BMW recalls 26,700 plug-in hybrid cars due to battery issues

Multiple plug-in hybrid BMW models to be recalled worldwide, with 2,930 affected in the UK

BMW X3 hybrid

BMW is recalling 26,700 of its plug-in hybrid models due to concerns over the safety of their batteries. Affected models include plug-in hybrid versions of the entire X range of SUVs, along with the 2 Series Active Tourer MPV, 3, 5 and 7 Series saloons, i8 Coupe and Roadster and the MINI Countryman. Reports suggest that cars built between 20 January and 18 September 2020 are affected.

According to BMW, 2,930 UK cars are affected, with some already delivered to customers. The full extent of the issue was explained in an official statement from BMW UK.

"BMW Group has launched a worldwide safety recall and stopped delivery of a small number of plug-in hybrid vehicles as a preventative measure to check the high-voltage battery," the statement read. "Internal analysis has shown that in very rare cases particles may have entered the battery during the production process. When the battery is fully charged this could lead to a short circuit within the battery cells, which may lead to a fire."

"Around 26,700 vehicles are affected worldwide including 2,930 in the UK, some of which are already with customers with the remainder awaiting delivery," the BMW statement said. "BMW apologises for the inconvenience caused to customers, but of course safety must come first."

According to reports, this recall is not the first to affect BMW's PHEV line-up. In August, some 4,460 models were affected by a potential issue with a welding bead in an electrical component that had the potential to cause a short circuit.

Recalls of electrified models from other manufacturers aren't unheard of, however; sales of the Ford Kuga Plug-In Hybrid were halted earlier in 2020 and a substantial recall of 27,000 vehicles was ordered when a series of fires were caused by faulty batteries.

Hyundai has also had recent battery issues, with 25,000 Kona Electric models being recalled in its native South Korea on safety grounds following reports of fires. A separate report suggested that 77,000 cars worldwide could be affected, but it's not yet clear if UK cars are subject to the recall.