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by Tim Beissmann

BMW has been forced to recall about 750,000 vehicles around the world over a defect with the cars’ battery cable connectors that can cause the engine to stall.

The recall – the second-largest in the German car maker’s history – affects BMW 1 Series, 3 Series, X1 and Z4 models manufactured between March 2007 and July 2011.

Approximately 570,000 of the defective vehicles were sold in North America, as well as roughly 100,000 in Japan and 50,000 in South Africa.

BMW Australia has confirmed 17,500 local vehicles are affected by the recall, including variants of the current-generation 1 Series coupe and convertible, X1 crossover and Z4 sports car, and variants of the previous-generation 1 Series hatch and the 3 Series sedan, wagon, coupe and convertible.

The official recall notice published by the US Government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) describes the defect, explaining the connector for the positive battery cable connector and the corresponding terminal on the fuse box may degrade over time.

“The high current flow and heat from electrical resistance may lead to a breakage of the connection, and a loss of electrical power to the vehicle.

“If there is a loss of electrical power to the vehicle, the vehicle may unexpectedly stall, increasing the risk of a crash.”

BMW Australia is contacting owners of affected vehicles by mail to alert them to the issue and assist them in arranging a time to have the recall service completed. It says the recall, which involves replacing the positive battery cable connector, should take about two hours.

The battery-related defect follows a separate recall of the BMW X5 announced earlier this week. That action – related to a defect with the cars’ brake boosters – affects 60,000 vehicles worldwide, including 1600 local cars.




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