NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 2004 BMW 330

The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2004 BMW 330, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. INVESTIGATION: Air Bag Inflator Rupture

    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA15001

    • Status:
      PENDING
    • Date Opened: February 24, 2015
    • Date Closed: N/A
    • Recall: No recall yet

    Component(s): Air Bags
    Air Bags:Frontal

    Summary: The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened PE14-016 in June 2014 based on six inflator rupture incidents involving consumer owned vehicles produced by five vehicle manufacturers.All six vehicles were operated in Florida or Puerto Rico at the time of the rupture and for the majority of their service life, and were equipped with inflators produced by Takata, a tier-one supplier of automotive air bag systems.During the course of PE14-016, ODI determined that five additional vehicle manufacturers used inflators of a similar design and vintage also supplied by Takata. No evidence of field failures was found in vehicles produced by these five additional manufacturers.Nonetheless, at ODI's insistence, all 10 vehicle manufacturers initiated a regional recall within approximately two weeks of the opening of the investigation.The regions recalled initially included Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, areas with high absolute humidity and climatic conditions believed to be a significant factor in the inflator ruptures.As part of the recall actions, inflators removed from remedied vehicles are to be returned to Takata for testing.Takata's initial test results on passenger inflators from remedied vehicles indicated a much higher than anticipated rupture frequency for inflators returned from Florida.Accordingly ODI requested all 10 manufacturers expand the regional recalls for passenger inflators to include other geographic areas where high absolute humidity conditions exist, including the Gulf States and other coastal areas.Takata's testing of the passenger inflators to date continues to indicate this geographic area as having the highest risk, with no ruptures occurring from inflators returned from outside the expanded recall regions.During PE14-016 four additional passenger inflator field events occurred, all in vehicles from the same expanded geographic region.Also during PE14-016 four additional driver inflator field events occurred including two in vehicles from regions not known for high absolute humidity, specifically California and North Carolina.Accordingly, ODI requested all five of the affected vehicle manufacturers currently using the subject Takata driver inflators expand to nationwide recalls.Significantly, neither of the affected vehicle manufacturers or Takata provided any explanation to account for these two driver air bag inflator ruptures outside the area of high absolute humidity.Takata testing of returned driver inflators indicates a lower rupture frequency as compared to passenger inflator testing.All test ruptures reported by Takata to date have occurred on inflators returned from high absolute humidity areas.The investigation now includes all manufacturers and vehicles known to be affected at this time.ODI's investigation will focus on, among other things, root cause analysis, other potential defect consequences, identification of affected vehicles scope, and adequacy of the remedy.The five ODI reports cited above can be reviewed online at www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchNHTSAID under the following identification numbers: 10537899, 10568848, 10585224, 10605877, 10651492

  2. INVESTIGATION: Air Bag Inflator Rupture

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE14016

    Component(s): Air Bags
    Air Bags:Frontal

    Summary: The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened PE14-016 in June 2014 based on six inflator rupture incidents involving consumer owned vehicles produced by five vehicle manufacturers.All six vehicles were operated in Florida or Puerto Rico at the time of the rupture and for the majority of their service life, and were equipped with inflators produced by Takata, a tier-one supplier of automotive air bag systems.During the course of PE14-016, ODI determined that five additional vehicle manufacturers used inflators of a similar design and vintage also supplied by Takata. No evidence of field failures was found in vehicles produced by these five additional manufacturers.Nonetheless, at ODI's insistence, all 10 vehicle manufacturers initiated a regional recall within approximately two weeks of the opening of the investigation.The regions recalled initially included Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, areas with consistently high absolute humidity and climatic conditions believed to be a significant factor in the inflator ruptures.As part of the recall actions, inflators removed from remedied vehicles are to be returned to Takata for testing.Takata's initial test results on passenger inflators from remedied vehicles indicated a much higher than anticipated rupture frequency for inflators returned from Florida.Accordingly, ODI requested all 10 manufacturers expand the regional recalls for passenger inflators to include other geographic areas where high absolute humidity conditions exist, including the Gulf States and other coastal areas.Takata's testing of the passenger inflators to date continues to indicate this geographic area as having the highest risk, with no ruptures occurring from inflators returned from outside the expanded recall regions.During PE14-016, four additional passenger inflator field events occurred, all in vehicles from the same expanded geographic region.Also during PE14-016, four additional driver inflator field events occurred including two in vehicles from regions not known for high absolute humidity, specifically California and North Carolina.Accordingly, ODI requested all five of the affected vehicle manufacturers currently using the subject Takata driver inflators expand to nationwide recalls.Significantly, neither of the affected vehicle manufacturers or Takata provided any explanation to account for these two driver air bag inflator ruptures outside the area of high absolute humidity.Takata testing of returned driver inflators indicates a lower rupture frequency as compared to passenger inflator testing.All test ruptures reported by Takata to date have occurred on inflators returned from high absolute humidity areas.The PE is now closed/upgraded to an Engineering Evaluation (EA15-001) to include all manufacturersand vehicles known to be affected at this time.ODI's EA investigation will focus on, among other things, root cause analysis, other potential defect consequences, identification of affected vehicles scope, and adequacy of the remedy.The recalls related to this PE are: 14V343, 14V344, 14V348, 14V351, 14V353, 14V655, 14V700, 14V701, 14V752, 14V763, 14V770, 14V773, 14V787, 14V802 and 14V817.The number of vehicles affected are an estimate since some vehicles may have both the driver and passenger side inflators recalled. The five ODI reports cited above can be reviewed online at www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchNHTSAID under the following identification numbers: 10537899, 10568848, 10585224, 10605877, 10651492

