BMW said its recent recalls were not about a drop in quality but the industry’s concern for customer safety.
German manufacturer BMW said its recent recalls were not about a drop in quality but the industry’s concern for customer safety.
Chief executive Helmut Panke told the that the industry had changed in the last decade and manufacturers were willing to have a recall to ensure safety.
“As soon as there is just the littlest doubt, there is a recall – not just with BMW,” he said. “Now it’s almost a sign of customer care… and I think that is right,” he said.
BMW is recalling 56 000 X5 sport-utility vehicles and 38 700 Minis worldwide. CARtoday.com reported last month that BMW was notifying owners of Mini Cooper cars that a faulty cable, which could make it difficult to change gears, would have to be replaced. About 200 Mini Coopers in South Africa were affected.
The X5 has a problem with the brake pedal shaft, which could result in a sudden loosening of the pedal and loss of brake power at low speeds or while parking.
Panke said with about 10 000 parts assembled by people at multiple companies, mistakes could happen.
Panke said that the German manufacturer could not keep up with demand for its vehicles. He said dealers have only 15 days’ worth of sales on their lots and in transit, while manufacturers usually aim for 60 to 70 days’ supply.
He said BMW factories had increased their output. They had added shifts and used staggered breaks to avoid shutdowns for breakfast or lunch. The new Z4 sports coupe will be built at Spartanburg, South Carolina and capacity at this factory will go from 120 000 now to 150 000 next year.
He said they would also increase X5 production at the Spartenburg factory due to the high demand. Panke said customers in Europe were waiting a few months for the X5, and the waiting period in Asia was six to eight months.