BMW, or Bavarian Motor Works, has become one of the “gold standard” car brands in America for its German engineering, style and classy designs. Sometimes though, it seems that a company like BMW will take a different attitude when defects are found in its cars. Most of us know that we aren’t perfect and that mistakes will be made, but some of us also may lack some humility to admit that we make mistakes, and that can sometimes do more harm than the original mistake.
BMW has had some recent trouble with humility, as we will touch on a couple of recent recalls by the company that have impacted more than 1 million of its vehicles.
This recall, announced in the fall of 2017, came with no admission of guilt by BMW, despite several incidents and a number of complaints. Amid mounting pressure from lawsuits and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), BMW relented and recalled 1 million of its vehicles of varying models over the last six model years due to more than 40 reported car fires.
While BMW not only denied an issue existed but blamed owners for not maintaining vehicles or taking them to unauthorized repair facilities, all of the car fires were traced to heating valves or heaters. Some of the vehicles caught fire after sitting idle for days!
Could you imagine a defect that seems minor but could render your car useless? BMW had spotted such a defect in 2016, but was forced to expand it in the spring of 2017 over an issue involving the driveshaft, which in the “right” circumstance could disable the vehicle and turn it into a lawn ornament.
The latest recall expansion covered more than 120,000 X5 and X6 model SUVs from model years 2011 to 2015 for the driveshaft issue, which would somehow allow water and debris into the universal joint on the front driveshaft. As these foreign entities get into that joint, it will wear out excessively fast and may ultimately fail. That would shut down the front weheels and turn the vehicle into a rear-wheel drive model. Extended use of the car with the broken joint may impact other parts of the car which may result in the vehicle being disabled.
Safety is Paramount
We buy a vehicle, expecting that it will transport us, family, and friends in a safe manner. We also should reasonably expect that if a defect is discovered, that steps will be taken to fix the issue. However, if you come across a defect with your BMW vehicle, you cannot assume that recall will come. Report the defect proactively and retain the services of one of our attorneys to defend your rights as a vehicle owner. You deserve safety, and it’s the automakers’ duty to ensure it.