NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 2004 BMW 745

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 745, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:


    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA08001

    Component(s): Air Bags
    Air Bags:Frontal
    Air Bags:Frontal:Sensor/Control Module

    Summary: BMW is conducting a safety recall campaign on approximately 200,000 MY04 through MY06 subject vehicles built through 11/30/05 to correct the front passenger seat air bag occupant detection mat. The specific vehicles included in the recall aremy04- 06/ 5-series with standard and sport seats, MY04-06/ X3-series and MY06/ 3-series with sport seats. In addition, BMW will extend the warranty coverage of the passenger seat air bag occupant detection mat to 10-year/unlimited mileage on approximately 120,000 remaining MY04-06 subject vehicles built through 11/30/05. The specific vehicles included in the extended warranty are my 06/ 6 series, my 06/ 3-series with standard seats, MY04-05/ Z4, MY04-06/ 7 series, my 06/ X5, and MY04-06/ 5-series with comfort seats.the average frequency of failures among the extended warranty groups was less than 1/7th of the recall vehicle groups.please see BMW's 08V-384 recall notification for further detailsdepending on seat configuration and vehicle geometry, the occupant detection mat can fatigue during use depending on the manner and frequency of the front passenger's entry and exit.specifically, over time, micro-cracks could develop in the side flanks of the mat causing a broken circuit.a brokencircuit can lead to the deactivation of the passenger air bag and the illumination of both the air bag warning light and the passenger air bag light.

  2. INVESTIGATION: Vehicle Rollaway

    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA12002

    Component(s): Electrical System
    Electrical System:Ignition
    Electrical System:Ignition:Switch
    Power Train:Automatic Transmission

    Summary: In a letter dated October 16, 2012, BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) submitted a Defect Information Report (DIR), NHTSA Recall No. 12V-502 to NHTSA identifying a safety defect involving the possibility of unattended vehicle rollaway in MY 2005 through 2008 BMW 7-Series (approximately 45,000) vehicles equipped with the Comfort Access Option.The Comfort Access option allows the driver to start and stop the engine (by pressing the engine start / stop button) without inserting the key fob into the vehicles key slot in the instrument panel.Subject vehicles not equipped with the Comfort Access option require the key fob be inserted the key slot to start the engine.Upon removal of the key from the key slot the vehicle will automatically shift to Park if the driver has not done so using the gearshift lever.Sunject vehicles equipped with the Comfort Access option are designed such that when the vehicle is stopped with the service brakes applied and the transmission in Drive or Reverse, the driver can push the engine start/stop button one time, stopping the engine and automatically shifting the transmission to Park.In its DIR, BMW identified a condition such that if the driver depressed the start-stop button multiple times in rapid succession, the transmission could shift to Neutral instead of Park.With the transmission in neutral, depending on the slope of the road, the vehicle could rollaway if unattended.In review of data submitted to the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) and of reports submitted to BMW, ODI identified 20 reports alleging vehicle rollaway involving vehicles equipped with Comfort Access.The vehicles identified in these reports are all subject to recall 12V-502.Ten of these reports were identified as likely related to the defect described in recall 12V-502.Two of the reports are likely related to other mechanical failures.The remaining 8 allegations of vehicle rollaway could not be associated with a specific cause.There are 32 reports alleging vehicle rollaway in the subject vehicles not equipped with the Comfort Access option.A vehicle based safety defect trend was not identified in these reports.Subject vehicles not equipped the Comfort Access option will automatically shift to Park once the key fob is removed from the key slot.In this regard these vehicles behave similarly to those with traditional mechanical keys where the key cannot be removed from the ignition unless the vehicle is shifted to Park.The difference between these vehicles and the subject vehicles with the Comfort Access option is that in the Comfort Access equipped vehicles, the engine can be started and stopped without the key fob in the key slot.ODI reports 10429922 and 10419177 noted in the EA opening resume were determined to be vehicles not equipped with the Comfort Access option and ODI did not identify a vehicle based safety defect associated with these incidents.This investigation is closed.The ODI report cited above can be reviewed at www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchNHTSAID under the following identification (ODI) numbers:10185770

  3. INVESTIGATION: Vehicle Rollaway

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE11025

    • Status:
    • Date Opened: August 05, 2011
    • Date Closed: April 23, 2012
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Electrical System
    Power Train:Automatic Transmission

    Summary: In response to the Office of Defects Investigation's (ODI) Information Request (IR) for PE11-025, BMW provided ODI with 1 complaint and 46 field reports relating to either incidents of unattended vehicle rollaway or vehicle movement after the driver expected the vehicle gearshift to automatically shift to park. ODI's analysis of the data provided by BMW identified 14 crashes and 5 alleged injuries. ODI has also identified 3 additional reports in its database alleging vehicle rollaway incidents of which 2 resulted in crashes.The subject vehicles are all equipped with push-buttons ("Start/Stop" button) to control starting/stopping the engine and "Shift-by-Wire" gearshift systems controlled by a column mounted selector lever behind the steering wheel. The "Start/Stop" button also controls switching the ignition and the radio ready state "On" and "Off." Shift-by-wire systems replace the traditional mechanical connection (e.g., cable or linkage) between the gearshift and automatic transmission with an electronic connection controlled by a computer module. When parking the vehicle, the driver has the capability to manually shift the vehicle to park by pressing the Park button on the end of the electronic gearshift lever. However, the instructions for engine shutoff provided in the owner's manual state that pressing the Start/Stop button serves the dual function of switching off the engine and automatically shifting the transmission to Park.In response to ODI's information request for PE11-025, BMW described several circumstances where the subject vehicles may shift to neutral when the driver may expect it to automatically shift to park. First, for Comfort Access System (CAS) vehicles, if the transmission is in neutral when the key fob is in the ignition slot and the Start/Stop button is pressed to shut-off the engine, the transmission will remain in neutral. This is referred to as the Carwash mode and is a normal operating feature of the vehicles that is described in the owner's manual. BMW also described two circumstances that are not normal operating features and are not described in the owners' manual: (1) with the transmission in drive or reverse and the engine running, if the Start/Stop button is pushed 2 or 3 times within a 0.3 second to 0.5 second interval, the engine will stop and the transmission will shift to Neutral; and 2) if the Park button on the gearshift lever is pressed at the same time that the gearshift lever is actuated (i.e., toggled up or down) to select drive, reverse or neutral; the transmission will shift to neutral or remain in neutral.Beginning in model year (MY) 2005, BMW introduced CAS as an optional feature package for the subject vehicles.The "key" for CAS equipped vehicles is an electronic code that is sent to the engine control module by a remote transmitter (key fob). An optional docking port (key slot) is provided for driver convenience or to put the vehicle into Car Wash mode, which allows for engine shutoff in neutral. BMW sold approximately 45,000 subject vehicles with CAS and approximately 94 percent of the CAS equipped vehicles were produced from MY 2006 through 2008. Non-CAS subject vehicles were produced from MY 2002 through 2008 and require the remote control to be in the ignition slot located next to the Start/Stop button to start the engine.The 50 incidents identified by ODI's analysis of complaints and field reports include 18 involving CAS vehicles (39.6 incidents per 100,000 vehicles) and 32 involving non-CAS vehicles (42.0 incidents per 100,000 vehicles). Because the incidents are considered random events, the failure rates were also adjusted for vehicle exposure, resulting in rates of 7.9 and 5.5 incidents per 100,000 vehicle-years for the CAS and non-CAS vehicles, respectively.This investigation is being upgraded to an Engineering Analysis (EA12-002) to further assess the potential safety consequences of the alleged defect in the subject vehicles.

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