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BMW Expands Fire Risk Recall to 1.6 Million Cars Worldwide

The German automaker claims that smoldering particles could melt the intake manifold or ignite a fire.

BMW announced Tuesday that it will increase the scope of a recent recall, citing that over 1.6 million diesel-powered vehicles worldwide are susceptible to an increased risk of fire due to a cooling problem found with its Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system.

Initially limited to 480,000 vehicles sold in Europe and Asia markets, BMW has recognized that the recall (which it calls a “technical campaign”) affects far more vehicles than initially anticipated. It estimates that around 1.6 million vehicles are potentially affected and deems the culprit of the combustion to be the leakage of coolant from a cooling system designed for its EGR, which, when mixed with built-up carbon deposits can result in “smoldering particles.”

The extensive recall was expanded due to concerns that said particulates could result in melting of the intake manifold, or in extremely rare cases ignite a fire. South Korea issued a mandatory driving ban for over 27,000 BMWs earlier this year over similar fires which may have sparked the initial recall.

Although there are legitimate reasons to cause a voluntary recall, BMW words the campaign in such a way to stymie customer panic. The automaker notes that the recall is primarily present so it can ensure that owners continue to trust BMW. As of now, the vehicles affected will be brought in for inspection to further assess the extent of the problem and make the determination if any further action is necessary. Last November, over 1 million of BMW’s 3 Series sedans and coupes were recalled over a fire risk.

“Nonetheless the BMW Group decided to further reduce even this minor risk by expanding the country-specific technical campaigns,” said the automaker in a statement regarding the recall. “It is the goal of BMW Group to support the trust and confidence of our customers in our products.”

Currently, the recall only affects diesel-powered vehicles produced between August 2010 and August 2017. Other affected models have not yet been announced, though it was noted that the exact production timeframe may be different depending on the model, insinuating that the range of vehicles may be fairly broad and focused on a modular EGR design that may have been implemented powerplant-wide. BMW goes on to tell owners to expect a legally-required mailer should their vehicle be affected by the recall.