Certain examples of the i4, iX, and i7 have been recalled.
A recall has been issued for faulty battery software that affects every BMW electric vehicle sold in America, including the i4 four-door coupe, iX SUV, and the still-fresh i7 luxury sedan.
Specifically, the high-voltage battery electronic control unit (ECU) software could interrupt electrical power. This temporary loss of power while driving or a possible stall could increase the risk of an accident, and BMW will be keen to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.
This follows a recall of the iX earlier in 2022 for a faulty airbag control unit shortly after it was launched. It again raises question marks about the reliability of high-tech EVs despite them having fewer moving parts than ICE cars.
The high voltage battery recall was published last month and affects certain 2022-2023 i4, i7, and iX models manufactured between October 14, 2021, and October 28, 2022. A total of 14,086 units of these EVs are said to be affected, but only 38 of that number are for the i7, which was the most recent of the three models to go on sale. By contrast, 5,389 iXs and 8,659 i4s were implicated.
"A misdiagnosis can sporadically occur within the battery management electronics, which could cause the electronic control unit to reset," said the recall notes on the NHTSA's website. "If a reset occurs, this could cause an interruption of electrical power."
BMW says it is unaware of any accidents or injuries related to the issue, but affected owners can expect notification letters to be mailed by February 10, 2023. Dealers will then update the high-voltage battery ECU software at no charge.
Despite a few reliability stumbles, BMW's electric range is on a strong upward trajectory. The brand sold over 15,000 EVs in the USA last year, more than Mercedes did. It will also aim for 15% of its total sales to be from EVs this year, a goal that will be strengthened by the arrival of the i5 electric sedan later in 2023.
On a global scale, the arrival of smaller electric SUVs like the iX1 will further boost EV sales, even though America is expected to miss out on this model.