BMW to recall 180,000 1 Series cars over air con fire risk

BMW is recalling 180,000 cars in the UK over fears that a fault with their air conditioning could lead to a fire.

The German car maker is in the process of writing to owners of 1 Series models altering them to the recall. However, due to a parts shortage, drivers may have to wait more than eight weeks before the problem is addressed.

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Why are cars being recalled?

BMW says that a problem with the air conditioning unit has the potential to cause overheating, damage and, in some rare cases, fire.

In a statement it explained: “Over time, frictional corrosion can occur at the contacts of the blower regulator due to vibrational stress. When combined with high current flow at the maximum blower speed, an increase in temperature can occur, which may result in damage to the regulator connection and wiring. In rare cases this may lead to a fire.

Cars are being recalled to dealers so the wiring to the regulator can be examined and replaced. In some cases, the regulator may also have to be replaced.

What models are affected?

The latest recall affects around 180,000 first-generation (E8x) BMW 1 Series cars built between 2004 and 2011.

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All registered keepers will be contacted by BMW to let them know if their car is affected but you can also check whether your car is part of the recall by entering your VIN on the BMW recall lookup tool here.

Due to a limited parts supply, owners are being notified now but will be contacted again in four to eight weeks to arrange a date for the remedial work to be carried out.

Is it safe to drive a car affected by the recall?

BMW says that owners can continue to use their car as normal as long as it does not display any of the following symptoms:

• Intermittent or complete loss of airflow from the air conditioning system including the max air conditioning or demist functions• Smell of scorching/burning within the vehicle cabin• Smoke within the vehicle cabin from the interior vents

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If you experience any of these issues you should stop using the car and contact BMW on 0808 1968815.

Owners are also advised not to use the “max” and demist settings on their air conditioning and owners with manual air conditioning have been told to leave the fan speed at its lowest setting.

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