Anyone who’s owned an old car will know what a pain a leaky windshield seal can be. But soggy carpets that smell like an old dog and misted up windows is nothing compared to what might happen to some 2023 model-year BMW X5s and X7s.
BMW is recalling the 2023-year SUVs over fears that a faulty windshield seal could lead to a fire. And if you’re thinking water is normally good for putting out fires, not starting them, the problem is that moisture could cause a short circuit in the car’s electronic control unit that might cause a blaze.
BMW discovered the fault in late September during end-of-line quality testing when it saw water on the interior of a new SUV. The cause was traced to an assembly robot tasked with attaching the screen to the car, and which had recently been re-programmed. More testing showed that water leaking in could potentially reach the ECU, and although the chances of this happening and then causing a fire is slim, BMW voluntarily issued a recall for affected vehicles.
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The number of affected cars is small by recall standards, consisting of 39 examples of the X5 sDrive40i and xDrive40i, a pair of X5 xDrive45 hybrids and six models of X7 xDrive40i. Which means that attending to the 47 problem cars is going to occupy a lot less dealer time than handling the recall BMW issued in March this year. In that case more than 61,000 vehicles were hauled back into dealerships to fix a faulty sunroof control unit.
BMW is contacting X5 and X7 owners by mail to advise them of the windshield recall and to recommend that they get in touch with their dealer, who will inspect the seal and replace it if necessary.