There are always growing pains when automakers introduce new technologies. BMW is learning this with the electric powetrain used on the 2011 BMW ActiveE. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about half of the all-electric 1 Series coupes currently in the hands of the public are being recalled for a potential problem that could leave the cars stranded.

With 700 ActiveE models running around the US, 360 of these cars have insufficient sealing between the electric motor and transmission, which could lead to premature wear to the connection between the two, which in turn could result in a loss of propulsion. BMW started notifying affected owners by phone earlier this month.

While no automaker wants a recall on its hands, it's much better for BMW to learn such a lesson now on the low-production, lease-only ActiveE ahead of the car's successor, the BMW i3, which is expected to be a much higher-volume EV. Scroll down for the official recall notification.
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Report Receipt Date: JAN 17, 2013
NHTSA Campaign Number: 13V017000
Component(s): POWER TRAIN
Potential Number of Units Affected: 360
Manufacturer: BMW of North America, LLC

SUMMARY:
BMW is recalling certain model year 2011 1-Series ActiveE passenger vehicles manufactured August 17, 2011, through December, 19, 2011. Due to an insufficient sealing of the drivetrain housing assembly there may be a lack of grease lubrication on the gear shaft that transfers power from the electric motor to the transmission.

CONSEQUENCE:
Over time, the connection between the electric motor and the transmission may wear, possibly resulting in a sudden loss of vehicle propulsion. This could increase the risk of a vehicle crash.

REMEDY:
BMW will notify owners by telephone, and dealers will inspect the drivetrain connection and update the sealing system. Any worn electric motor gearing will be replaced. The recall is expected to begin in January 2013. Owners may call BMW at 1-800-525-7417 or email BMW at CustomerRelations@bmwusa.com.

NOTES:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.