/ Motoring

BMW’s total recall – over-reacting or playing it safe?

BMW is the latest big name car maker to announce a mass recall, as 1.3m 5 Series and 6 Series models are set to be recalled worldwide. Is BMW right to take action, despite there only being a few reported incidents?

The recall, including 109,000 UK models, comes as a result of BMW’s internal research, testing and customer feedback which identified a small number of vehicles which may have an incorrectly mounted battery cable cover installed.

BMW says this ‘can result in the electrical system malfunctioning, the vehicle failing to start and, in some cases, to charring or fire.’

Small problem, big reaction?

Only nine incidents have been reported worldwide, none of which have resulted in accident or injury, so could this just be an over-reaction from BMW over a minor fault?

Owners of affected cars (going back to March 2003) can have the potential fault repaired, free of charge, at a BMW Partner repair workshop. But, in reality, how many customers will actually take up this opportunity? Anyone who bought their car new will probably think they’re safe, since if the car hasn’t been affected by this issue for the last nine years, why would it be now?

However, in a previous Conversation, commenter John H criticised BMW for being slow to take action in the past:

‘I think that we need a tough change to sort out manufacturers such as BMW and VW as both these manufacturers are very reluctant to admit any defects unless forced to do so.’

But now BMW has taken the initiative. And although I don’t own an affected model, I personally support BMW’s recall 100% and it’s good to see a manufacturer taking responsibility to ensure any faults identified in their products are fixed.

It’s even better to see BMW offering free repairs on models up to nine years old, not least because many of these cars will now be out of warranty.

So, do you think we should be pushing for voluntary recalls no matter how big or small the fault? Should we expect repair work to be done free of charge, even for cars out of warranty?

If you own one of the affected cars, BMW will call you in the coming weeks to arrange a visit to a dealer. Any concerned owners should contact BMW customer service on 0800 325600.

Comments
Profile photo of richard
Member

Frankly they will be damned if they do – or damned if they don’t

Member
David says:
2 April 2012

There could be a few reasons for the turn around in BMW’s policy of reluctant recalls, a genuine commitment up their game regarding recalls, a problem which under investigation is a lot worse than the company is at first letting on…….on the other hand it might be interesting to see how many of the lucky owners who get this first class service from BMW also get a subtle but tempting sales pitch during or after the recall is completed, times are hard and any means of getting potential customers back into dealerships (especially existing owners) would be grabbed with both hands.

But then I work in the industry and am a natural cynic!

Member
jackie says:
14 April 2012

What about the people who own one and went to the repair shop 4 times at 2000 a pop. After all of this I traded the model in. What about the money I lost. I called customer service at the bmw corp. They say I don’t quality for any reimbursement. This is not fair

Profile photo of sk19
Member

Hi guys,

I think BMW are rubbish……my car wouldn’t start a few weeks ago and I called the RAC who looked in the boot to find out the battery cable connecting to the battery was melting……they said they had never seen anything like it….they took it to a garage who called BMW to find out that it was a recall…..

when I called up they told me it hadn’t been confirmed as it was still very new so they had to send a technician to view the problem and if it was a recall they would take the car…..they took the car back to BMW and told me that it still wasn’t confirmed if it was a recall or not and that I would have to pay for the repairs….

I went to the dealership who told me I had to speak directly to BMW customer service as they gave the orders for all work like recalls to be done. I called customer service who told me my car was being reviewed and they were waiting for the managers to review all info…….one week later the branch of BMW called me to say that the problem was not part of the recall as the recall problem was the cable running to the boot….not the battery……and Customer service called me to say that it had been approaved…….

I told customer service what the branch had said and customer service called them and called me back to tell me that they had made a mistake and that it was NOT a recall…….

I thought the problem was the battery cable cover………….not the cable leading to the boot…………..

I don’t trust BMW at all……..