BMW is recalling 3,431 electric vehicles because the sound generator used when backing up might fail. Specifically, certain examples of the 2022-2023 BMW i4 eDrive40 (1,988 vehicles) and 2022-2023 BMW iX xDrive50 (1,443 vehicles) are being recalled.
BMW says the external artificial noise generator control unit “may, sporadically, experience a fault condition.” If this occurs, the typical beep/hum it’s required to emit when backing up may not play. That would put these BMWs out of compliance as it concerns FMVSS 141 Section 5. In case you were curious, this section of regulations covers the minimum sound requirements for hybrid and electric vehicles. Since there’s no natural engine sound to alert nearby people to their presence, all of these vehicles are required to produce artificial noise at low speeds.
The fault in a lack of noise while backing up was discovered in quality control checks at a BMW manufacturing facility. BMW then did a full analysis to determine which vehicle models and which options packages the fault was being displayed in. For i4 owners, it appears that only the eDrive40 is affected, so i4 M50 owners need not worry. As for the iX, only the xDrive50 is included in this recall, so iX M60 owners can sit it out.
For those with affected vehicles, owners will be notified and instructed to bring their EVs into the dealership to have their vehicles updated with new artificial sound generator software.