BMW Recalling IX, I4, and I7 EVs Over Battery Issues

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

bmw recalling ix i4 and i7 evs over battery issues

BMW has issued a recall on certain 2022-2023 iX, i4, and i7 electric vehicles over a claimed “misdiagnosis” in the high-voltage battery management electronics system. Based on documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the likelihood of a vehicle suffering from the issue is supposedly rare. However, an estimated one percent of recalled models run the risk of erroneously resetting the control unit, resulting in a loss of electrical power.

Additionally, BMW has a much smaller recall that comes with a potential fire hazard and is exclusive to the i4 and iX.

The first recall impacts just over 14,000 units located in the United States with the manufacturer attributing the issue to software problems. As of now, there doesn’t appear to be a fix in place. In fact, it doesn’t really seem like BMW has a clear idea of what the problem even is and is simply attributing this to a software mishap in order to buy itself some time.

In the relevant documents, BMW avoids saying anything too concrete – stating that the battery electronic control unit software simply “may not perform as intended.”

Regardless, losing electric power on a vehicle that’s wholly reliant on electricity for motive power is a serious problem. The manufacturer noted that the situation could increase the risk of a crash. But it also stated that restarting the vehicle should be possible most of the time, giving the owner the ability to continue driving – just with a big electrical warning notice being displayed.

The NHTSA report explains that the company became aware of a BMW electric vehicle at a Chinese dealership that contained a warning lamp regarding a drivetrain issue in June of 2022. This prompted an engineering review that uncovered the larger problem. While the situation originally looked like an extremely isolated incident, sustained investigative efforts suggested that it might be more common than first assumed.

By September, additional warranty cases involving a temporary loss of power cropped up – with BMW noting that the rate was still below one percent. Approximately five cases were received in the United States as well. In November, another five warranty cases were reported in America and some of the data coming from BMW’s own investigation became available, prompting a December recall.

BMW said it’s not aware of any incidents or crashes relating to the problem and will begin notifying all owners of the impacted models. That includes the 2022-2023 iX, i4, and i7 – with a more comprehensive list available within the NHTSA report.

However, there’s another recall pertaining to the 2022 i4 eDrive40 and i4 M50, in addition to the 2022-2023 iX xDrive50 and iX M60. While smaller, barely encompassing 300 models for our market, it does come with a stop-drive notice due to there being a potential fire risk. BMW has also recommended against charging these vehicles and suggested parking them outdoors, away from any buildings.

The culprit here appears to be defects in the battery, specifically cathode plates that may have been damaged during manufacturing – allowing debris to enter the system that could create a short circuit. Notifications were sent out in August, with subsequent email notifications about the fire risk taking place in September and December. Additional details are available via the NHTSA, though customers can also contact BMW directly.

[Image: Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock]

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2 of 9 comments
  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Jan 13, 2023

    2023 would be an excellent time for legacy automakers to brush up on their electrical engineering skills. (We'll talk about coding in 2024.)

  • Jkross22 Jkross22 on Jan 13, 2023

    BMW's been tinkering with evs for over 10 yrs. This should not be acting like a beta/gen 1 product. But here we are.

  • Jeff S The Cybertruck is one of the most hyped vehicles in decades.
  • Nrd515 This is all I could think of seeing this. I saw it in the theater with my dad about 59 years or so ago:
  • Art Vandelay I have no illusions tha my Challenger was going to be a car I wanted to own 10 seconds out of warranty. Fun, sure. Fun in 8 years? Hard pass based on the 2 years I had it
  • ToolGuy Weren't some of the most powerful engines in the M4 Sherman air-cooled? (And supercharged.)
  • ToolGuy "I installed oil temp and cylinder head temp gauges on various vehicles I was driving, so I could monitor how the engine was doing. I switched from my normal 20W50 and dropped to 15W40 oil and put down thousands of miles. Within that time, I saw a noticeable decrease in oil temps and even cylinder head temps while driving in different situations."ToolGuy has great admiration for your use of the scientific method in conducting original research.