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Recall Notice: Fuel Pump Fiasco For BMW

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On: Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 11:34AM | By: John Welch

Recall Notice: Fuel Pump Fiasco For BMW

Direct Injection isn't that "new" in terms of physical age, but then neither are dual clutch transmissions, traction control, underbody aerodynamics, or fully electric cars. These things have been in use for decades, but have made it to the civilian market only in the last decade. Direct Injection is especially new and untested, as BMW's latest voluntary recall can attest.

Direct Injection requires some pretty stout ancillaries to properly administer fuel in the combustion chamber. Along with injectors that could take your fingers off, an ultra high-pressure fuel pump is required to get the right amount of fuel in the right spot at the right time. This complicated technology is bound to have a few teething problems, and BMW is one of the first automakers to experience sore gums.

The high-pressure fuel pump installed in cars that feature the N54 twin-turbocharged inline-6 engine is apparently prone to failure. A long, agonizingly grinding engine start could be followed by a "Service Engine Soon" dash marker, and reduced engine performance. BMW plans to access each affected car, and then replace the fuel pump or reflash the ECU, depending on the severity of the issue.

There are low-pressure fuel pump issues with some BMW models as well, though these have nothing to do with Direct Injection. On some 2008 X3 and X5 models, equipped with N52 naturally aspirated inline-6s, may experience engine stalling due to their fuel pumps. Worn fuel pump internals are the culprit; BMW plans to alert owners by mail over the course of the next month. Press releases for both issues can be found inside this post . . .

Official Statement: BMW Voluntary Recall

BMW High-Pressure Fuel Pump Voluntary Emissions Recall – models w/ N54

BMW has discovered that certain 2007-2010 model year vehicles may experience partial failure of the High-Pressure Fuel Pump (HPFP) which is part of the direct fuel injection system on certain 1 Series, 3 Series, 5 Series, X6, and Z4 models. Specifically, vehicles powered by the twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 engine (internally dubbed ''N54'') are affected. Symptoms include long engine starting times and sometimes the illumination of the Service Engine Soon lamp in the instrument cluster, possibly accompanied by reduced engine performance (''Safe'' operation).

BMW will issue a further voluntary emissions recall. Owners of affected vehicles will be notified in a letter sent by first-class mail. Affected vehicles will receive a software update to reprogram the HPFP and/or a new generation HPFP.

BMW had previously extended the emissions warranty coverage period to 10 years or 120,000 miles, whichever comes first, on affected vehicles in all 50 States.

There have been no reports of injuries related to this issue.

BMW Low-Pressure Fuel Pump Voluntary Safety Recall – X5 models w/ N52

BMW has discovered that some MY 2008 BMW Sports Activity Vehicles equipped with N52 normally-aspirated inline six-cylinder engines may experience a failure of the low-pressure fuel pump. Due to increased wear of an internal component of the fuel pump, the pump could malfunction causing the engine to stall.

BMW will move forward with a voluntary safety recall of affected vehicles to replace the fuel pump in affected vehicles. Owners of affected vehicles will be notified in a letter sent by first-class mail beginning in November.

There have been no accidents or injuries reported as a result of this issue. Customers who receive a letter for either recall should contact an Authorized BMW Center to schedule a service appointment.

Customers with further questions may contact BMW Customer Relations at a dedicated number, 1-800-563-4269, or email CustomerRelations@bmwusa.com.

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