BMW is recalling some of its 3 Series, 5 Series and Z4 cars from the 2006 model year because of concerns that an electrical short could lead to fires. According to Consumer Reports, the problem, which could potentially impact 184,505 vehicles, has been traced to production irregularities in the heating element for the positive crankcase ventilation valve, a part that is used to keep that system from freezing. The valve also keeps pollutants created by the engine from being released into the atmosphere and keeps the engine oil clean.
According to documents provided by BMW to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the electrical contacts of the valve heater are coated with a plastic material and irregularities in the manufacturing process could allow moisture to occur near the valve heater, leading to a short circuit. BMW says these problems are very rare.
Nevertheless, the company is warning customers to stop driving the vehicle if there is smoke coming from the engine compartment or if the driver smells smoke or burning plastic. When the recall begins, dealers will replace the valve heater at no charge to consumers. The repair work could take up to two hours. Anyone with questions is urged to call BMW customer service at 1-800-525-7417.
The Danger of Vehicle Fires
A number of vehicle fires occur as a result of defective manufacturing or a design flaw. If you have been injured in a car fire, it would be in your best interest to preserve the vehicle in its current condition so the vehicle can be inspected by a qualified expert for all evidence including defects, bad parts and faulty design. If it is determined that the accident resulted from a mechanical malfunction or a defective auto part, then, the automaker or product manufacturer may be held accountable.
Injured victims of defective autos can seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation and other related damages. Families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for damages including medical expenses, funeral costs and lost future income. An experienced auto defect lawyer can help you gain a better understanding of your legal rights and options and help you secure maximum compensation for your losses.