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NHTSA recalls 2009 BMW X5 for fire risks

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced a recall of diesel powered 2009 BMW X5 sport utility vehicles over a concern that the fuel line heater could stick on, vastly increasing the risk of fire in the worst case scenario.

This new BMW recall affects 2,120 X5 models from the 2009 model year with the diesel engine that were built between October 1st 2008 and June 12th 2009. In these BMW SUVs, there is a heater built into the fuel filter system that helps pre-heat the fuel in cold climates. If you are unfamiliar with the workings of a diesel engine, due to the nature of diesel fuel in lower temperatures the fuel can thicken or “gel”, making it very difficult for the vehicle to start or run properly. To help prevent this, the 2009 BMW X5 35d models are equipped with an in-line fuel heater that works in conjunction with the fuel filter system.

The cause for this BMW X5 fuel filter recall is that the line heater can “become permanently activated” due to an electrical overload which can either drain the battery. Also, in the worse case situations, the heater can essentially cook the fuel which can lead to a fire. Needless to say, having something start a fire in your fuel line presents a massive safety risk so the German automaker is getting these vehicles back to dealerships for repairs, although the NHTSA includes no mention of fires, accidents or injuries stemming from this fuel filter problem.

This BMW X5 recall is expected to begin in early October 2011, with owners being asked to return to their local BMW dealership where a technician will replace the fuel filter heating system, free of charge. Owners who would like more information can contact BMW’s customer relation services at 1-800-525-7417.

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