BMW recalling around 1 million cars in US over fire risks

German luxury carmaker BMW on Friday said it was recalling "approximately one million vehicles" in North America over two separate problems that posed fire risks, and did not rule out that more countries may be affected.

BMW recalling around 1 million cars in US over fire risks
A fleet of BMW electric cars in Los Angeles. Photo: DPA
The first voluntary recall affects certain BMW 3 Series models from 2006 to 2011, the company said in a statement.
The issue is related to potentially faulty wiring of the climate control blower fan which “in extremely rare cases” could cause a fire, it said. The second recall will address a problem with a heater valve in certain 2007-2011 BMW models equipped with a 6-cylinder engine.
“Irregularities in the manufacturing process could lead to corrosion and in extremely rare cases may lead to a thermal event,” the company said.
Both recalls are for some 700,000 cars each but because there are “a lot of overlaps” the total number of affected cars is around one million, spokesman Michael Rebstock told AFP.
Most of the recalls affect the United States, while some 15,000 cars are being recalled in Canada.
“We don't exclude” that other markets beyond the US and Canada could be subject to the same recall actions, the spokesman said, adding that BMW was already in talks with authorities in Europe.
“It must be seen if other countries could be considered,” he said.
The affected cars were produced in Spartanburg, South Carolina as well as in Germany, South Africa and several other countries, the spokesman said.
The mass recall is the latest setback to hit the German titan, after its Munich headquarters was raided by EU antitrust regulators late last month as part of a probe into alleged collusion between German carmakers.
News of the recalls barely affected BMW shares on Frankfurt's blue-chip DAX index however, with the manufacturer shedding 0.33 percent to close at €89.57.
Recalls in the US can potentially lead to major damages claims. Earlier this year, four automakers including BMW and Toyota agreed to pay $553 million (€476 million) to settle a US lawsuit over defective Takata airbags that were blamed for at least 16 deaths.


BMW to stop work in UK plant for two days due to Brexit

German luxury car manufacturer BMW will temporarily close its British plant in Oxford for two days around the current scheduled date for Brexit, a company executive revealed Tuesday.

BMW to stop work in UK plant for two days due to Brexit
Workers at BMW's mini-plant in Oxford. Photo: DPA

“The first concrete measures we have agreed with suppliers is (that) we
will not be producing on October 31st and November 1st,” BMW's chief finance officer Nicolas Peter told reporters at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

He said the decision was agreed with suppliers to “ensure the logistical
security” of the Oxford site, which produces the Mini brand models.

“We have prepared our processes for the Brexit, our systems are able to
cope,” assured Peter.

READ ALSO: German car parts maker to shut UK sites, citing Brexit

Despite a series of setbacks in Westminster, British Prime Minister Boris
Johnson has insisted he will not ask seek a new postponement to the UK's
withdrawal from the European Union, currently set for October 31st.

Like other car manufacturers with plants in the UK, BMW is preparing for
the prospect of a 'no-deal Brexit' and Britain's withdrawal from the EU
without a deal, which Peter warned could push prices up.

READ ALSO: Luxury German carmaker Porsche warns of Brexit price hike on UK cars

“A 'no-Deal' means that WTO (World Trade Organisation) tarifs will come
into force, which means an aggravated situation compared to the existing one,” he said.

“We would therefore have to increase prices in different markets,” if sales
and production decreased, he explained.

Other manufacturers have already warned of drastic consequences if Brexit goes badly.

Last month, Peugeot chief Carlos Tavares told the Financial Times that
production of Vauxhall and Opel Astra cars could be shifted to southern Europe from Ellesmere Port on Merseyside if Brexit has a negative impact on business.

READ ALSO: German business warns of Brexit 'chaos'