It’s one thing to feel the breeze through an open window or sunroof while driving down the road; it’s a very different experience when that fresh air comes from a door that opened on its own.
BMW has announced the recall of 45,484 model year 2005 to 2008 745i, 745Li, 750i, 750Li, 760i, 760Li, and B7 Alpina vehicles equipped with both the Comfort Access and Soft Close Automatic options.
According to a notice [PDF] posted with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the recalled vehicles may contain doors that appear to be closed and latched, when, in reality, the latch is not fully engaged.
Because of this, rough roads or inadvertent contact between an occupant and the door could result in the door unexpectedly opening while driving, BMW says, warning that the sudden opening could result in occupant ejection or increase the risk of injury in the event of a crash.
This isn’t the first door latch-related recall for BMW. In fact, the company notes in documents sent to NHTSA that the issue is related to the 2012 recall [PDF] of 7,485 model year 2005 to 2007 7-Series vehicles.
According to the chronology submitted by BMW for the new recall, the company was approached by NHTSA to discuss the scope and remedy of the previous recall based on the complaints received by the agency.
BMW reviewed and analyzed the complaints, determining they contained two issues: the door cannot close before driving away and the door could open unexpectedly while driving. Complaints about the door latching issues can be found in NHTSA’s customer complaint database.
The owner of a 2008 750Li tells NHTSA that they were driving the vehicle when the driver door came open and would not latch afterward.
In 2012, another owner reported driving at 73 miles per hour when the driver’s side front door opened and failed to lock again.
One owner of a 2006 750Li said that two of the doors on their car had this problem, though luckily not at the same time.
“While operating the vehicle, the front driver side door suddenly opened,” the owner wrote in May 2016. “On another occasion, the rear passenger door erroneously opened.”
After discussing findings with NHTSA in April, BMW determined that it was indeed possible for a door to unexpectedly open while driving if a latch or door handle failed. In May, the company concluded a recall was necessary.
However, the carmaker says a remedy for the issue has yet to be identified. Owners of affected vehicles may contact BMW at 1-800-525-7417 or email BMW at CustomerRelations@bmwusa.com.