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BMW recall: Final numbers down to 33 000 affected cars

Technical campaign for some petrol-powered units – BMW.

PRETORIA – After final VIN numbers were received by BMW South Africa, the number of cars sold in South Africa affected by a recall was down to 33 000. BMW South Africa confirmed this number on Sunday and said these vehicles were affected by possible failure of the plug connector at the power distribution box. The problem has led to BMW recalling almost 570 000 cars in the United States and Canada, Sapa reports.

Guy Kilfoil, General Manager: Group Communications & Public Affairs for BMW South Africa, told Moneyweb that BMW is running a worldwide technical campaign for certain previous-generation petrol-powered 1 Series, 3 Series, Z4 and X1 models produced between March 2007 and July 2011. Although the original number expected for South Africa was higher, Kilfoil told Moneyweb that the final VIN number list indicated that only 33 000 vehicles in the country was affected and will need to have the plug connector at the power distribution box replaced.  Diesel-powered vehicles from these model series are not affected at all.

“In unfavourable conditions, vehicle vibrations can lead to frictional corrosion on the plug of the power distribution box, impairing the electrical supply to the vehicle. This could result in the doors not opening and the vehicle failing to start after parking.  In very extreme cases, the electrical system can fail and the engine may cut-out while travelling.  The driver is given advanced indication of this by flickering in the instrument panel and a short, noticeable decline in the engine power,” Kilfoil said.

He added that BMW South Africa was not aware of any incidents or injuries relating to this matter in South Africa. “Just as importantly, there is no fire risk,” he said.

To address this issue, BMW South Africa will begin notifying customers by means of written communication to have the improved plug concept, which prevents frictional corrosion, fitted at no cost to them.  Affected owners can contact the BMW Customer Care Centre on 0800 600 555 if they have any questions or concerns.

“There is no reason to panic and customers can continue driving their vehicles quite safely,” Kilfoil told Moneyweb.

BMW South Africa produces the BMW 3-series in Rosslyn, just north of Pretoria, with about 50% of the vehicles being exported to the United States and Canada. Kilfoil said some of the vehicles recalled in the US comes from South Africa, but it is not possible to say how many, as other models that are manufactured all over the world is also affected.

The BMW 3-series was the top selling luxury model in South Africa in 2012.

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