A serious battery issue potentially affecting a subset of BMW and Mini plug-in hybrid vehicles has led BMW to issue a stop-sale to its dealers and an accompanying recall.
In the recall documentation filed to the federal government Sept. 3 and posted by NHTSA on Monday, BMW pointed to 713 vehicles sold in the U.S. potentially affected by the issue—although it appears that as few as one of the vehicles had already been delivered.
The recall includes 22 2021 BMW 330e plug-in hybrid sedans, 43 2021 BMW X5 xDrive45e plug-in hybrid SUVs, 4 2021 Mini Countryman SE All4 plug-in hybrid crossovers, and 644 2020-2021 BMW X3 xDrive30e plug-in hybrid SUVs.
This is the same issue that was confirmed by BMW AG last month, affecting nearly 4,500 vehicles shipped to various global markets.
According to BMW of North America, welding beads might not have been removed from within the battery pack, and in an inspection, welding residue was found between modules.
Tolerances within battery packs tend to be tight, which prompted BMW’s recall and stop-sale order.
2020 Mini Cooper Countryman S E All4
“During initial charging to at least approximately 80% of full charge, and depending upon the size, shape, and position of the bead(s), and bead(s) could form a conductive path between the cells which could lead to a short-circuit,” BMW said in its filing. Elsewhere, it spells out the cause for safety concern: “A short-circuited hybrid battery may increase the risk of a fire.”
BMW dealers will inspect the battery pack and, if necessary, replace faulty modules for free
In an earlier filing on the matter, BMW reported that “the one affected owner has been contacted by phone,” with arrangements to have the remedy performed. Other affected vehicles are likely either in transit or in dealership stock.
Dealer notification began Aug. 18, and vehicles that have passed the inspection might be back for sale soon, if not already.