May 03, 2023

BMW Recalls Nearly 1 Million Cars For Valve Heater That Could Catch Fire

This recall supersedes two earlier campaigns in 2017 and 2019

Next month, BMW of North America will notify more than 917,000 owners of a potential issue with their car's positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) valve heater which may overheat, increasing the risk of a fire while driving or shortly after their vehicle's parked.

This campaign expands upon two earlier efforts in 2017 and 2019 to address the issue in certain BMWs, ranging between 2006 and 2011. Now, the automaker submitted documents to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to include vehicles as built as recently as October 2013 for the same issue.

According to the March 2022 safety report, "[Vehicles] contain a Positive Crankcrase Ventilation (PCV) valve heater (blow-by-heater) in which irregularities in the supplier production process could, over time, lead to overheating." The automaker contends that, due to suppliers not producing these parts to specification, the PCV valve heater may short circuit and increase the risk of a fire. Signs of a defective valve heater include a "Malfunction Indicator Lamp", as well as a burning plastic odor or smoke.

According to the chronology included in the NHTSA report, six field incidents were reported between early 2019 and late 2021. In January 2022, engineers closely examined the parts and concluded that production and process issues could cause unwanted variation, leading to PCV valve heater damage over time.

BMW initiated a voluntary recall to address the problem, and it said it was not aware of accidents or injuries at this time. The automaker notified dealers on March 2, and plans to notify owners beginning April 25, 2022. According to the documents, it is still working on a remedy to the issue, though you can check BMW's recall page or the NHTSA's site (recall number 22V-119) for more updates.

This recall expands two earlier campaigns in 2017 and 2019. BMW's recall affects the following vehicles: