BMW said Thursday it is recalling 7,485 2005–2007 7 Series vehicles that may have a software glitch—one that may allow the doors to inadvertently open when they appear closed.
The German automaker said that the recall covers vehicles equipped with both Comfort Access and Soft Close Automatic options, built from August 2004 through September 2007.
The automaker adds that no crashes or injuries have been reported related to the condition.
The recall is taking place five years after BMW recalled vehicles in Japan and five years after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration first asked BMW about the issue.
In May 2007, the Japanese Ministry of Land and Infrastructure Transport asked BMW about two complaints alleging inadvertent door opening on 7-Series vehicles in Japan.
Even though BMW didn't think it was a safety issue, it ultimately recalled the vehicles in Japan in September 2007.
In October 2007, NHTSA contacted BMW about several field reports of the problem in the United States. BMW responded "but no further follow-up by the agency occurred," the automaker said.
Between January and February 2008, NHTSA contacted BMW and asked if there would be any activity in the U.S. for the vehicles and asked about several other field reports of the issue.
BMW said it was going to issue a service bulletin that vehicles at the dealership for other reasons would receive updated software via a general software update.
BMW made a software update as part of production change in 2007 to address the issue.
NHTSA didn't ask about the issue again until May 2011. Earlier this month, BMW met with NHTSA to discuss this issue.
BMW noted that about 70 to 80 percent of the affected vehicles had already received the remedy of updated software, but the company agreed to do a recall anyway.
In February, BMW agreed pay a $3 million penalty for failing to recall vehicles in a timely fashion.
Federal law requires all auto manufacturers to notify NHTSA within five business days of determining that a safety defect or noncompliance exists and to promptly conduct a recall.
NHTSA's examination of 16 BMW recalls issued in 2010 found evidence of a number of instances where the automaker failed to report safety defects and recalls to the agency in accordance with federal law.––Paul DucheneBack to News