BMW Safety Recall in SA: Are You Affected?

BMW X1 2010

Although the recently announced safety recall campaign relating to some previous-generation BMW 1 Series, 3 Series, X1 and Z4 derivatives is mostly of consequence to consumers in the United Kingdom, just under 16 000 vehicles in South Africa are affected too.

In response to a query by this week, BMW South Africa's manager of group product communications Edward Makwana said the issue, affecting units of the respective aforementioned models built between March 2007 and September 2011, "relates to the plug of the power distributor which may degrade over time due to frictional corrosion and vehicle vibration. In certain conditions, this can affect the electrical connection to the car and may result in a loss of power."

Worldwide, just under 400 000 BMWs are affected by this campaign, of which the overwhelming majority are in the UK (just under 312 000), but nonetheless, 15 933 vehicles in South Africa also need to be booked in at franchised BMW workshops so that technicians can "install a repair cable with an improved plug at the power distributor. The workshop stay is expected to last approximately 2 hours. BMW will cover the cost of the safety recall," Makwana added.

Makwana concluded that the owners of the affected vehicles would be informed (via postal letters, we understand) in the next few weeks.

It's best to check

However, considering that many vehicles produced between 2007 and 2011 will probably have changed owners a number of times since they were new and may no longer be serviced and/or repaired at franchised dealers, some owners of second-hand 1 Series, 3 Series, X1 and Z4 derivatives of that vintage may prove difficult for BMW to track down. To check if a vehicle needs to be booked in and worked on as part of the campaign, you can contact or visit your nearest franchised BMW dealer.   

Alternatively, customers can contact BMW telephonically on 0800 600 555 (toll-free) Monday to Friday 7am to 7pm, or send an email with their vehicle's VIN details to They can also make an enquiry via an online chat on the website – the latter option worked well for this author.

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