BMW’s flagship plug-in hybrid sports car, the super-sleek BMW i8, has been given an official recall to solve a manufacturing defect in its gasoline fuel tank which could result in a fuel leak and fire if ignored.
The recall affects certain 2014 model year cars, produced between May 16, 2014 and September 16, 2014.
As the official recall notes, the source of the defect is a small bolt used to attach an earthing strap between the fuel tank and the vehicle chassis may been inadequately welded to the fuel tank, resulting in the potential for fuel to leak from the vehicle’s gasoline tank and subsequently start a fire.
Unlike the BMW i3 BEV, which is a 100 percent electric vehicle, or the BMW i3 REx range-extended vehicle which has a small gasoline engine on board as an emergency range-extending measure, the BMW i8’s three-cylinder gasoline engine is used alongside its powerful electric motor to provide the perfect balance between economy and performance. More of a traditional plug-in hybrid than a range-extended electric car, the BMW i8 has a much larger, 10.5 gallon fuel tank than the 1.9 gallons of the BMW i3 REx.
Unfortunately however, that means that there’s far more energy stored on board in the form of fuel, and as any chemistry professor will tell you, the more energy stored, the bigger the bang if something goes wrong.
BMW says that only certain 2014 model year BMW i8 models are affected, and it will notify owners of affected cars imminently if their car requires inspection and complementary repair.
In the meantime, concerned owners can contact BMW on 1-800-525-7417 in the U.S, or email CustomerRelations@bmwusa.com.
And while we’re not trying to make light of the situation, we’re pretty sure some Tesla fans somewhere will use this unfortunate and serious recall to resurrect the #notatesla meme. While this particular recall wouldn’t have happened if the i8 was a purely electric sports car, we’d like to remind readers that it’s not considered nice to indulge in schadenfreude of fellow plug-in car owners, especially if they have a gasoline engine too.
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