BMW recalls certain 2022 i4 sedans and iX SUV due to battery fire risk
BMW has issued a recall for some of its 2022 i4 sedans and iX SUVs due to the risk of a battery fire. It is stated that the voltage battery “may have internal damage” which could lead to an electrical short. This recall affects 83 vehicles in the United States.
The automaker advises owners not to drive them and to keep vehicles away from other vehicles and structures. It could catch fire and the vehicle should not be loaded either. Battery replacement will be free of charge.
The recall was issued after BMW became aware of “a non-US field incident involving a 2022 BMW i4 eDrive40” last April. Technical analysis revealed that debris, specifically cathode pieces, were seeping into the battery cell. Two other “incidents” were reported in June, one in the US involving a 2022 iX xDrive50 and the other outside the country involving a 2022 iX M60. Both were found to have debris in the battery cell, which is supplied by Samsung SDI.
BMW claims to have received no reports of accidents or injuries as a result of the battery fault. “Fortunately, the recall affects a very small number of vehicles,” BMW spokesperson Jay Hanson said in an email, according to The Verge. “And our customer relations team has already proactively contacted all owners of the affected vehicles to provide information and assistance.”
The BMW i4 and iX are the latest electric vehicles to be recalled. Ford issued a recall earlier this summer for 49,000 Mustang Mach-E SUVs over concerns that a safety defect could render the vehicle immobile. The Toyota bZ4X was recalled when it was discovered that loose hub bolts could cause the wheels to come off while driving. Other EVs have also been recalled for various software bugs and other minor issues.
Battery fires, while rare, remain a major concern for electric vehicle manufacturers. More data is needed, but researchers have determined that the vast majority of electric vehicles pose a low risk of battery fires. However, when fires do occur, electric vehicles powered by lithium-ion batteries burn hotter, faster, and require more water to extinguish, a fact that has led some cities to retrain their emergency responders when such incidents occur.
The most serious incident involved the Chevy Bolt, which was recalled after GM reported at least 19 battery fires due to faulty cells from supplier LG. The automaker was forced to temporarily halt production after a software fix failed to prevent several more fires. Chevy resumed production earlier this year after installing new batteries.