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Wiring failure in a BMW 3 Series - a recall issue?

My car has been inoperable for two weeks now. I had a total power failure. RAC and local garage tested battery etc. - all normal. Once stripped back it transpires that the connection between the positive battery cable connector and the corresponding terminal on the fuse box has failed and there is evidence that the plastic covering has been burning.

I am now having it lorried to BMW dealership for them to look at . I note on numerous sites and forums that a significant number of people have battery power failure in their BMWs, and that when tested the battery appears OK.

I also note that this is a problem that has caused BMW to recall 500k+ in US and Canada, and recently in the UK for 5/6 series.

BMW UK is saying that as there is no recall for 3 series I will have to pay for the cable to be replaced. I think that this is a recall issue for the UK 3 series as well?

If I had been driving at 70mph on motorway I would be dead now as wheels completely lock.

How do I proceed with insisting that BMW take this seriously as a manufacturing fault and that they should be replacing this part in a relatively new car FOC?

Asked on 28 February 2015 by S Brough

Answered by Honest John
The rear mounted battery problem has long been an issue with BMWs, especially E60 5 Series, if any water gets into the load area.

VOSA in the UK can be very slow to react and would rather negotiate with car manufacturers than order a full scale recall.

Depends how hard you and other victims scream. The NHTSA in the USA reacts much more quickly to problems like this. Long faults list with the E90/E91. www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/bmw/3-series-e90-200...d

The American recall on E60 5 Series and 6 Series was in March 2012: BMW 5 Series 2004 to 2010; BMW 6 Series 2004 to 2010: 16,748 units.

"On certain vehicles, the insulated bulkhead connector (used to join the two halves of the positive battery cable) may have been incorrectly installed during vehicle assembly. Over time, the bolt connection could loosen, which would increase electrical resistance.

In addition, an incorrectly insulated bulkhead connector could allow humidity to accumulate at this location, causing current leakage. These issues could cause the cable connection to overheat, which could result in a vehicle fire causing property damage and/or personal injury.

Correction: Dealers will inspect and, as necessary, secure the insulated bulkhead connector. In addition, protective grease will be added to the area and the plastic battery positive terminal cover will be replaced."
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