BMW Recalls Over 19,000 i3 REx Plug-in Hybrids Over Fire Risk

Feb 24, 2017 09:30 AM EST | JP Olvido

BMW is recalling over 19,000 units of its i3 REx plug-in hybrid vehicle in the US. The recall is due to fuel vapor leaks that can increase the risk of fire.

BMW recalls 19,000 i3 REx plug-in hybrid cars. The i3 Rex plug-in hybrid actually utilizes a small gasoline engine when charging its battery. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there is a big possibility that the small gas tank's vent line could rub against the protection sleeve of the battery's positive cable.

The gas tank's vent line could chafe over time which could lead to a tear. The tear will allow fuel vapor to leak into the vehicle's engine compartment. The leak could cause a fire in the compartment and so the need for a recall.

The issue was apparently discovered by an authorized dealer and reported immediately. To date, there have been no reports of accidents or actual fires related to the recall.

A total of 19,130 i3 Rex plug-in hybrids will be recalled. Model years affected are 2014 through 2017.

The recall will officially start on April 3. The German luxury car manufacturer will be contacting owners of possibly affected vehicles to have their cars presented at dealerships. Dealerships will conduct the needed fixes free of charge. Vent lines that are found chafed will be replaced. A clip will be installed on the vent line to avoid them rubbing against the battery's positive cable.

The BMW i3 REx plug-in hybrid, which has remained relatively unchanged in terms of design since its launch, has a 0.65-liter two-cylinder gas engine. It has a gasoline range extender that drives an electric generator to charge the vehicle's battery.

Concerned owners of i3 REx plug-in hybrid vehicles can get more information from the NHTSA by visiting their safercar.gov website. Owners may also call the NHTSA's Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 with the campaign number 170V088000 or the BMW Customer Service Hotline at 1-800-525-7417.

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