BMW recalls 61,000 cars for sunroof programming issue

Sunroofs shouldn't be able to close without the key fob present, BMW says

BMW is recalling 61,221 vehicles to address potentially faulty sunroof control unit programming that allows them to be closed without the key fob being present in the car, which is a violation of federal regulations that could result in injury to unattended persons or animals in the vehicle. 

This recall applies to a huge swath of BMW's lineup, including the 2022 4 Series Gran Coupe (430i, 430i xDrive, M440i xDrive); 2019-2022 X5 sDrive40i, X5 xDrive40i, X5 xDrive50i, X5 M50i, X5M; 2021-2022 X5 xdrive45e; 2020-2022 X6 sDrive40i, X6 xDrive40i, X6 xDrive50i, X6M and 2019-2023 X7 xDrive40i, X7 xDrive50i, X7 M50i, X7 xDrive60i, X7 M60i, X7M, Alpina XB7. Catch all that? Good. There's a test later. 

Specifically, BMW says this is a violation of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 118, "Power-Operated Window Systems." While regulations allow the use of a fob to operate those functions remotely, there are guidelines dictating how far away the key fob can be in order for the vehicle's windows and sun-/moonroof functions to be accessible. BMW's faulty software violates part (g), which states:

"[...] the remote actuation device shall be incapable of closing the power window, partition or roof panel if the device and the vehicle are separated by an opaque surface and provided that the remote actuation device shall be incapable of closing the power window, partition or roof panel from a distance of more than 11 meters from the vehicle." 

BMW says that at least some models in a relatively large swath of its lineup left the factory with incorrect programming, and although its cars are equipped with anti-pinch/anti-trap sensors in the windows and roof features, the cars still fail to meet the above standard and must be recalled. Dealers have already been informed of the issue, which will require reprogramming of the vehicle module. This can be done in-person or over-the-air.

Owners should receive instructions no later than mid-June.

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