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BMW recalls over 1 million cars over the risk of catching fire

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German automotive giant BMW is ready to recall more than 1 million cars and SUVs in two recalls in the U.S. due to the risk of catching fire under the hood, the company has guided customers to park the cars outdoors until the necessary repair arrangements are made.

The risk of catching fire is very low in both cases, but to be on the safe side the vehicles should stay outside, in both recalls the repairs are expected to start on December 18, said BMW spokesperson.

The recalls will cover 740,000 328i, 328xi, 328i xDrive, 525i, 525xi, 528i, 528xi, 530i, 530xi, X3 3.0si, X3 xDrive30i, X5 xDrive30i, Z4 3.0i, Z4 3.0si and Z4 sDrive30i vehicles from 2007-2011. Also included is the 2008-2011 128i. All have 6-Cylinder engines.

The documents posted on Friday by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that the heater for the positive crankcase ventilation valve can become overheated which can cause the valve to melt, increasing the risk of catching fire even when the cars in parked or not driving on the road. However, no injuries have been reported so far, the car dealers are responsible to replace the heater in the cars with BMW authorization.

According to BMW spokesperson Hector Arellano-Belloc, the heater was designed to prevent the valve from freezing in cold conditions, but irregularities in manufacturing can lead to overheating.

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As there are two recalls by BMW, the other recall covers 673,000 cars including 323i, 325i, 325xi, 328i, 328xi, 330i, 330xi, 335i, 335xi and M3 from the 2006-2011 model years. Also covered are the 2007-2011 328i xDrive, 335i xDrive and 335is, and the 2009-2011 335d.

Another precaution is about wiring which is connected to heating and air conditioning system, this wiring can overheat as well and cause connectors to melt, this creates another jeopardy of catching fire, BMW says a wiring connection can corrode and spark the fire in rare cases.

The dealers will replace both wiring and connectors in this case.

In the US total recalls reaches 1.4 million, but some recalls are included in both recalls BMW said. In Canada, around 80,000 vehicles are being recalled for the crankcase ventilation valve heater the company said. BMW is currently reviewing the wiring recall which may or may not be applied to Canadian vehicles.