Lemon Law News – Fire Risk Causes Widespread BMW Recall

Lemon Laws Protect BMW Owners

A widespread electrical problem forced BMW of North America (BMW) to recall more than 700,000 vehicles out of safety concerns.

The manufacturer sent the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) a safety recall report on Oct. 30, 2017 stating they will recall 740,561 vehicles including the 2008-2011 BMW 1 Series coupe, 2008-2011 BMW 1 Series convertible, 2007-2011 BMW 3 Series sedan, 2007-2011 BMW 3 Series wagon, 2007-2011 BMW 3 Series coupe, 2007-2011 BMW 3 Series convertible, 2007-2011 BMW 3 Series convertible, 2007-2011 BMW 5 Series sedan, 2007 BMW 5 Series wagon, 2007-2011 BMW X3 SAV, 2007-2011 BMW X5 SAV, 2007-20011 BMW Z4 Roadster and 2007-2008 BMW Z4 coupe.

The affected vehicles contain Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) valve heaters that may not have been built to specifications. The PCV valve incorporates a heating element consisting of a copper tube, continuously supplied by electrical current, and a Positive Temperature Coefficient (PTC) element, known as the PCV valve heater. The copper tube and the electrical contacts at the tube are coated with a plastic material that, because of irregularities in the manufacturing process, can allow moisture to occur and could lead to a short circuit.

The plastic coating can then overheat and smolder, generating enough heat to melt the plastic and increase fire risk.

BMW first learned of heat damage related to PCV valve heaters in 2009, after receiving reports of a 2007 BMW X5 SAV experiencing related problems. Engineers could not determine a root cause. The manufacturer received additional reports in 2010, and began collecting parts in 2011. Analysis from 2011 to 2012 through ultrasound, x-ray and microscopy techniques determined heater degradation could occur over time.

Additional analyses in 2016 and 2017 in conjunction with Transport Canada found vehicles younger than two years old or older than eight years old are unlikely to suffer the defect. The company decided to conduct a voluntary recall on Oct. 25, 2017.

BMW will notify owners and dealers will replace the PCV valve heater free of charge. The recall is expected to begin December 18, 2017. Owners may contact BMW customer service at 1-800-525-7417. BMW owners can also visit the NHTSA’s website and enter their VIN to see if their vehicle is included in any recalls.

Your vehicle’s manufacturer is legally required to fix any recalled problems for free. If the dealership refuses to fix the part or tries to charge you for the repair, contact the manufacturer immediately. The Highway Safety Act of 1970, which created the NHTSA, requires car manufacturers to pay for the recall and replacement of a defective part.

If the manufacturer fails to repair, replace, repurchase, or provide your recalled vehicle’s loss value, they are violating the warranty and a lawyer may be able to help you.

Lemon law attorneys help their clients by dealing directly with the manufacturer on the clients’ behalf, working to promptly resolve the issue and get their clients back on the road. Thanks to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, attorneys can seek their fees directly from the manufacturer, meaning a client can obtain legal counsel without having to pay attorneys’ fees directly out of pocket.

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