A recall affecting 18 different BMW motorcycle models from seven model years has been announced for the U.S., affecting 50,184 motorcycles. At issue is a potential leak in the fuel pumps or auxiliary fuel pumps on 2005-2011 BMW R series models, 2005-2012 K series models, 2006-2010 HP2 models and 2010-2011 S1000RR sportbikes. A similar recall was announced last month in Canada, affecting 6,325 motorcycles, and we knew it was a matter of time before the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced one for the U.S.
According to documents released by NHTSA, ductile cracks to develop on the plastic fuel pump flanges due to excessive loads during servicing. These loads may be generated by the improper removal and insertion of the quick connector or by removing the fuel tank without disconnecting the fuel line. Corrosive materials may also cause damage. Over time, the cracks may affect the seal between the flange and its housing, creating a fuel leak when the engine is running.
The recall is the result of a NHTSA investigation, originally centering on R series models from model years 2005-2008. NHTSA initiated a Preliminary Evaluation (PE) in November 2012 before upgrading the investigation to an Engineering Analysis (EA) in July 2013. During this time, BMW conducted its own review and shared information with NHTSA.
In response to the PE, BMW told NHTSA it received its first related warranty claim in February 2006, with several more claims processed through 2007. In September 2009, BMW received its first consumer complaint about fuel leaks. The following month, BMW received two more complaints on motorcycles that had accumulated more than 60,000 miles.
BMW says it conducted testing and analysis from November 2009 to February 2010 and determined the leaks were caused by cracks to the flanges caused during servicing. BMW calculates a failure rate of 0.02% after one year, 0.09% after two years and 0.31% after three years of use. According to the NHTSA documents, BMW does not believe the problem poses an unreasonable risk to safety, and had received no reports of accidents, injuries or fires related to fuel leaks. Still, BMW decided to cooperate with NHTSA and expanded the solution to models beyond the motorcycles under investigation.
Between October 2010 and February 2011, BMW evaluated two solutions to improve the fuel pump, one using a small reduction of torque during installation of the fuel pump flange and the other adding a reinforcing metal support ring over the fuel pump flange neck. The solutions were added to regular production in the first half of 2011. On December 5, 2013, BMW decided to conduct a voluntary recall.
BMW dealers will examine recalled motorcycles for cracks in the flanges. If no leaks are present, cracks are small and the flange diameter remains within a certain range, dealers will install the reinforcing support ring. If more serious signs are present, dealers will replace the fuel pump. Recall notifications will be sent to owners in February 2014.
The U.S. recall affects the following models and model years:
- 2006 BMW HP2 Enduro – 364 units
- 2008-2009 BMW HP2 Megamoto – 93 units
- 2008-2010 BMW HP2 Sport – 196 units
- 2006-2008 BMW K1200GT – 3,073 units
- 2006-2008 BMW K1200R – 1,373 units
- 2005-2008 BMW K1200S – 3,562 units
- 2009-2011 BMW K1300GT – 1,161 units
- 2007 BMW K1200R Sport – 488 units
- 2009-2011 BMW K1300S – 1,291 units
- 2012 BMW K1600GT – 433 units
- 2012 BMW K1600GTL – 335 units
- 2005-2011 BMW R1200GS – 12,996 units
- 2006-2011 BMW R1200GS Adventure – 6,201 units
- 2007-2011 BMW R1200R – 2,163 units
- 2005-2011 BMW R1200RT – 12,542 units
- 2005-2011 BMW R1200ST – 554 units
- 2007 BMW R1200S – 477 units
- 2010-2011 BMW S1000RR – 2,882 units