BMW Recalls Some Turbo-Charged Cars Following ABC News Investigation


For years, BMW did not have a fix and did not clearly warn their customers of the defect, claimed Silverman. "They don't want this story to come out. They can't fix the car for cost reasons or they haven't configured a good fuel pump," he said. "They're playing Russian roulette with the lives and safety of their customers, as well as people in the car and other drivers."

Reports: 'Dangerous and Unpredictable' Problems with Turbo-Engine Cars

Since the government closed its investigation two years ago, the complaints to the NHTSA have kept coming, including reports of "dangerous and unpredictable" circumstances, and "sudden" and "random" power loss.

There have been reports of cars stalling, allegedly without warning. One BMW owner wrote in a complaint to the NHTSA: "Why hasn't this problem been addressed? Does someone need to die?"

Dealers Tell Undercover ABC Producers About Defect, But Say BMWs Are Generally Safe

In order to find out for ourselves what BMW has been telling its customers, ABC News' producers shopped for certified pre-owned cars at two dealerships with hidden cameras.

When they were pressed about any mechanical issues with the cars, salesmen readily acknowledged there were problems with some of the fuel pumps on some models.

"There was, like, an informal recall on them," one salesman said.

But the dealers told our producers that it was not a safety concern.

"There's no guarantees in the world. But there's no known safety problems with the car," a salesman said. "I mean, you know, Toyota went through a big spell last year and Lexus with their transmissions, acceleration and stuff. I mean, everything -- you got a blitz now and then. It's got to be adjusted and corrected."

When a producer asked if the problem could cause an accident, the salesman responded: "It wouldn't."

"If it was that big of an issue it would've been an actual recall," another said.

BMW: No Known Crashes or Injuries Because of Problem

This problem has not caused any injuries or deaths, according to BMW, but the company did acknowledge that the fuel pump can fail with little or no warning.

"You can still drive," Baloga, said. "It is a surprise. It's something you're not expecting but you don't have the brakes applied suddenly, you're not slowing down immediately, you're not doing something with a deceleration that would cause the person behind you to, to immediately run into you."

Since it discovered the problem, BMW sent out a series of alerts to its dealers about the pump failures and notified customers that it was extending the fuel pump warranty.

"I kept bringing the car in," Mangot said. "I got out of the dealership, didn't even make it down the street. Buh, buh, buh. The shaking, the rocking. Turned around, brought it right back in."

"I asked mine if I could take mine on a trip to California," Len Kutzko, another BMW owner, told ABC News. "And he said…Put it on a flatbed, that's the way you can take it."

Company Says It Didn't Want to 'Alarm Customers'

As complaints mounted, BMW sent a letter to owners of the vehicles that may be affected by the fuel pump problem, alerting them that the fuel pump could cause unspecified "reduced engine performance." The letter advised the owners that the warranty on the fuel pump was being extended to 10 years and that they should "feel free" to contact their dealer if they encountered a problem.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
  • |
  • 4
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...