According to information provided in a letter by BMW of North America to the NHTSA on October 24, 2013, “a calibration threshold within the throttle valve control software has been determined to be overly sensitive. As a result, under certain operating conditions, an implausible signal may be registered within the engine control unit. If this happens, the engine control unit may initiate a ‘fail safe mode,’ (which limits engine speed to 2000 rpm). In rare cases, the engine could stall, increasing the risk of a crash.”
Complaints of engine stalling began in August 2011 in Europe but after inspection a “root cause for stalling of the customer’s motorcycle could not be identified.” Additional incidents in Europe and the U.S. led BMW to update the engine control unit throttle valve software in March 2012 “to reduce the possibility ‘fail safe mode’ occurrences.” More complaints of engine stalling and ‘fail safe mode’ occurrences led BMW engineers to investigate the issue further and machines examined between February and October 2013 confirmed that “the overly sensitive software calibration threshold was likely the root cause for engine stalling.”
BMW will notify owners of affected models and update the throttle control software for free. Owners may contact BMW customer relations at 1-800-525-7417 or email BMW at CustomerRelations@bmwusa.com.
Additional information can also be obtained by calling the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or by going to www.safecar.gov. The NHTSA campaign ID number is 13V526000.