BMW is recalling 3,431 i4 and iX electric vehicles because the sound generator used when backing up might fail. The recall applies to 2022-2023 BMW i4 eDrive40 (1,988 vehicles) and 2022-2023 BMW iX xDrive50 (1,443 vehicles). The recall affected BMW vehicles manufactured between November 11, 2021, and December 22, 2022.
According to BMW and NHTSA, “during vehicle start-up, the artificial sound generator control unit may experience a fault and fail to generate the external pedestrian warning sound.” As a consequence, the typical pedestrian noisemaker may not play.
Federal regulations require both hybrid and electric vehicles to emit sound through an artificial noisemaker when traveling at lower speeds to protect pedestrians. In the BMW i3 for example, that noise plays up to 18 mph. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard FMVSS 141, Section 5, known as “Minimum Sound Requirements for Hybrid and Electric Vehicles,” was passed on October 1, 2018, and required cars fitting that description to be equipped with noisemakers by September 1, 2020.
The notice says that the lack of noise while backing up was discovered in quality control checks at a BMW manufacturing facility. After analyzing the data, BMW says that it appears only the i4 eDrive40 models were affected. As for the iX, only the xDrive50 is included in this recall.
BMW owners are allowed to continue driving their vehicles but are asked to contact authorized dealers to schedule appointments after being contacted by BMW. Dealers will fix the recall through artificial sound generator software, which dealers will update themselves.