BMW says hatchback engine defect now fixed

28th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

28 July 2004, MUNICH - BMW said it had fixed a problem that could make the engine die in hundreds of test-drive 1-Series hatchbacks and was back on track to launch the motor manufacturer's smallest BMW-badge car in Germany on 18 September.

28 July 2004

MUNICH - BMW said it had fixed a problem that could make the engine die in hundreds of test-drive 1-Series hatchbacks and was back on track to launch the motor manufacturer's smallest BMW-badge car in Germany on 18 September.

Confirming a report in the German magazine Focus-Money, the spokesman said about 300 vehicles had suffered problems in a computer that controls the engine and could have stalled. BMW has supplied the cars to road testers before the official German launch.

The rear-wheel-drive 1-Series is a direct competitor to the Audi A3 and is aimed at first-time buyers who want a car with a sporty image, but want to pay less than for the 3, 5 or 7-Series.

Focus-Money said BMW had quietly recalled all 116i-model cars that had been registered between 13 May and 12 June. BMW blamed the supplier of an electronic device that regulates the engine.

Focus-Money said there was a risk the engines would stall, which could lead to a serious accident since the power steering and power- assisted brakes would become suddenly heavy and some drivers would no longer be able to operate them.

BMW said no customers had been affected. All the vehicles involved were being test-driven by the company itself.

"We're expecting the launch to go very smoothly," said a spokesman for BMW in Munich.

The expansion to smaller cars is part of the German company's continuing move into the mass market on its own terms following its disastrous late 1990s investment in Rover. The 1 series is slightly larger than the New Mini, which is a separate, BMW-owned marque.

DPA

Subject: German news

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