The potential fault was previously thought to affect petrol cars in the BMW 1 Series, BMW 3 Series, and BMW X1 and BMW Z4 models built between 2009 and 2011. The recall has now been extended to vehicles made between March 2007 and August 2011 including the BMW 1 Series, the 3 Series, the Z4 and its X1 petrol and diesel models.
BMW launched the initial recall in the UK on 10 April 2017. It is understood that similar recalls were instigated in the USA and Australia as far back as 2013.
At a recent inquest it was reported that a BMW representative said that the fault, caused by battery cable connectors and fuse box terminals degrading, was not critical as drivers could still steer and brake. The inquest also revealed that BMW had received complaints about an electrical issue that caused a total power failure as early as 2011.
The Driver Vehicle Safety Agency Chief Executive, Gareth Llewellyn, commenting on the issue said: “BMW did not make DVSA aware of electrical failure in its cars between 2011 and 2014, as it is required to do. “It then provided us with incorrect information about the faults, so we were not able to make an informed decision. “However, after examining the growing evidence, DVSA contacted BMW in December 2016 to ask it to conduct a full safety recall of the affected vehicles.”
BMW has said that it will open a complaints line for customers, and that it will contact affected owners directly.
Lawyers at Leigh Day have investigated several potential legal claims concerning electrical faults in cars including Mercedes and the Vauxhall Zafira, and are concerned about the seemingly increasing numbers of faults which are being reported but not leading to a swift recall where safety is a factor.
Zahra Nanji from the consumer law and product safety team at Leigh Day said:
“One factor which could increase consumer safety is to give the DVSA greater enforcement powers to ensure that it is able to not only monitor vehicle recalls, but to also take expedient and proactive steps to force a recall and protect vehicle drivers when necessary.”