BMW fears potential failure of thousands of PHEVs

BMW is recalling thousands of plug-in hybrids and halting the delivery of eleven different models affected. Car owners are asked not to recharge their cars.

As BMW confirmed at the request of the German magazine auto motor und sport, the problem regards PHEV models of the BMW 3 Series, 3 Series Touring, X1, X2, X3, X5, 2 Series Active Tourer, 7 Series, 5 Series and 5 Series Touring as well as Mini Countryman.

It became clear during internal inspections that welding beads on the high-voltage storage tank were not completely removed during production. This includes all of the above-named models from the component period 13 March to the 6 August 2020.

Also, readers have already reported that BMW dealerships have been called informing them of the situation. According to BMW, owners of the affected vehicles are currently being individually informed.

“The technical action will be started shortly and will initially involve checking the high-voltage storage for vehicles already in customer’s hands with regard to the charging history and, if necessary, further measures,” a BMW spokesperson told Auto Motor und Sport. The recall will affect around 1,000 vehicles in Germany and globally this will affect a total of 4,460 BMW plug-in hybrids.

Before owners can get their cars checked and repaired where necessary, they are being advised not to try and charge their semi-electric cars but to exclusively use their cars’ combustion engines. “In rare cases – depending on the shape, size and position of the welding bead – the contamination during the initial charging process could cause a malfunction, such as a short circuit in the high-voltage memory,” explains BMW.

BMW is not the only carmaker experiencing issues with half-hearted electric cars. Ford stopped sales of the Kuga PHEV (named Escape in the USA) due to concerns about overheating of the batteries a few days ago as reported. Estimates indicate that up to 27,000 cars worldwide are affected.

With reporting by Stefan Köller, Munich. (in German)


about „BMW fears potential failure of thousands of PHEVs“
Jyoti Chattopadhyaya Prof Dr
12.10.2020 um 09:46
We potential customers of BMW X5 45e need to be updated asap regarding its trustworthiness of its battery. It's an expensive car but is it really technically sound. Apparently Not? Kindly update
Les Wallace
13.05.2021 um 17:39
my BMW X5 45e suffered a complete systems shut down. The vehicle was completely dead. Even the recovery service could not jump start the petrol engine. BMW have identified or so they think the problem is the high voltage side of the system and are presently replacing one of the 96 cells. They have no idea why the petrol drive battery was also shut down. The vehicle has been with the dealership service dept for 2 weeks and they are still scratching their heads. This is our 5th X5 and by far the worst ever. We have lost complete confidence in the vehicle. Model is a 2020 and UK spec
Mike Noble
04.09.2021 um 22:50
Hi Les, we have experienced exactly the same issue by the sounds of things; car is completely dead and can’t be started (or locked!). Was towed away to the dealer 4 days ago and they’ve raised a ticket with BMW in Germany for assistance; was your car ever fixed to your satisfaction? Having now seen so many posts on the internet about e45’s failing we are now wishing we hadn’t bought the car!

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