BMW plug-in hybrids in NZ hit with fire-risk recall

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Words: Matthew Hansen
20 Oct 2020

A selection of electrified 2020 model year BMW models around the world have been recalled over concerns of foreign matter entering battery cells and causing potential “thermal events”, or fires.

Over 26,000 plug-in hybrid BMW vehicles have been impacted by the recall worldwide, including the 3 Series, 5 Series X3, X5, and Mini Countryman.

“The high voltage battery may not have been produced according to specifications,” BMW said in an overseas statement.

“During battery cell production at the supplier, debris may have been able to enter one or more battery cells. As a result, this could lead to short-circuit. In rare cases, the short-circuit could lead to a thermal event which could increase the risk of an injury.”

The firm’s local distributor has confirmed that a small number of BMW X5s and Mini Countryman models in New Zealand have been affected by the recall, adding that all customers have been contacted and the inspection process has begun.

“BMW Group New Zealand has commenced a voluntary safety recall to check electric componentry of eleven customer PHEV vehicles in NZ. This includes five PHEV Mini Countryman and six BMW X5s," said a BMW spokesperson. 

“The decision to conduct a safety recall in New Zealand was made after discovering a particular batch of batteries found in these models have the potential to malfunction. However, there has been no incident of malfunction in New Zealand to date.

“Owners of affected vehicles have been contacted to inform them of the recall and loan vehicles have been provided while their vehicle currently undergoes a quality inspection.

“The safety of our customers and other road users remains our number one priority.”

The firm added that any customers concerned about if their car is affected can visit an online registry and enter their car’s 17-digit VIN number to see if the recall applies to them. Owners can visit this website by clicking here.

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