Modern electric cars are required by law in the United States to have some sort of noise-generating device, so that pedestrians can hear it coming their way, thus avoiding accidents. And BMW has a problem with some of its cars, where the noise generator might malfunction, so it issued a recall.
Specifically, the German brand is recalling 1,988 i4 eDrive40 units made between 2022-2023 and 1,442 iX xDrive50 SUVs made between 2022-2023, for a total of 3,431 electric vehicles. BMW says the sound generator that activates when backing up might fail, or, as the German brand puts it, it “may, sporadically, experience a fault condition.” In other words, the beeping and humming won’t play when reversing.
The fault was discovered by BMW at one of its manufacturing facilities during quality control and the carmaker then did a full analysis to see which models are affected. It concluded that for the i4, only the eDrive40 variant might be faulty, and for the iX, it’s just the xDrive50 that’s affected, so owners of the i4 M50 and iX M60 shouldn’t worry.
BMW will issue notices to the owners of the affected vehicles, asking them to schedule a service appointment for their EVs, to update the software for the artificial sound generator.
The BMW i4 eDrive40 has a single rear-mounted electric motor that makes up to 335 horsepower and a range of around 300 miles on a single battery. The iX xDrive50 SUV comes with dual-motor all-wheel drive and up to 516 hp, as well as a 111.5 kilowatt-hours battery that offers an EPA estimated range of up to 324 miles.
Last year, the luxury German brand sold over 170,000 electric vehicles worldwide, with just over 15,000 of these going into the hands of customers in the United States. For context, BMW Group, which includes Mini and Rolls-Royce, doubled its EV sales in 2023 and plans to triple them this year.