And Tesla (TSLA) – Get Tesla Inc report There’s a lot of criticism right now for the many recalls related to fire risks, which are actually quite common across the auto industry.
Electric vehicles are particularly prone to short circuits because they use high-voltage lithium-ion batteries to keep them running, and fires are larger and more difficult to control than those typically seen with gas engines.
Which models are recalled?
The latest car company to issue a recall notice is German luxury automaker BMW (BMW) .
First spotted by automotive website Autoblog, it said a “small number” of 2022 i4 sedans and iX SUVs are being recalled over battery fire risks.
The xDrive 50, iX M60, i4 eDrive40 and i4 M50 are some of the affected models.
The recall follows an incident in which a safety inspection of the 2022 i4 eDrive in April found cathode debris inside the battery.
Cathodes, or negatively charged particles, are necessary to keep electrical equipment running, but by creating high energy densities, they can cause fires.
Two similar incidents with the 2022 iX xDrive50 and 2022 iX M60 were reported later in June.
“Fortunately, this recall affects only a very small number of vehicles,” BMW spokesman Jay Hansen told the outlet. “Our customer relations team has proactively contacted owners of all affected vehicles with information and assistance.”
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While dealers have been notified of the issue and advised to remove cars from their lots, all owners are expected to receive a notification letter by September 19.
A total of 83 vehicles are now affected and BMW advises owners not to drive them and park them away from other vehicles.
Electric Car Fires: Politics
Car fires are still very rare across the industry, as research by insurance company AutoinsuranceEZ found a 0.03 per cent chance of an electric engine catching fire, compared to a 1.5 per cent chance of a gas engine catching fire.
But given their potential for serious injury, the risk of car fires could trigger widespread recalls. Back in December, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration forced Tesla to recall more than 54,000 Model 3 and Model S vehicles.
Most recently, the Ford Motor Company. (F) – Get Ford Motor Company Report It also announced that it will recall approximately 48,924 Ford Mustang Mach-E vehicles produced between May 27, 2020 and May 24, 2022 due to a safety defect.
The Mustang Mach-E is a direct competitor to the Tesla Model Y.
A mother of five died after being trapped inside a Tesla in a violent fire or firefighters had to use more than 30,000 gallons of water to put out a Tesla fire, sparking wider public outrage .
Meanwhile, conservative groups and auto industry lobbyists routinely use any question about electric vehicles to point out why people should opt for gasoline-powered vehicles, even as the industry has moved quickly to electric vehicles.
According to McKinsey data, electric vehicle sales increased by more than 40% from 2016.
“As long as you have new technology, there are new problems — problems they couldn’t foresee — and that’s where you’re going to see an increase in recalls,” Wayne Mitchell, head of sales at Sedgwick, told Axios recently.
BMW stock was largely unaffected by the recall, as its shares rose more than 6% to $27.45 over the past five days.