Second UK recall for BMW in two weeks relates to blower fan fire risk

BMW has issued a recall for 294,000 UK 3 Series models to fix an issue that could lead to a blower fan fire.

The car maker’s second recall in two weeks relates to a cable that connects the battery and the blower fan, which has been found to overheat during hot weather, causing a fire risk.

The issue affects 3 Series cars built between December 2004 and July 2011, meaning E46 (below) and E90 (top) models. The risk is not powertrain-specific, so cars running with petrol and diesel engines of varying capacities are all included.

A BMW spokesman told Autocar that the brand has notified the Driving & Vehicle Standards Agency of its intention to recall and that it “will begin the recall process immediately".

“BMW has chosen to expand on its existing battery connector recall by also replacing the blower-regulator wiring harness on affected 3 Series models,” the spokesman said. “This involves replacing two wiring connections on the cars already affected and recalling an additional 88,000 cars in the UK.”

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BMW’s latest UK recall comes in the year after it recalled 670,000 cars in the US for the same issue. The company said it refrained from issuing a fix in Britain because it was not believed that the problem could arise in the UK’s cooler climate.

However, with a recall issued last week for close to 312,000 cars that could have a power cut issue, BMW said it is “taking the opportunity to proactively check and replace the wiring harness of the blower regulator”.

The company said that, in doing so, it is “taking every precaution in terms of safety while minimising disruption and inconvenience to affected customers”.

BMW’s first recall related to the corrosion of a battery terminal cable that could cause 1 Series, 3 Series, Z4 and X1 petrol and diesel models produced between March 2007 and September 2011 to lose all electrical power without warning. It has been linked to a fatal accident in 2016, when a British man swerved his car into a tree while trying to avoid a broken-down BMW on an unlit road.

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Comments
15

18 May 2018

You would think the in car heating system would be perfected by now!! 

Grande Punto/Corsa had issues with the heater wires burning out

VW’s catch fire with the auxiliary heaters

Zafiras go up in flames because of the heater now BMW’s as well!!! 

18 May 2018

Superior German engineering.

Dear BMW, this is what happens when you let bean counters and sales figures be your prime motivation, quality suffers,  the 3 series is just the new Cortina/Sierra/Mondeo, but actually not as reliable. 

 

18 May 2018

BMW's bean counters are penny wise and pound foolish.

I looked at buying a BMW car. I read bad things about BMW engine reliability.

I am glad that I haven't bought a BMW car. The quality is too low.

The way BMW delayed recalling their faulty cars causes me serious concern.

Can we trust BMW cars? Is it safe to travel in any modern BMW car? Should we park next to a BMW car? What if the BMW goes on fire and sets fire to cars parked next to it?

19 May 2018

@max1e6, This propaganda deriding a Car makers product is largely unfounded and generally put out there by People who just don’t like the product and they also have never owned one, I’ve owned four BMW’s an M3, a 530i and two 3series, over this ten year period nothing went wrong nothing fell off other than a dodgy tyre pressure valve that’s about it, if you’ve been reading forums about People’s maladies with there BMW chances are they had an issue, no Car makers products are 100% reliable there will be duff Cars it’s just your luck if you get one plus, it’s got a warranty and if you don’t like it after 28 days you reject it, it’s not all doom and gloom....

Peter Cavellini.

19 May 2018
Peter Cavellini wrote:

@max1e6, This propaganda deriding a Car makers product is largely unfounded and generally put out there by People who just don’t like the product and they also have never owned one,

 

I'm a former owner, and never will be again.   My 3-Series spent more time in the garage than all of my previous cars put togehter.   The BMW service manager is now on my Facebook friends because I seen him so often!

 

Sadly, the horror stories are true.   When under warranty they quietly fix some issues to get it bumped out of warranty and then leave you with a car they know is a ticking timebomb.

 

Worse for UK customers is that many of these issues are known, and have already been addressed in the USA.   For UK customers they know they don't have to fear class action law suits or lemon laws.   They're living on their reputation as a quality German brand, but that quality is a myth.

 

BMWs are great when they're working, they really are, but some are have design faults that will cost the owners thousands to fix, and in some cases that fix is only ever temporary.

 

19 May 2018

Not that we needed any proof, but this latest saga with a German car just shows us all yet again that German cars are poorly designed, engineered and built. And yet again this recall is not just a small issue, but a problem that can put people's lives at risk. So why do Brits keep buying them in droves? Do we genuinely like spending thousands of pounds on unreliability and rubbish?

19 May 2018
Clearly BMW dropped the ball on this issue and the battery connector problem with poor engineering and QC but their biggest mistake was failing to grasp the nettle and issue a worldwide recall immediately both problems came to light - that is a PR disaster on its own.

I've owned numerous BMWs & Alpinas mainly e46 and e90/92 and never had a major problem, although all of these would have been within the range that coukd have been affected by these problems. If I still owned these cars then I would have been concerned and am annoyed, like I said earlier, that BMW didn't issue a recall.

Those critising German cars obviously have selective memories and should remember that if Britain hadn't destroyed our own motor industry though the 1970's and 1980's with abysmal quality control and a complete lack of pride in the workplace and famous British brands, then we wouldn't perhaps have lost sales to foreign manufacturers who could (at the time) build reliable well made cars, which ultimately led to the wholesale sell-off of every major UK car manufacturer!

We can't blame German and Japanese car manufacturer for taking our money when management and employees within our own car industry couldn't be ar4ed to build decent vehicles and I say that as someone with both automotive engineering qualifications, who worked within Jaguar, British Leyland/Rover and later Volkswagen/Audi during the eighties, the difference in attitude was massive and far more positive in the latter, which was a great sadness in light of our engineering heritage.

I would happily support British car companies IF there were any major mfts left here but even the likes of JLR, which now have some wonderful vehicles such as the FFRR etc still cannot screw them together to a high enough quality standard, despite masses of funding from Tata and asking a high price for the vehicles.

19 May 2018
I don't know much about the E46 but the E90 is a tragically rotten lemon. The can barely give them away here in Australia.

19 May 2018

Over the last 20 years I have had more problems from German cars (VW, Merc and BMW) that I have run than I have ever had from the French cars (Peugeot Citroen) that I have run. Just my tuppence worth.

20 May 2018

https://abcnews.go.com/US/bmw-recalls-million-vehicles-fire-risk/story?id=50922136

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Our Verdict

BMW 3 Series

The BMW 3 Series' outstanding performance and handling makes it a complete and consummate all-rounder - but then the Jaguar XE and Alfa Romeo Guilia arrived

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week