A recall of BMW cars made between 2007 and 2011 will include cars sold in Ireland. The move follows an investigation by the BBC consumer affairs programme "Watchdog", which found cars could cut out completely as they are being driven.
The BBC reports that BMW is extending a UK recall of its cars after the programme investigation. A BMW Ireland spokesperson has also confirmed to RTE Motors that cars sold in Ireland will also be included in the recall. The company in Ireland does not yet know how many cars will be affected and is now working through registrations for the period involved. Both petrol and diesel models are affected.
The company is recalling 312,000 vehicles: the BMW 1 Series, the 3 Series, the Z4 and its X1 petrol and diesel models made between March 2007 and August 2011.
BMW initially recalled 36,410 petrol cars last year over safety issues.
It said it now recognised there may have been similar problems in cars not covered by the first recall.
BBC News reports that BMW "initially recalled cars in the UK after Narayan Gurung, who was travelling with his wife on Christmas Day in 2016, died when their Ford Fiesta crashed into a tree to avoid a broken-down BMW in Guildford, Surrey.
The BMW had suffered an electrical fault, causing its brake lights to fail and resulting in the vehicle stalling on a dark A-road.
An investigation by Watchdog has found that the fault could affect a wider number of cars.
One BMW owner, Mwape Kambafwile, told the the programme that his BMW 3 Series car had cut out completely while he was driving in December 2016.
"I just thought to myself if I was driving on the motorway with my family in the car, that could have been very dangerous," he said.
Mr Kambafwile said he took his car to BMW who called the next day to say that they had found the fault, which looked like "the cable had burnt out and no current was passing through the fuse box".
It recently emerged that BMW had failed to tell the UK's Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency about the electrical fault in some of its cars that led to the death of Mr Gurung.
BMW Ireland has issued the following statement this evening:
This recall relates to the intermittent failure of the vehicles electrical system, due to the main power supply cable (B+ Battery Connector) connection at the distribution box. Vehicles include previous generations of the 1 Series, 3 Series, Z4 and X1 built between March 2007 and September 2011.
A technical action was released in November 2016 which was subsequently turned into recall in 2017. In order to reassure customers this recall has now subsequently been widened and we are working with the Department of Transport to ascertain the full range of affected vehicles in Ireland.
We will be contacting all affected customers by post advising them of how they can book their car in to have the work carried out. We will commence contacting affected customers in the next three weeks. The work should take no more than two hours. There will be no cost to the customer. Any customers with any concerns or requiring assistance should contact their local Retail Centre or our Customer Care Team on 1890 719 421.
The Watchdog programme is being broadcast tonight on BBC 1 at 8:00 pm.