According to filings with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), BMW Group has issued two recalls regarding potential electrical fires in over 1 million vehicles. Despite both issues resulting in electrical fire risk, the two are entirely unrelated.
The first recall impacts 740,561 BMW models in which the positive crankcase ventilation valve heater can short and melt. The melting can cause a fire, which BMW says in most cases “self extinguishes,” but the company notes it has been tracking the issue since 2009 and only now issued a recall. Known as a blow-by heater, this particular part is designed to prevent ice from forming on the crankcase.
Impacted models include 2017-2011 328i, 525i, 528i, 530i, X3, X5 and Z4 are impacted. Basically all variants that feature non-turbocharged four-cylinder engines; including all body types and drivetrains. Owners of these models will be notified by BMW and dealerships will subsequently replace the defective blow by heaters.
BMW’s second recall impacts 672,775 vehicles and also could cause an electrical fire. This issue stems from a potentially faulty wiring harnesses that control the heating, ventilation and air conditioning fan speed. The pins on the end of the wiring could corrode, causing a short, which could melt the wiring. BMW says it first found the issue in 2007, when it changed the material of the pins from tin to silver in May 2011. It has not issued a recall on the matter until now.
This issue impacts E90 3 Series products built from 2006 to 2011. All variations of the 3 Series are included in the recall, some of which are also covered by the first recall. Dealerships will be instructed to replace the wiring harness and connectors to remedy the matter.