturer’s specified instructions, the air bags may not inflate correctly, thereby increasing the risk of head injury during a crash, the impact of which triggers deployment. BMW says it’s taking this step out of an abundance of caution, believing that only 1% of the potentially safety compromised SUVs contain the flaw.

This is the second voluntary recall for BMW in as many weeks, as close to 1,700 2-Series, 3-Series and 4-Series vehicles are being pulled from the marketplace because of damaged passenger knee air bags.

Timeline of Events

The air bag failing first came to BMW’s attention during a quality control check at the automaker’s Westwood, New Jersey-based assembly plant. Two SUVs were identified as suspect. This led to a follow-up to see if other model xDrive 2019 models were potentially compromised. Review of the relevant paperwork suggested that if other vehicles contain a similar flaw, the number was minimal. The investigation also helped BMW determine that any subsequent offending models were produced between Nov. 5, 2018 and April 3, 2019. The company says it’s unaware of any accidents or injuries tracing back to this issue, but nevertheless decided to make the recall notice official on May 16. NHTSA notified BMW of its desire to do so on June 10 and gave the company the go ahead.

The Solution

Starting on July 15, BMW will reach out to xDrive owners by first-class mail about the possibility their air bag may be impaired and what they can do to address this issue. The simplest solution is taking their car to an authorized dealership, who can diagnose whatever happens to be the problem and fix. The remedy will be free, as is normally the case for safety recalls that are voluntary or mandatory.

Dial 1-800-525-7417, BMW’s customer service hotline, for more information on this recall. You can also enter your VIN at to see if your model is subject to this or any other safety recall.

Sean ReyesAnother Air Bag Issue For BMW Owners

Air Bag Deployment Glitch Triggers Recall of 5,000 BMWs

Laguna Hills, CA – June 14, 2019 – BMW of North America is recalling thousands of 2019-2020 model years passenger vehicles due to a potential air bag flaw that may alter the manner in which it deploys. Specifically, the defect affects the knee air bag assemblies, which may have been errantly folded at some point in the manufacturing process. It’s possible that the air bag may not uncoil completely after a collision, raising the risk of injury.

The recall is expected to begin on July 2 and owners of the affected models are advised to take their automobiles off the roads so they can be serviced – for free – by a licensed BMW dealership.

The Defect

BMW says its pulling 5,079 automobiles from the marketplace – of which include coupes, convertibles and sports wagons – due to improper installation of the knee air bags that are meant to protect the driver as well as the front-seated passenger, according to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The models include 230I, 330I, 430I, 440I, M2, M240I and M4. Their model years are 2019 and 2020 (the 330I is for 2019 only). It seems that the knee air bag modules, which were manufactured by Joyson Safety Systems, may have been loaded into the vehicles’ housing systems incorrectly. This could prevent the air bag from inflating properly upon impact in a crash that triggers them. Injury may result in such a scenario to the driver, passenger or both.

Timeline of Events

The problem first came to the attention of BMW in mid April. At the time, components manufacturer Joyson Safety Systems alerted the automaker that some of the air bags in several 2019-2020 may have been damaged during compliance testing. JSS came to this conclusion after performing additional examinations to see if the flaw was isolated or potentially widespread. Ultimately, the air bag manufacturer determined that at least several of the knee air bags were not adequately packed in the housing unit.

BMW concluded that it was best to err on the side of caution and initiated a voluntary recall on May 2, which entailed alerting NHTSA to the issue. There are no known injuries that trace back to this flaw.

The Solution

BMW says that it plans on notifying owners by July 2 about the potential problem and will encourage them to have the issue looked at the same place they bought their automobile. If not there, at a licensed BMW dealership. As per usual, the fix will come at no cost to drivers. It may be that a repair is unnecessary, as only about 13% of the recalled models are believed to have the defect. In paperwork filed with NHTSA, BMW suspects that the 4 series coupe models are most likely to be the ones affected, as 2,357 of these vehicles were equipped with knee airbag modules, compared to just 154 for the BMW 3 series sports wagon.

The NHTSA campaign number relating to this recall is 19V-352. Find out more at

Sean ReyesAir Bag Deployment Glitch Triggers Recall of 5,000 BMWs

BMW Recalls 2016-2019 Vehicles Because of Impact Protection Issue

Laguna Hills, CA – May 18, 2019 – BMW of North America is recalling certain 2016-2019 X1 sDrive28i and X1 xDrive28i vehicles because of an issue involving crash impact protection. If an accident were to occur in which the occupant’s head comes into contact with the B-pillar, the pillar may not sufficiently absorb the impact, increasing the likelihood of serious injury or death. As many as 106,182 vehicles may be affected.

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report on this issue, inadequate impact protection surrounding the affected vehicles’ B-pillar could lead to a greater risk of injury if an occupant’s head were to contact the pillar during a crash. Because of this issue, the vehicles do not comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 201, “Occupant Protection in Interior Impact.”

Timeline of Events

BMW conducted development tests in January 2019 on its next-generation X1 model. The results showed that one of the B-pillar target points exceeded the recommended value, indicating a safety issue. Since the new generation of X1 models are identical to the current X1 version now on the road, the automaker decided to revisit its prior certification results, finding that those earlier tests came out within the legal requirements for the B-pillar values. BMW then conducted further review of the discrepancies between the two versions.

Further tests were conducted April 3, showing that one of the B-pillar values still exceeded the recommendation. In response, additional reviews of test setup equipment and simulations took place in April, followed by evaluation from an independent testing laboratory. The lab repeated BMW’s earlier tests, coming up with similar results. 

Engineering analysis by the automaker then revealed that the engineering services company that had conducted the initial tests and simulations for the new generation X1 vehicles’ B-pillar contact point had failed to take into account a worst-case scenario for head-form positioning. As a result, BMW decided May 2 to launch a voluntary recall.

The Solution

The recall is expected to begin July 2, 2019. A repair solution is still under development. When the remedy becomes available, BMW will notify owners.

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 website. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V349000.

Sean ReyesBMW Recalls 2016-2019 Vehicles Because of Impact Protection Issue

BMW Recalls 2018 Hybrid Electric Vehicles That Could Lose Power While Driving

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.

The Defect

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 Solution

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 website. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V-310.

Sean ReyesBMW Recalls 2018 Hybrid Electric Vehicles That Could Lose Power While Driving