• BMW 3

Last year marked a milestone for the United States in automobile sales, as 2012 saw the country’s best numbers since 2007, which is a remarkable feat in a struggling economy. While that isn’t necessarily great news for every automobile manufacturer – some companies still reported losses and slow sales – the big winner was BMW, as the German luxury car manufacturer sold more than 347,000 vehicles, including MINIs, in the U.S. That marked the second year in a row that BMW led the nation in luxury automobile sales, and above all else, it was the company’s best sales numbers ever in America. Truly, that is a sign of the American consumer’s appreciation for high quality and dependable vehicles.

Unfortunately, that appreciation took a hit last week as the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that BMW will voluntarily recall approximately 504,000 3-Series luxury sedans because of a manufacturing defect involving a battery cable connector, according to a report by the Associated Press. Specifically, poorly-constructed cable connectors and fuse box terminals can cause the battery connection to break down over a shortened period of time, and if this occurs, the battery can fail and cause the vehicle to stall while it is being operated. Naturally, this could lead to very serious accidents and injuries.

In an acknowledgement statement to the NHTSA, BMW officials reported that the vehicles involved in this recall include the 128I (2008-2012), 135I (2008-2012), 328I (2007-2011), 335I (2007-2011), and Z4 (2009-2011) models. The recall will begin in March, and BMW representatives will begin contacting vehicle owners to notify them of this problem and schedule a free repair. Consumers can also contact BMW directly for additional information at (800) 525-7417.

The 3 Series is far and away BMW’s most popular vehicle in the U.S., as more than 100,000 were purchased by American drivers in 2012, totaling close to one-third of the company’s sales. In addition to the American recall, approximately 65,000 BMW vehicles have also been recalled in Canada because of this electrical defect.