BMW of North America is recalling 3,431 electric vehicles due to the failure of its pedestrian warning noisemaker. The recall is for the models, i4 and iX electric vehicles. This is in reference to the artificial sound generator control unit in these vehicles, which fail to generate a sound when there is a pedestrian.
In the recall as posted by NHTSA, BMW said, “During vehicle start-up, the artificial sound generator control unit may experience a fault and fail to generate the external pedestrian warning sound.” Federal regulations require both hybrid and electric vehicles to emit sound through an artificial noisemaker when traveling at lower speeds to protect pedestrians. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 141, known as “Minimum Sound Requirements for Hybrid and Electric Vehicles,” was passed on October 1, 2018, and required cars fitting that description to be equipped with noisemakers by September 1, 2020.
The noisemakers ensure pedestrian safety that the NTHSA predicted would save 2,400 people from injuries and prevent as much as $320 million in damages. The recall affected BMW vehicles manufactured between November 11, 2021, and December 22, 2022. BMW owners are allowed to continue driving their vehicles but are asked to contact authorized dealers to schedule appointments after being contacted by the company. Dealers will fix the recall through artificial sound generator software, which dealers will update themselves.
The last recall from BMW was for 14,000 iX, i4, and i7 models over faulty battery software. Comparatively the current recall appears to be a smaller issue. For the earlier recall, the automaker said that the recall covers certain iX SUVs and i4 and i7 sedans produced between October 14th, 2021, and October 28th, 2022. The software issue relates to the high-voltage battery electronic control unit.
BMW discovered the problem through its own internal quality control process and is not reporting any incidents, crashes, or injuries as a result of the recall. BMW owners could continue to drive their vehicles while waiting for a software update to fix the problem, the automaker said. The update will be provided by dealerships free of charge, and letters to affected owners’ vehicles will go out next month recommending they bring their vehicles in for a fix. This is the second in less than a year that BMW’s new lineup of EVs has been hit with recalls. Last summer, the automaker recalled a “small number” of 2022 i4 sedans and iX SUVs due to the risk of battery fires. As EV sales increase, so too have recall notices.