Considered by many as the ultimate status symbol and by others as a great example of the astounding ingenuity of German engineering, it seems BMW has let consumers down on multiple fronts. BMW is now recalling more than a million luxury cars over fears of fire amid dire warnings to park outside until repairs have been made.

The current recall effort affects all 3 series and all 6 cylinder model cars and SUVs built from 2006 to 2011 due to the risk of fires under the hood. Repairs are expected to begin on December 18 as parts are made available for distribution for the two separate recalls.


The first recall for BMW 3 Series models from 2006 to 2011 has an issue related to potentially faulty wiring of the climate control blower fan which according to the company could cause a fire “in extremely rare cases” according to statements from the company.

The BMW in Brookhaven, Georgia was quickly engulfed in flames as police looked on

The second recall effort is to address a problem with a heater valve in certain 2007-2011 BMW models equipped with a 6-cylinder engine. According to a statement from the company, “Irregularities in the manufacturing process could lead to corrosion and in extremely rare cases may lead to a thermal event.” The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that a heater for the positive crankcase ventilation valve can overheat and cause the valve to melt.  This can increase the risk of a fire even when the vehicle is NOT in use.  Dealers are being sent parts to completely replace the heater in affected models.

According to BMW spokesman Hector Arellano-Belloc –


“The heater is designed to prevent the valve from freezing in cold temperatures  but irregularities in manufacturing can cause corrosion can lead to overheating. “


  • Model Years 2006-2011 – 323i, 325i, 325xi, 328i, 328xi, 330i, 330xi, 335i, 335xi and M3
  • Model Years 2007-2011 – 328i, 328xi, 328i xDrive, 525i, 525xi, 528i, 528xi, 530i, 530xi, X3 3.0si, X3 xDrive30i, X5 xDrive30i, Z4 3.0i, Z4 3.0si, Z4 sDrive30i, 335i xDrive and 335is
  • Model Years 2008-2011 – 128i
  • Model Years 2009-2011 – 335d

More than 40 parked BMWs that are not under an open recall have caught fire in the US over the past five years, according to a new report out Thursday 

The vehicles affected were produced in a variety of locations including Germany, South Africa, and here in the United States in Spartanburg, South Carolina, along with others. This recall comes just six months after an investigative report released by ABC News back in May of 2017 which found more than 40 cases of BMWs catching fire while not in use and parked over the past five years. The seemingly inexplicable fires ranged a variety of years and models some of which with price tags of more than $100,000.


Originally, BMW denied “any pattern related to quality or component failure” and continues to maintain that of the 4.9 million vehicles on the road in the US, the fire incidents are very rare. The consequences of the sudden and dramatic fires have left dozens of drivers deprived of their means of transportation and even left one man homeless as the car caught fire in his garage, burning his home down.

A parked 2012 BMW X6 is seen engulfed in flames in Delray Beach, Florida in July 2015

In December 2015, Bill Macko and his wife were inside their home located in Olney, Maryland after parking their 2008 BMW X5 in the garage after a short drive.  The vehicle originally retailed for $46,200 when purchased new. Macko was a lifetime BMW enthusiast and this was his 7th such BMW to own. Macko tells of walking into the garage after smelling something strange and hearing a “snap, crackle, pop” as he entered.

The car burst into flames, and Macko and his wife ran out of the house.  The Mackos were forced to watch firefighters battle as flames engulfed and gutted their home.  Some sixteen months later, the Mackos are still staying with family with no idea when they will be able to return and rebuild their home.

John Minkhe of Sweden said his BMW X5 burst into flames a few minutes after his wife and children switched off the engine and got out of the car

Yet another incident in Westchester County, New York, the owner of a 2003 BMY told fire crews the car had been sitting parked for some three or four days prior to bursting into flames.  Mamaroneck Fire Chief Tracey Schmaling found that more than “a little peculiar.”

This massive recall marks more trouble for the German auto giant coming just after its Munich, Germany headquarters was raided by EU antitrust regulators just last month as part of an investigation into alleged collusion between German carmakers.

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