Vehicle speed control, back-over prevention, and exterior lighting issues are the main causes of complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners
Launched in the U.S. in 2022, the first fully-electric BMW iX is the company’s smallest and least expensive sports activity vehicle (SAV). The features of the 2023 model are largely unchanged, and it’s difficult not to notice the similarities between complaints from 2022 and 2023 owners, especially unintended acceleration problems. 2023 owners are also complaining that the recorded path function is faulty and the adaptive headlights malfunction. Additionally, both models have a large number of recalls.
Click on other model years to view more problems: 2022
Most Common Problems
The most common problem 2023 BMW i4 owners are reporting to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) about the luxury electric SAV is related to unintended acceleration. There are also issues with the recorded path feature and complaints that the high-tech adaptive headlights malfunction, causing a safety risk.
Incredibly, by mid-March 2023, there were more recalls for the 2023 BMW iX than formal complaints lodged with the NHTSA. And none of them relate to NHTSA complaints.
2023 BMW iX Complaint Summary
|Number of Complaints
|Unknown Or Other
|Forward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control
|Vehicle Speed Control
|Back Over Prevention: Warnings
|Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
By mid-April 2023, there were already 7 recalls for 2023 BMW iX models. Only one of these doesn’t affect the launch 2022 model. It is a recall prompted by a transmission final drive gear that hasn’t been properly welded. Oddly, BMW states in its recall notification that it only affects one vehicle. This, and 3 other recalls, are registered as being electrical system problems.
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There is one urgent recall that affects 367 vehicles including certain 2022-2023 iX xDrive50s with an electrical system fault. Issued on July 27, 2022, NHTSA Campaign Number 22V541000 warns affected owners that there is a fire risk when their vehicles are parked. They also recommend that they “stop driving this vehicle immediately.” The problem is that the high-voltage battery in the affected vehicles may short-circuit. Fire is the greatest risk, and dealers are instructed to replace the batteries free of charge.
Another recall related to the electrical system is also a high-voltage battery issue. According to the recall that affects as many as 14,086 BMWs, the battery’s electronic control unit software might cause an interruption of electrical power. This, in turn, is likely to result in a sudden loss of driver power, which increases the risk of a crash. Dealers are instructed to update the software without charge.
The fourth electrical system recall affects 6,930 BMWs with a center display that has missing information. The recall states that, “A display that does not show critical information such as warning messages and/or warning lights, can increase the risk of a crash.” This is another case where software needs to be replaced by dealers.
Potentially, 3,166 BMWs, including 2022-2023 iX xDrive40, 50, and M60 vehicles, may have an airbag control unit software malfunction. The indicator light of those affected doesn’t warn the driver of an airbag problem, increasing the risk of injury in a crash. The reason, says BMW, is “due to incorrect software.”
The other airbag recall affects as many as 15,803 2022-2023 BMWs including various iX vehicles. The problem here is that front drivers’ airbags may have been manufactured incorrectly. If so, they may not deploy as intended during a crash. Dealer’s are instructed to replace affected airbags free of charge.
Pedestrian Warning Sound Malfunction
For several years, there has been a law that requires new hybrids and hybrids to be fitted with a pedestrian warning sound. Compliance was delayed several times, but has been in force since September 2020. Nevertheless, many new vehicles that don’t incorporate a warning sound have been sold by manufacturers, including some BMW electric vehicles.
BMW has recalled 3,431 2022-2023 iX xDrive 50 and i4 eDrive40 vehicles because of this non-compliance.
The recall states that without external warning sounds, pedestrians may not be aware of approaching vehicles, which increases the risk of injury. Owners of affected vehicles, including the 2023 BMW iX, should have their external artificial sound generator software updated. Dealers will do this free of charge.
Unintended Acceleration Problems
There are several electric BMWs that appear to have problems with unintended acceleration. Apart from the 2022 and 2023 iX, the i4, launched at the same time as the iX, has attracted similar complaints from owners.
In a complaint sent to the NHTSA in January 2023, the owner of an iX with about 1,700 miles describes how it crashed after accelerating spontaneously. While driving at about 5 mph and “attempting to pull into a parking space, the vehicle suddenly experienced unintended acceleration.” It “accelerated forward, crashing into the rear of a second vehicle. The second vehicle then crashed into a third vehicle.” Luckily, no-one was injured. At the time of the complaint, which was filed as a vehicle speed control issue, the dealer hadn’t managed to determine the cause of the failure.
In March 2023, another owner experienced a similar issue several times. He states that the SAV accelerates on its own. “It happens randomly and without warning,” sometimes when taking off from a traffic light or after stopping. Even when he takes his foot off the accelerator it continues to accelerate. Braking does stop it.
“As it happens randomly, I sincerely doubt the dealership can reproduce this by a test drive. I think it is a software problem and a dangerous one at that. I can imagine that this could lead to disastrous consequences.”
The complaint also indicates that other BMW iX drivers have complained online about the same problem.
Back-Over Prevention Problem
A complaint from an owner in Texas about back-over prevention issues also describes a crash, this time in an iX that was only 1 week old.
The owner was backing the iX into a garage using the recorded path, having successfully used this feature multiple times. But this time, “instead of steering into the garage, it backed up straight into the wall opening, damaging the rear bumper and the garage wall.” Damage to the wall affected the garage door to the extent that it was inoperable.
The complaint goes on to say that the sensors didn’t stop the car even though “it was very clear it was heading for an obstacle.” It was only after he had repositioned it, re-engaged the recorded path, and successfully backed into the garage that he “realized the magnitude of the damage to the car and house. The sensors on the car did not stop the car nor did they alert.”
As the complaint states, “This maneuver doesn’t require driver attention since it is meant to be operated remotely from the My BMW app. However, in this incident I was in the vehicle and as attentive as I could (be).”
The owner filed a report with USAA both for vehicle and home damage.
Problem With Exterior Lighting
An owner from California describes a serious issue affecting the Icon Adaptive LED headlights with laserlight that are a feature of the 2023 BMW iX.
As he explains, they are designed to illuminate the road ahead. But, “the center of the beam is focused more tightly than is generally done with headlights, which have illumination fixed to the centerline of the car.” This feature is exactly the same as for the headlights of his 2020 BMW M340i. While the 2020 M340i headlights work perfectly, at the time of this complaint, the iX lights didn’t. It had been at a dealership for 11 days because of a separate safety recall, during which time it had all the current software updates. “Despite this, the ‘adaptive’ headlights illumination is still fixed to the centerline of the car.”
The dealer’s explanation was that other iX models with the same lighting option “behave similarly,” so this is “not a defect affecting only my particular vehicle.” Yet the car’s “diagnostics have not indicated any headlight fault. This is a significant safety matter, because the brighter focused portion (of) high beam light output is only quite rarely actually aimed at the road surface.”
What if your 2023 BMW iX is a Lemon?
Whether your BMW iX has a problem similar to those other owners are complaining about or something completely different, if you think it’s a lemon, you should consider doing something about it.
For many years, Lemberg Law has been helping vehicle owners who have found themselves with lemons. We have negotiated many settlements on their behalf. So, if you’d like us to assess your case, free of charge, contact us by calling our Helpline or filling out a contact form. The law says that BMW must pay the legal fees for lemon law cases, so it’s not going to cost you anything.