Two BMW models recalled for faulty components

Laguna Hills, CA – Nov. 6, 2019 – BMW of North America recently announced that it will recall two different models – both sedans – due to potentially faulty engine components.

In all, 217 vehicles – 100% of which are expected to contain the defect – are involved in the recall, including:

  • 205 BMW 330i and 330i xDrive four-door sedans from the 2019 and 2020 model years
  • 12 BMW Z4 two-door sedan from the 2020 model year

It is expected that all of the recalled components may not have been produced within specifications.

The Defect

All 217 vehicles in the recall were made with an engine that contains needle roller bearings for counterbalance shafts that may not have been properly installed initially. Specifically, this started during the production process, which may have been out of specification, during set production periods that vary by model. For the 330i and 330i xDrive models in the recall, this lasted from Nov. 22, 2018 to Aug. 26, 2019. For the Z4s, it stretched from May 24, 2018, to April 3, 2019.

Due to the potentially improper installation process, affected needle roller bearings could lead to the counterbalance shaft loosening, causing severe engine damage. That, in turn, could lead to the engines in recalled vehicles shutting down, increasing the risk of a crash. Drivers would be able to notice if this happened to their vehicles because there would be a loud noise emanating from the engine compartment.

Timeline of Events

In May 2019, BMW was made aware of two separate instances in which drivers of affected vehicles heard the aforementioned noises, right before their vehicles broke down. The first of these involved a 2019 3 Series sedan that had been made in February, and the second, involving a vehicle outside the U.S., was made in April. Both vehicles had low mileages, and the engines were flagged for return, tear down and analysis. 

In June, BMW of North America conducted an engineering review  of both engines and initially found that the counterbalance shaft’s needle roller bearings may have been to blame for the breakdowns. Further analysis included looking into the production process while the company continued to monitor other vehicles in the field.

During that analysis period, another similar breakdown, this time including a 5 Series sedan that was made in May, occurred in September.

The engineering review eventually found that the press-in force for some needle roller bearings of the counterbalance shafts was smaller than specified, and engine production records indicated which of these components were affected by the defect based on production dates. That, in turn, allowed BMW to determine which vehicles to recall, and the voluntary order itself was made on Oct. 8.

To date, the company has not gotten any reports of accidents or injuries related to the defect.

The Solution

Owners of affected vehicles will be asked to bring their vehicles to authorized BMW dealers to have the engines replaced free of charge. These changes will be covered by the BMW New Vehicle Limited Warranty program and therefore will not require reimbursement.

Dealers received notification of the recall on Oct. 15, and owners should get letters via First Class mail on or around Dec. 6.

For additional information about this recall, consumers can contact BMW of North America by phone at 1-800-525-7417, or call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hotline at 1-888-327-4236.

For more information on this or other recalls past or present, visit MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesTwo BMW models recalled for faulty components

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