BMW has issued a safety recall 136,188 cars in the U.S. for vehicle defects that could cause fuel leaks and engine stalling. According to news reports and filings with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), certain 2007-2012 BMW models have faulty fuel pumps with wiring that may be “insufficiently crimped.” This can increase electrical resistance on the pins and melt the surrounding plastic.
When this occurs, gasoline may leak during refueling or while the car is turning. The fuel pump may itself fail leading to stalls or the engine failing to start. Some of the affected models include 2007–2011 X5, 2008–2011 X6, 2010–2011 5-series Gran Turismo, 2011–2012 5-series, and 2012 6-series. Findings show that BMW did not think this was a safety defect until it began reviewing warranty claims in June, five years after it first discovered the problem when owners were complaining about gasoline odors inside their cars.
For several years, BMW maintained that it was sufficient to let dealers fix the fuel pumps only when consumers reported odors or when the “check engine” light came on. Months later, BMW was forced to recall cars in China, Japan and Korea for the same problem. BMW has also said U.S. owners have reported stalling and an inability to restart their engines as a result of this safety defect.
Both stalling and fuel leaks pose serious hazards to vehicle occupants. Stalling could result in the vehicle suddenly stopping on the roadway increasing the risk of crashes and injuries. When fuel leaks in the vehicle, there is the danger of fires, explosions and serious burn injuries. If you own one of these recalled vehicles, it would be in your best interest to take your vehicle to the dealer to complete the repairs right away. If you are not sure if your vehicle is included in the recall, visit NHTSA’s website at safercar.gov and enter your vehicle identification number or VIN to find out.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of these or other vehicle defects, it is important that you preserve your car so it can be thoroughly examined by an expert for evidence of defects, malfunctions and design flaws. Injured victims of defective autos can seek compensation from negligent automakers for injuries, damages and losses. An experienced auto product liability attorney can help victims and families better understand their legal rights and options.