BMW is set to recall 312,000 cars in UK over fears their engines could cut out completely while they are being driven

BMW is set to recall 312,000 cars in UK over fears their engines could cut out completely while they are being driven
BMW is set to recall 312,000 cars in UK over fears their engines could cut out completely while they are being driven

BMW is set to recall 312,000 UK vehicles at risk of an electrical fault that has been linked to a fatal crash.

Daily Mail reports that the manufacturer will contact owners of the affected models – BMW 1 Series, 3 Series, Z4 and X1 petrol and diesel models made between March 2007 and August 2011 – in the next three weeks, a spokesman said.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) said last week BMW had failed to alert UK authorities to 19 cases of electrical faults in one of its models.

The fault sees the car’s battery lose its connection to the fuse box, meaning the car is left powerless and in danger of breaking down, with the driver unable to use the brake or hazard lights.

BMW described the fault as ‘a design of wiring configuration that means vehicle vibrations could potentially cause frictional corrosion on the plug of the power distributor.’

Former Gurkha soldier Narayan Gurung, 66, died on Christmas Day 2016 when he crashed his Ford Fiesta into a tree in Hampshire.

He had been swerving to avoid a BMW car which had cut out due to an electrical fault, an inquest in Woking, Surrey, was reportedly told.

But an investigation by BBC Watchdog Live found the issue could be in a wider number of vehicles than those covered by the original recall of 36,410 cars in 2017.

A BMW spokesman said: ‘Now we recognise the need to widen the recall to capture a larger cohort of cars. We are widening the net as a precaution.’

He added the fault could be fixed within two hours and involved replacing a plug.

The firm has not advised customers to stop driving the vehicles.

Mwape Kambafwile told the BBC he stopped driving his BMW 3 Series car after it cut out completely while he was driving in December 2016.

Narayan Gurung, 66, died after swerving to avoid a faulty BMW on Christmas Day in 2016

Narayan Gurung, 66, died after swerving to avoid a faulty BMW on Christmas Day in 2016

He said: ‘I just thought to myself if I was driving on the motorway with my family in the car, that could have been very dangerous.

‘I took it to BMW. The next day they called me to say they had found a fault, it looks like the cable had burnt out and no current was passing through the fuse box.

‘I felt so uncomfortable driving it that we took taxis, I walked to work every day. It was a nightmare, it wasn’t safe enough to drive.’

BMW allowed Mwape to take his vehicle home without, he says, any warning not to use it.

‘I felt so uncomfortable driving it that we took taxis, I walked to work every day. It was a nightmare, it wasn’t safe enough to drive.’

Mwape was furious to discover that petrol versions of the same car had been recalled for the same fault – while he was left shouldering the costs of repair himself.

In the programme, independent engineer Mike O’Sullivan is seen examining Mwape’s car to see if its parts are any different than those of the petrol model.

He says: ‘We can see that they’re using the same connector on both vehicles. It doesn’t look like there is any difference in the main connector to that fuse board.’

BMW recalled half a million cars in the US in 2013 to address the same problem, but did not act in the UK until after Gurung’s fatal accident.

Watchdog Live will air on Wednesday at 8pm on BBC One.

The programme features the case of Mwape Kambafile, whose BMW 3 Series car cut out completely while he was driving in December 2016


The programme features the case of Mwape Kambafile, whose BMW 3 Series car cut out completely while he was driving in December 2016

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Cat lover, Psychologist and a relationship expert. I love to write. Not a good fan of Donald Trump, I just Love America

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