2012-2015 BMW 3-Series Recalled To Fix Exterior Lighting Software Glitch

September 14, 2015

BMW is recalling more than 7,500 U.S.-registered 3-Series vehicles from model years 2012 to 2015. According to a bulletin from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, some of those cars may suffer from a software glitch that could decrease their visibility at night, in fog, or at other times.

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The flaw is linked to the code that controls the front side marker lights. NHTSA documents report that an update to BMW software issued on June 15 of this year caused the front side marker lights on at least one 3-Series vehicle to stop illuminating in conjunction with the car's headlights. That makes the car somewhat more difficult to see in low-visibility conditions, increasing the risk of an accident. 

The recall includes the following models:

  • 2012-2015 BMW 320i, 320xi, 328i, 328xi, 335i, 335xi, and ActiveHybrid3 vehicles built between October 20, 2011 and June 22, 2015
  • 2014-2015 BMW 328xi Sports Wagon vehicles built between March 21, 2013 and March 17, 2015
  • 2014-2015 BMW 328d, 328xd vehicles built between June 28, 2013 and April 21, 2015
  • 2014-2015 BMW 328xd Sports Wagon vehicles built between July 5, 2013 and April 21, 2015

All told, the recall affects 7,544 vehicles in the U.S. BMW says that it knows of no accidents or injuries linked to the problem, though.

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BMW will mail recall notices to owners by October 9. After receiving those notices, owners will be able to take their cars to a BMW dealer, who will install new software, free of charge.  

In theory, if you've not had your BMW software updated since June 15, your vehicle probably isn't affected by this recall. However, it's always better to be safe than sorry. You can contact BMW customer service for clarification at 800-525-7417 or at [email protected] You can also ring NHTSA at 888-327-4236 and inquire about safety campaign #15V520000.

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