2014 BMW i3
John Goreham's picture

BMW i3 check engine light issue close to resolution

BMW is preparing a solution to the problem according to a new BMW memo.
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The all-new electric i3 from BMW is thrilling new owners in the US as the launch continues successfully for the automaker. Like any new model, particularly a completely new one, small issues have arisen that will be overcome. One of the most frustrating for new owners has been a “Check Engine Light”, called a CEL, that is appearing on the dashboards of some i3s.

The issue is limited to the range extended version of the popular i3, known as the “REx.” This is the version that has a small onboard gasoline generator that can help the i3 get to a charge station if the battery runs low, or runs completely out of power. The CEL seems to be an indication that there is an emissions fault, but the cars are not storing an emissions fault code, so BMW is resetting the cars manually and sending them on their way. A recent document viewed by Torque News dated this week shows that BMW has a new software update that is “going to be released shortly” intended to solve the problem.

Although it is not a funny subject to owners now driving the i3 with the check engine light on, it is a little cute that the BMW icon is that of a classic engine profile showing an internal combustion engine with an air filter on top and a cooling fan up front. Some owners have taken to using the old-school method of turning off a dashboard light. They have used black electrical tape.

Overall the new BMW i3's US market launch has gone as planned. First sales started last month and exceeded 300 units. June and July will be ramp-up months, and by year's end the i3 may have sales exceeding the number four electrified car in the US, theTesla Model S and possibly even the Toyota Prius Plug-In.

For more details and more photos on this subject please see this post by an early adopter, and i3 REX owner.

Main story photo courtesy of George Betak. Gallery photos by John Goreham.


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