There's a potential fire risk due to the Samsung batteries, but the fix is free and easy.
In the same week when a Jaguar I-Pace burned to the ground in Florida, another luxury automaker has recalled two of its electric models for potential fire risk. The 2022 and 2023 BMW iX (xDrive50i and M60) and 2022 BMW i4 (eDrive40 and i4 M50) built between a nine-month in 2021 and 2022 could have defective battery cells that could short-circuit and ignite. This is far from the first example we've seen of an electric vehicle being recalled for fire risks.
Fortunately, this is not a major recall and it only impacts 83 cars in total. Approximately 56 iX and 27 i4 units were built improperly, according to the NHTSA. It's worth noting that BMW doesn't assemble the batteries for these vehicles in-house. They are produced by Samsung in South Korea.
"The high voltage battery may not have been produced according to specifications. During battery cell production at the supplier, a cathode plate may have been damaged which could have allowed pieces/debris to enter a battery cell," the recall states. "As a result, this could lead to a short-circuit. In rare cases, a short-circuit could lead to a thermal event which could increase the risk of an injury."
BMW has identified one case of an iX xDrive50 and an i4 eDrive40 in the US, and another on an iX M60 in Europe, which helped the company narrow down the battery production timetable from Samsung. "Our customer relations team has already reached out to all of the owners of affected vehicles to provide information and assistance," a BMW spokesperson confirmed.
BMW will notify owners and dealerships with def vehicles via phone and mail, and replace the faulty batteries free of charge. All of the 83 vehicles targeted in the recall will be repaired but this is in addition to another recall of 1,029 iX vehicles in April. The latest issue is serious enough that BMW recommends the affected cars remain parked outside without being driven or charged. Unless you'd like to come home to your garage on fire, we'd heed BMW's warning.