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BMW recalls more than 300,000 cars over safety concerns – is yours affected?

BMW has extended its recall after it admitted other models might have a similar electrical fault linked to fatal crash

BMW is recalling 312,000 cars – petrol and diesel versions of the BMW 1 Series3 Series, Z4 and X1 made between March 2007 and September 2011.

The German car manufacturer says it is contacting owners of the affected models over the next three weeks.

The recall comes after Narayan Gurung was killed when he swerved to avoid a BMW that had suffered a total power failure caused by a break in the electrical connection between the battery and fuse box.

Update (8 June 2018):

The coroner in the BMW inquest has concluded that the manufacturer was aware of a safety defect that led to the death of Narayan Gurung. She also criticised the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency over its response.

Alex Neill, Which? managing director of home products and services, said: ‘It’s clear the car recall system doesn’t work effectively. The DVSA and car manufacturers should be making the safety of road users a priority and there should be no delays in getting vehicles that have safety issues taken off the road and repaired immediately.

‘The Government must ensure that the DVSA has the powers that it needs to hold manufacturers to account and protect people from the dangers of unsafe vehicles.’

BMW said: ‘This was a tragic accident and we again express our sincere condolences to Mr Gurung’s family.

‘Safety is of paramount importance to BMW – nothing comes before this. We need to reflect on what the coroner has said this morning, including her observations about the code of practice.

‘Whilst BMW considers that it has followed all the processes required by the relevant regulations, we recognise the need for the automotive industry to review relevant processes and procedures.’

Following the fatality, more than 36,000 petrol cars were recalled via the Driver and Vehicle Standards Authority (DVSA). That recall has now been extended to 312,000 vehicles.

You can read the full story about the previous BMW car recall and the fatality in our news story.

Is my BMW affected?

If you think you own one of the models mentioned built between March 2007 and September 2011, immediately check with your local BMW dealer or with BMW directly.

If you are affected, your car will be fixed free of charge. We have a free product safety recalls guide, which explains your rights if a product is recalled because of a safety issue.

If you’re not totally sure whether your car is part of the recall, you can use the government’s vehicle recall tool. Launched in February, new service by the DVSA allows consumers to check if their car has any outstanding recalls on it.

We’ve tested thousands of cars for reliability and safety, including BMW cars. See all of our expert, independent new and used car reviews.

BMW recall extended

This recall issue is not a new one as complaints were made to BMW in 2011 – our timeline below shows how it’s unfolded.

Last week, the Chief Executive of the DVSA said that BMW did not make it aware of 19 cases of electrical failure between 2011 and 2014.

BMW is required to do this under the General Product Safety Regulations so the DVSA can make a decision about requesting a recall.

But BMW only recalled 36,410 cars in April 2017 – four months after Mr Gurung’s death.

DVSA chief executive, Gareth Llewelyn said: ‘[BMW] provided us with incorrect information about the faults, so we were not able to make an informed decision.

‘However, after examining the growing evidence, DVSA contacted BMW in December 2016 to ask it to conduct a full safety recall of the affected vehicles.’

When asked by the BBC about this, BMW said it had worked with the DVSA and rejected suggestions it had ignored instructions or provided incorrect information.

BMW added: ‘We now recognise that there may have been some cases of similar power supply issues in vehicles not covered by the original recall.

‘In order to reassure customers with concerns about the safety of their vehicles, we are voluntarily extending the recall.’

Car safety recalls

Which? managing director of home products and services, Alex Neill, said: ‘This recall from BMW raises serious questions about the adequacy of the car recall system in this country.

‘This recall from BMW raises serious questions about the adequacy of the car recall system in this country. Drivers will be asking why it took so long for BMW to fully recall these potentially dangerous cars in the UK, several years later than recalls around the same fault in a number of other countries.

‘The Government must ensure that the DVSA has the powers that it needs to hold manufacturers to account and protect road users from the dangers of unsafe vehicles.’

We’re campaigning to make sure product safety recalls work better for consumers, so no one is unknowingly living with a dangerous product. Sign our safety recalls petition – more than 90,000 have already pledged their support.

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