Actually, there are two issues that could potentially lead to a fire.
Automotive recalls aren't at all uncommon, but when the risk of fire is involved, then the issue immediately becomes far more serious. According to Reuters, BMW has issued recalls for around 1.4 million cars and SUVs in North America for two separate problems, though both could lead to fires. The National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA) is also fully involved with these recalls. The first one is for about 740,000 six-cylinder versions of the 1, 3, and 5 Series, and X3, X5, and Z4s sold between 2007 and 2011.
This recall, specifically, involves a valve heater that could possibly rust and lead to a fire, although the chances of that happening are reportedly rare. The second recall involves more than 670,000 3 Series. This time there's a wiring issue for heating and air conditioning systems that may overheat, thus increasing the risk of a fire. A BMW spokesman said the recalls affect about 1 million vehicles in the US and about 15,000 in Canada. However, this spokesman added that BMW is "examining whether it will be necessary in the future to widen this (recall) into other countries." For the HVAC wiring issue, BMW claims it first got wind of the problem back in 2008 when it learned of a 2006 model year 3 Series sedan that suffered heat-related damage.
However, the exact problem couldn't be found, but BMW continued to monitor the situation. In 2011, an improvement was made to the blower-regulator wiring harness, and no further incidents were reported. That is until 2015 when BMW learned of three new incidents involving injuries. Only last September it learned of another incident regarding a 2011 3 Series, which brings us to today's recall. Dealers will replace the vehicles' wiring harness and other related parts. As for the first issue involving the valve heater, BMW received a report in 2009 regarding a 2007 X5 that suffered heat-related damage to its engine compartment. Fortunately, no injuries or crashes were reported for this issue, but BMW dealers will still replace the troubled valve heater.