BMW i4 eDrive40, i4 M50, iX xDrive50 and iX M60 battery electric vehicles from 2022 have been withdrawn due to potential battery fire. Thankfully it’s a small population of just 83 vehicles at the moment. But BMW and the National Highway Traffic Safety Association advise owners not to drive their vehicles, not to park them in or near other vehicles and structures that could catch fire, and not to load them. It is possible that battery pack cells in affected populations suffered a defect during production. After a few accidents abroad and in the United States, a BMW investigation found that a cell’s cathode plate may have been damaged during the manufacturing of the cells. If the cathode debris breaks off inside the cell, it could cause a short circuit that results in a fire.
27 examples of the i4, 56 examples of the iX are recalled. BMW claims that it is not aware of any accidents or injuries resulting from the problem.
It looks similar to what happened to the Chevrolet Bolt battery packs. In Chevy’s case, a torn anode and a torn cell separator had the potential to short out the battery and cause a fire. And as with Chevrolet, the BMW batteries came from a supplier; BMW developed the cells at its Battery Competence Center, but Samsung SDI and CATL handle mass production. BMW claimed that the cells in question came from Samsung SDI.
Unlike the Bolt, however, authorities advise BMWs not to be driven or charged. The solution is a trip to the dealer for a new battery. BMW will not begin sending notification letters until September 19, but said it will immediately contact owners by phone. Those looking for more information before then can call BMW Customer Service at 800-525-7417 or contact the NHTSA at 888-327-4236 and mention the campaign number 22V541000. For some reason, at the time of writing, the NHTSA site does not list the iX recall, only the i4. Owners can refer to the i4 recall documents or visit the NHTSA recall site and enter their VINs to check the status of their electric vehicles. The automaker also said it “will provide owners with alternative transportation until parts are available.”
It’s the second recall in two months for i4 and iX. In June, EVs were called in for a potential software glitch in the driver display when the vehicles were put into Valet mode.