BMW is conducting a voluntary safety recall involving nearly 505,000 vehicles in the Unites States over concerns that a battery connector cable can fail and cause engines to stall.

A notice on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) lists the number of vehicles potentially affected in the U.S. at 504,545. A report in The Detroit News and other media outlets says that another 65,000 vehicles in Canada are also affected by the recall.

Documentation from BMW (PDF) breaks down the recall population by model, manufacture date, and number of vehicles affected as follows:

The problem

At issue is a battery cable connection with a fuse box may degrade over time. This could cause the engine to fail to start, experience a momentary (less than one second) engine shutdown, or stall during operation, thus increasing the risk of a crash.

BMW became aware of the condition in July 2010 as a result of two field reports involving a 3-Series vehicle that failed to start. After subsequent additional reports were received for a no-start condition, BMW analyzed the situation and issued a service bulletin to dealers to address the issue.

In March 2012, Transport Canada submitted a public complaint to BMW of an alleged loss of electrical power and engine stall. Subsequent complaints and a warranty claim prompted BMW to intensively investigate and analyze the matter to determine a root cause and remedy.

To-date, BMW said it has received one report of an alleged accident that was provided by Transport Canada, but no reports of any injuries related to the issue.

What BMW will do

BMW will notify owners and dealers will replace the positive battery cable connector with an improved version, as well as secure the fuse box using a vibration-safe method. The service work will be performed at no charge. The BMW safety recall campaign is expected to begin during March 2013.

In the meantime, owners of BMW vehicles affected by the recall with any questions or concerns may contact BMW at 1-800-525-7417.

Alternatively, owners of vehicles involved in the campaign may contact NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or go to  Reference the NHTSA campaign ID No. 13V044000.


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