BMW has initiated a significant recall campaign, encompassing nearly all its diesel model series from 2021 and 2022, due to a fire hazard, as reported by the automotive publication Auto Motor und Sport. The recall affects nearly 800,000 vehicles worldwide. The root of the problem lies in the potential for glycol coolant to escape from defective exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) coolers. This leakage, when combined with soot accumulation and high temperatures, can lead to the glycol mixture catching fire, posing a severe risk of vehicle combustion in extreme cases.

This issue first gained attention in December 2020, when Auto Motor und Sport revealed a then-unknown recall of 500,499 vehicles across nearly all BMW series. This recall includes diesel models from the one to seven series, as well as the X1, X3, X4, and X5, indicating a widespread issue across the brand’s lineup. The engine affected are N47, N57 and B47 diesels.

BMW has acknowledged that prior corrective actions were inadequate, leading to continued instances of EGR cooler leaks and the rare but dangerous outcome of vehicle fires. A BMW spokesman told Auto Motor und Sport the measures implemented in the meantime were not sufficient. An optimized cooler unit has only been used since 2022, which, according to AMS, even comes from a different supplier than the problematic parts of the past.  This ongoing issue has prompted increased scrutiny from the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA), which now exercises more active oversight over the recall process, extending its focus to include non-safety-related products. Owners of the affected vehicles are being directly contacted by BMW for workshop visits to address the fire risk.

There is no additional information for the North American market, but in 2021, BMW USA recalled 50,404 of the following vehicles that come equipped with an Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) module with an integrated cooler:

  • Model year 2013-2018 328d, 328d xDrive,
  • Model year 2014-2018 328d Sports Wagon, 328d xDrive Sports Wagon,
  • Model year 2014-2016 535d, 535d xDrive,
  • Model year 2015 740Ld xDrive,
  • Model year 2015-2017 X3 xDrive28d SAV, and
  • Model year2014-2017 X5 xDrive35d SAV diesel.

[Source: Motor Press Stuttgart via BimmerToday]