A design flaw with the potential to cause diesel BMWs to catch fire and even burn to the ground in a few select circumstances has prompted the automaker to launch a recall that has now been expanded from an initial 480,000 vehicles in southern Asia to approximately 1,600,000 around the globe. The model-year range of potentially affected vehicles is rather wide, and stretches from 2010 until 2017.
BMW is addressing the issue head-on at this point, and specifically states that the possible problem arises from glycol fluid leakage originating from the exhaust-gas recirculation (EGR) cooler. In essence, the cooling solution leaks from the small radiator-like device, and can, in rare circumstances, combine with soot deposits and the high temperatures commonly found within the exhaust system to form smoldering particles. These particles can lead to the intake manifold itself melting, or in a worst-case scenario, an engine fire.
This recall first made headlines earlier in the year after a string of fires in South Korea stoked suspicion. In the investigatory wake that followed, BMW has reported analyzing slightly different cases that were not included in the original campaign. According to the automaker, these cases posed no significant risks to owners, but they have been included in the now-expanded recall nonetheless.
At this point, no action is necessary. The risk of fire is calculated to be incredibly low, and although no immediate solution has been posted, BMW has promised to contact affected owners in the future, via the sales division and dealer network. Expect more details to follow in the future.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]