BMW will be issuing a recall for over 19,000 i3 REx (range-extended) cars towards the beginning of April due to concerns about fuel vapors potentially starting fires, according to recent reports.
The issue, according to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is that the BMW i3 REx’s fuel tank can rub up against the wire protection sleeve of the battery-positive cable (which is ribbed), and that over time the vent line may wear and lead to the formation of a hole, which fuel vapors could then enter the engine compartment through.
This scenario would obviously represent a serious fire risk, hence the planned recall.
To explain the situation to those unfamiliar with the model, the BMW i3 REx version of the all-electric i3 that is equipped with a range extender, which uses a 0.65-liter two-cylinder gasoline engine to charge the battery pack. As the BMW i3 features a fairly limited all-electric range, the REx option is a way of getting people who otherwise wouldn’t buy one (those with a need for greater range) to do so.
Green Car Reports provides more:
“BMW has received no reports of accidents or injuries related to this issue, which was discovered by a dealer who noticed unusual wear on the vent line. …
“The recall is expected to begin April 3, at which time BMW will notify owners of when to take their cars into dealerships, where any necessary fixes will be performed free of charge.
“Technicians will inspect the vent line and replace it if necessary, as well as install a clip to prevent it from rubbing against the ribbed battery-cable sleeve.”
The recall will encompass every model year that’s been sold in the US (2014 through 2017) — altogether relating to 19,130 BMW i3 REx units.
The recall of course doesn’t affect all-electric versions of the BMW i3.
Those wanting more information on the recall can find it at the NHTSA’s Safercar.gov website or by calling the NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (reference safety campaign #17V088000). The option is also there to contact BMW directly, but the NHTSA could well be a better source of information.
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