BMW will recall eight plug-in hybrid vehicles in Australia, as part of a wider global recall to mitigate the risk of battery fires.

    “BMW Group Australia has commenced a voluntary safety recall to check electric componentry of eight customer PHEV vehicles in Australia. This includes four Minis and four BMWs,” the company said in a statement.

    “The decision was made after discovering a particular batch of batteries found in these models have the potential to malfunction. However, there have been no incidents of malfunction in Australia to date.

    “BMW Group Australia has commenced the voluntary safety recall to check the affected electric componentry on these vehicles as the safety of our customers and road users is our number one priority.

    “Owners of affected vehicles have been contacted to inform them of the recall and loan vehicles have been provided while their vehicle undergoes a quality inspection,” the company said.

    The risk of battery fires last week led the BMW Group to issue a global recall for all its plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

    BMW is recalling 26,700 affected vehicles. Models included are the BMW 330e, 530e, 745e and X5 xDrive45e sold here, as well as the Mini Countryman Hybrid and the recently discontinued BMW i8.

    Automotive News Europe reports the recall affects vehicles built between 20 January and 18 September this year.

    BMW is also recalling additional vehicles not sold here, including the X3 xDrive30e that was supposed to launch this year but was delayed.

    The company said the fire risk is the result of particles that may have entered the battery during production.

    In a statement, it said, “When the battery is fully charged this could lead to a short circuit within the battery cells, which may lead to a fire.”

    The recall follows one in August to remove welding beads on the batteries of 4460 plug-in hybrid BMWs.

    “It is not the same fault as in August. But the root cause is similar: irregularities during the production process of the battery,” the spokesman told Automotive News Europe.

    Deliveries of BMW PHEVs have been halted and owners have been told not to charge their vehicles at a wallbox or charging station until they’ve taken their vehicle to BMW to have the battery checked.

    BMW isn’t the only automaker to recall PHEVs due to a fire risk. Ford has recalled its Kuga PHEV, the twin of our upcoming Escape PHEV, due to an overheating lithium-ion battery that could start a fire.

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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