BMW 1 Series recalled for faulty wiring, fire risk

The blower-regulator wiring harness is to blame.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
2 min read
2012 BMW 1 Series

Smell smoke? Best to get the car to a dealer.


Thousands of BMW 1 Series owners will find a recall letter in their mailboxes in the near future. The German luxury car maker will recall 41,981 1 Series models for bad wiring that may cause a fire.

Per the documents filed with NHTSA, the affected 1 Series cars come from the 2008-2012 model years. Breaking the numbers down, 22,188 recalled cars are 128i and 135i coupes , while the 19,793 other models are 128i and 135i convertibles . BMW estimates 1% of the recalled cars house the faulty wiring but owners will need to bring their cars to a BMW dealership to make sure there isn't a fire risk.

The issue is a blower-regulator wiring harness that may have connectors at the end of the harness covered in tin rather than silver. If the car features tin connectors, corrosion may occur at the blower-regulator connection. The blower-regulator system is responsible for controlling fan speed in the 1 Series' heating and air conditioning system.

If the wiring corrodes, high electrical currents could increase the temperature and cause damage to additional wiring, lead to short circuits and potentially cause enough heat to melt the plastic blower-regulator surround and start a fire. Owners may notice a plastic and burning smell inside the car if overheating occurs. Additionally, the heat or air conditioning may stop working.

For vehicles that do feature the bad connectors, BMW will install a new component free of charge. If the problem has affected or damaged any other system, those will be taken care of along with the recall campaign at no additional charge as well. For owners who made repairs outside of the warranty, BMW's reimbursement program may cover previous out-of-pocket costs. Look for those recalls to start arriving on Sept. 27.

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