BMW has issued a recall for the i4 and iX electric vehicles due to a potential risk for battery fires.
For now, only a total of 83 vehicles are part of the recall, which includes 2022 BMW i4 eDrive40 and i4 M50 and 2022-2023 BMW iX xDrive50 and iX M60. BMW and the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) advise owners of affected vehicles not to charge them, drive them or park them inside or near other vehicles and structures that could catch on fire.
"Affected vehicles are not to be driven or charged and to be parked away from any buildings."
NHTSA recall notice
The reason for that is that the battery pack cells in these vehicles could have suffered a defect during manufacturing. A BMW investigation triggered by a few incidents in the US and overseas found that a cell's cathode plate might have been damaged when the cells were made. If cathode debris gets loose inside the cell, it could cause a short circuit that results in a fire.
In total, 27 BMW i4 and 56 iX EVs produced between November 22, 2021 and July 30, 2022 are being recalled. The automaker said the cells at issue came from its supplier Samsung SDI and it is not aware of any accidents or injuries derived from the issue. The fix to the issue is to replace the battery pack with a new one, which can be done at a dealer.
BMW developed the cells for the i4 and iX at its Battery Competence Centre, but mass production is handled by Samsung SDI and CATL.
This recall sounds quite similar to what happened to the Chevrolet Bolt battery packs, in which a torn anode and a torn cell separator had the potential to short circuit the battery and cause a fire. The fault in that case also lied with the battery cell supplier, LG. Here's hoping that this recall doesn't become as ample as the Bolt EV/EUV recall.
BMW will mail notification letters to owners starting September 19, but said it will contact them by phone immediately. The automaker will "provide owners with alternate transportation until parts become available."
This is the second recall in two months for the i4 and iX after BMW called the EVs in for a potential software glitch in the driver's display when the vehicles were put into Valet Mode.