Every Electric BMW Gets a Recall, Again

Every BMW electric vehicle sold in the U.S. is in a new recall for a second time. This includes the i4 four-door coupe, iX SUV, and BMW’s flagship i7 sedan. And only a few months ago BMW issued a recall for the i4 over fire hazards and the iX for its post-Takata airbags. Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz have also struggled with their own EVs, leading to questions about whether German EVs are completely ready for prime time.

What is this latest BMW recall for?

A silver-gray BMW iX M60 all-electric luxury SUV model driving under darkening clouds
The BMW iX M60 | BMW Group

The problem is with the ECU, which is the brain for all EV controls. Drivers experience a temporary loss of power whether driving or idling. It affects both 2022 and 2023 i4, i7, and iX models built between October 14, 2021, and October 28, 2022. 

That’s a total of a bit over 14,000 vehicles. The i7s with a loss in power amounts to only 38. That’s because so few were made and sold. “A misdiagnosis can sporadically occur within the battery management electronics, which could cause the electronic control unit to reset,” the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says. “If a reset occurs, this could cause an interruption of electrical power.”

Notification letters to owners go out on February 10. Owners will need to go to their local BMW dealer to have the ECU software updated at no charge. And BMW says it is not aware of any accidents because of the ECU glitch.

What was the previous BMW EV recall over?

The BMW logo on the company's headquarters located in Bavaria, Munich, Germany
The BMW logo on the company’s headquarters | Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty

In mid-2022, BMW recalled several models of its EVs over high voltage batteries having internal damage. This could result in an electrical short circuit, which in turn, could cause a fire. The NHTSA said owners should not charge or drive their cars until repairs were made.

Around the same time as the previous recall, BMW hybrid models saw a recall involving the Central Information Display. The problem resulted in the possibility of warning messages and warning lights not displaying. BMW did an update of the head unit software to correct the problem. 

Here are a few more recalls for 2022

A 2023 BMW iX driving down a city street
The 2023 BMW iX | BMW
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The 2020 BMW X5 has an Absurd Number of Recalls

Two other BMW recalls of note in 2022 were for fuel leaks and the mechatronics unit causing issues with the automatic transmission. Fuel rails were cracking from pressure in certain 2022 X1, xDrive 281, X3 xDrive 30i, and 228i Gran Coupes, potentially causing fires. 

As for the automatic transmission issues, the mechatronics unit in the automatic transmissions of certain 2022 3301, 530i, X3 xDrive 30i, and X4 xDrive 30i vehicles, was the focus. It can cause internal transmission fluid leaks, which could lead to roll-away.  

In all of 2022, BMW overall had 19 recalls affecting over one million vehicles according to Forbes. That placed it in ninth place for the most recalls, above Nissan but below Tesla, Hyundai, and Kia. Mercedes Benz was number four with 33 recalls, and Volkswagen came in second with 45. The worst brand for recalls was Ford with 67.