Affected models include certain 5 and 7 Series built between 2012 and 2017.
According to Automotive News, BMW announced a recall last Friday affecting 11,700 diesel-powered 5 and 7 Series vehicles following the discovery that the wrong programming had been installed. "In the course of internal tests, the BMW Group has discovered that a correctly developed software update was mistakenly assigned to certain unsuitable model-versions," the automaker said in an official statement. "The BMW Group informed the relevant authorities immediately."
This initially may sound like an honest, though somewhat unusual mistake, given BMW's reputation for quality and attention to detail. However, not long before BMW issued the recall, German's Der Spiegel ran a report suggesting BMW had installed software that manipulated emissions of harmful gases such as nitrogen oxide. Sound familiar? Of course it does. Volkswagen admitted to and paid a huge price for doing nearly the same thing. It was called Dieselgate, and it resulted in a huge scandal that also involved recalls and $31.7 billion in fines and other related costs. BMW has repeatedly denied installing so-called "defeat devices", which is what VW did, on its diesel-engined vehicles.
For this recall, BMW has only stated the number and model years of affected 5 and 7 Series powered by high-performance diesels and three turbo chargers, but has yet to announce where exactly these vehicles are located. Are they in Europe only? Elsewhere? Who knows. It'll be interesting to find out whether or not this wrong engine software issue is tied to anything related specifically to diesel emissions. The timing of Der Spiegel's report and the recall itself could be entirely coincidental, or not.