BMW expands vehicle recall over battery issue to more than 4,500 U.S. plug-in hybrids

BMW expands vehicle recall over battery issue to more than 4,500 U.S. plug-in hybrids

Luxury carmaker BMW has announced the expansion of its recall of electric vehicles over a potential battery issue to cover most of its plug-in hybrids in the United States for the model years of 2020 and 2021.

The Munich, Germany-headquartered luxury auto giant first issued the recall of vehicles in August for a smaller subset of EVs in Europe, but now it covers 4,509 vehicles in the US as well. The recall was prompted by some manufacturing defects within the battery pack, connected with welding debris left within the pack that could cause a short circuit between modules.

The issue came to light after some customers reported fires in the high-voltage battery of their plug-in hybrids while charging the battery. The recall affected nearly 26,700 BMW vehicles worldwide.

Speaking on the topic, a spokesperson for BMW said, “When the battery is fully charged, this could lead to a short circuit within the battery cells, which may lead to a fire. Around 26,700 vehicles are affected worldwide. BMW apologises for the inconvenience caused to customers, but of course safety must come first.”

The company has identified some discrepancies during the manufacturing process of the battery packs. Foreign contaminants, such as remnants of the welding beads, may have left inside the batteries during the assembly stage, which can cause short circuit and a resulting blaze. The lithium-ion batteries in question were supplied by Swedish battery developer & manufacturer Northvolt.

In the United States, the recall affected the 2020-2021 BMW 530e models, including xDrive and iPerformance, 2020-2021 xDrive30e, , 2020 BMW i8, 2021 BMW 330e, including xDrive, 2021 BMW 745Le xDrive, and 2021 BMW X5 xDrive45e, and 2020-2021 Mini Cooper Countryman All4 SE.

Globally, other affected vehicles include the F48 X1, F39 X2, G01 X3, and G05 X5 SUVs, the F45 2 Series Active Tourer, G20 3 Series, G21 3 Series Touring, G30 5 Series, G31 5 Series Touring, and G11/G12 7 Series in addition to numerous units of the BMW i8 and F60 MINI Countryman.

BMW is not the only carmaker affected by battery issues. Around a week ago, Hyundai also issued a massive recall for thousands of its Kona EVs in South Korea over a potential fire risk. The recall was eventually expanded to include thousands of more Kona EVs in United States and other parts of the world to fix the issue.