BMW is known internationally for making some of the highest quality cars on the market. Their line of vehicles is built on speed and performance, and the thousands of drivers who purchase a BMW each year do so both for the impeccable design and the image boost driving a BMW offers. But some drivers have been experiencing issues with their vehicles in one important area: the ignition. Following wide reports of problems, BMW announced Monday their largest car recall in company history. Due to what may be an incorrectly mounted battery cable cover in the trunk, the company is recalling 1.3 million cars worldwide. To put it in perspective, that’s nearly the amount of cars the luxury manufacturer sold in the entirety of 2011.
The issue was first discovered when drivers would turn the ignition and find that nothing happens. BMW blames this faulty mounting system for the electrical malfunction. But beyond issues with the car starting, the problem could even potentially lead to the system catching fire. This is of course a problem that cannot be allowed to linger.
The BMW recall is on all 5-series and 6-series models built from 2003 to 2010. The company claims that less than 1% of all of those cars have shown this issue, and that to this point they have not had any reported fires, injuries or other accidents. Owners of the BMWs in question will receive a letter with all the information, and the following repair should take no more than 30 minutes. If you have a car that falls within the above categories, check out this page for the latest recall information.
The 1.3 million cars recalled are predominantly from first world countries. 368,000 of them are located in the United States. 293,000 of them are in Germany, 109,000 hail from Britain and 102,000 from China. The 5-series vehicles covered by the recall are BMW’s middle-of-the-road offerings. Prices in the United States start around $47,000, but go up to over $60,000 with all the extra amenities. The 6-series is one of BMW’s more upscale models. It comes either as a coup or a convertible, and the starting price is more than $70,000. Given the price of the vehicles and BMW’s overall sales strength, this shouldn’t be a terrible blow for the company. BMW sold more than 300,000 vehicles in this country alone last year. That places it firmly as the United States’ top luxury automobile brand. But the question this recall does raise is one of the quality of BMW’s vehicles.
Lexus has consistently been rated of higher quality. Not a single BMW has ranked in the top three of any category of judgement of luxury vehicles by J.D. Power and Associates, one of the world’s most respected voices on automobiles. Consumer Reports also posted a very negative review of the 328i earlier this month, suggesting they were not enthusiastic about the car or the buying experience. And BMW has never led the charge towards creating more fuel efficient cars. It’s clear the company will survive this setback, but consumers may take a closer look at the value the brand provides, perhaps bringing their business elsewhere in the future.