Car Industry

BMW recalls X1 crossovers for dangling taillights

You'll shoot your eye out, kid!

Marc Ganley/Roadshow

As kids, we probably all heard that urban legend about how keeping your eyes open while sneezing could pop an eyeball out of its socket. While that isn't true, a similar situation is happening with BMW SUVs that are now the focus of a recall.

BMW has issued a recall for approximately 5,920 examples of the 2018-2019 BMW X1, a small SUV. This affects both the sDrive28i and xDrive28i trims, and it covers production dates from Oct. 5, 2018 to Jan. 18, 2019. Presumably, vehicles produced after that date do not contain the defect.

The problem stems from the taillights. In the affected vehicles, the hardware used to attach the taillights to the body might not be built to the supplier's specification, and a bunch of cutting oil left on components might seep into the light housing and crack the attachment bracket. If that happens, the lights will become loose, and a strong enough bump might break the light free from its moorings entirely. Since the lights are still connected to the wiring harness, they shouldn't disappear on the road; instead, they'll flap and dangle about. Either way, it's a hazard.

BMW was first notified of a potential issue on Jan. 8, 2019, when distribution centers noticed loose taillights, and that's when BMW found that cutting oil present on the parts. Thankfully, BMW has not received any reports of injuries or accidents linked to the angle of the taillight's dangle.

The issue sounds like it's easy to fix, though. According to recall documents, "each rear lamp will be secured so that it does not loosen," and BMW did not explain the remedy further. Owners should expect to receive recall notifications via first-class mail later in March. Dealers have already been notified.