  3. INVESTIGATION: Rear Lamp Illumination

    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA09019

    Component(s): Exterior Lighting
    Exterior Lighting:Brake Lights
    Exterior Lighting:Tail Lights
    Exterior Lighting:Turn Signal

    Summary: In a letter submitted to the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) dated August25, 2011, BMWindicated that it will conduct a voluntary recall campaign to remedy the subject vehicles.The issue involves the rear lamps in the vehicles body panel.Through normal vehicle use over time, the rear lamps ground wiring and associated 8-pin connector can experience an increase of the resistance at the electrical contact points.This can lead to intermittent or permanent loss of the rear lamp functions which include tail, brake, and turn signal operation.The recall consists of modifying the rear lamps in the vehicles body panel by adding a secondary ground connection in parallel to the existing primary ground connection.An 8-pin connector that attaches the primary ground wiring to the rear lamp assembly will also be inspected and replaced if necessary.BMW will complete dealer notification in September 2011 and will begin owner notification in October 2011.All 3 series sedans (except for the M3 sedan which utilized a different rear lamp assembly) that were built between September 1, 2001 and March 1, 2005 are included in this recall, totalling approximately 241,000 vehicles.The action taken by BMW is sufficient to resolve the issues raised by this investigation.Accordingly, this investigation is closed.

  4. INVESTIGATION: REAR LAMP ILLUMINATION

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE09036

    Component(s): Exterior Lighting
    Exterior Lighting:Brake Lights
    Exterior Lighting:Tail Lights
    Exterior Lighting:Turn Signal

    Summary: ODI has received complaints from consumers stating that their tail light assembly is not properly illuminating.the tail light assembly consists of a turn signal lamp, a tail lamp and a brake lamp.the complainants have indicated that the issue is with an 8 pin connector and associated ground wiring.these components are allegedly overheating and melting due to excessive electrical current that runs through the system.BMW issued a technical service bulletin (tsb) sib-630306 on February 2007 to address the condition by adding supplementary ground wiring to the tail lamp assembly.ODI is upgrading to an ea to further investigate the issue.

  5. INVESTIGATION: REAR LAMP ILLUMINATION

    NHTSA Defect Investigation #DP09002

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: April 08, 2009
    • Date Closed: August 06, 2009
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Exterior Lighting
    Exterior Lighting:Back Up Lights
    Exterior Lighting:Brake Lights
    Exterior Lighting:Tail Lights
    Exterior Lighting:Turn Signal

    Summary: In March 2009, the Office Of Defects Investigation (ODI) received a petition from Mr. Mark peters requesting an investigation of rear lamp failure in model year 2002-2005 BMW 3-series vehicles.an information request letter was sent to BMW in April 2009, and ODI received BMW's response in June 2009.the tail lamp assembly contains lighting for the brake lamps, tail lamps, and turn signals.a technical service bulletin (tsb) was issued by BMW in January of 2007 instructing service technicians to examine an 8 pin electrical connector for heat-related damage and to incorporate additional ground wiring to the connector.complainants have alleged that significant thermal damage to the connector and associated ground wiring has occurred.this condition can result in intermittent or total loss of all lighting (brake, tail, and turn signal) for the effected rear lamp assembly.ODI will open a preliminary evaluation to further examine this issue including further evaluating BMW complaints and related warranty data.

  6. INVESTIGATION: DELAYED TRANSMISSION ENGAGEMENT

    NHTSA Defect Investigation #DP04001

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: February 03, 2004
    • Date Closed: May 27, 2004
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Power Train:Automatic Transmission

    Summary: Ms. Claire M. tieder of reston, va, submitted a defect petition to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by letter dated January 11, 2004, requesting a defect investigation be conducted into delayed transmission engagement on model year 2004 BMW xi vehicles.BMW's response to NHTSA's information request indicated that certain BMW 3-series vehicles equipped with the GM5 transmission may exhibited a forward 'park' to 'drive' engagement delay from2 to 30 seconds.however, the condition can occur only during a vehicle "cold start, " after the vehicle has been at rest for more than eight hours.drivers experiencing the delay have learned to take precautionary and compensatory measures.bwm will replace affected transmissions exhibiting the delay, after the condition has been verified, with an improved unit.no alleged crashes, injuries, or fatalities have been reported to either BMW or NHTSA relating to this issue.based on analysis of NHTSA's consumer complaints and BMW's data, the petition is denied.for details, see federal register, vol. 69, no. 91 (May 11, 2004).

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