BMW recalls all plug-in hybrid models due to battery fire risk

BMW has issued a global recall of all of its plug-in hybrid models due to a battery fire risk. 

The recall affects petrol-electric versions of the 3, 5 and 7 Series, the X1, X2, X3 and X5 SUVs, the 2 Series Active Tourer and the Mini Countryman PHEV, if built between 20 January and 18 September 2020. It also affects i8s built this year until production ended in April. Roughly 26,700 cars are affected, with 2930 already delivered to buyers and the remainder awaiting delivery. 

Engineers have found problems with foreign contaminants, which may have been sealed into the battery packs themselves during production. BMW sources its packs from Swedish third-party supplier Northvolt.

A brand statement says the PHEV recall and delivery halt is “a preventative measure” as “internal analysis has shown that in very rare cases particles may have entered the battery during the production process. When the battery is fully charged this could lead to a short circuit within the battery cells, which may lead to a fire.” German media reports that a fix is expected to start being rolled out by the end of the month.

It is not the first recall to affect BMW’s plug-in models. All of the above models bar the i8 were subject to a recall earlier this year to remove welding beads left on the battery.

Ford has also suffered a similar battery fire risk recall for its Kuga PHEV, announced in August and still not yet resolved. Affected owners, who are being told not to use the car’s pure-electric range, are being offered free service and maintenance plans and £500 worth of free fuel. 

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