BWi3luv
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2020 6:07 pm

My i3 caught on fire!

Fri Dec 18, 2020 6:46 pm

My husband took our i3 Rex for an oil change. 20 minutes later, as range extender kicked on, smoke started coming from back of car followed by smoke in the cabin and a burnt oil smell. The i3 became a brick (no power steering or brakes and windows would go down as cabin filled with smoke.) He was able to get the car to the side of the road and within 1 minute and 45 seconds the car was in flames. 15,000 gallons of water later, the fire department noticed the dipstick for the generator appeared to be missing. Anyone out there with thoughts?! Obviously it was towed back to the bmw where it was serviced for an investigation. We are just shocked, we loved this car!
Last edited by BWi3luv on Sat Dec 19, 2020 8:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

Timjohn
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:37 am

Re: My i3 caught on fire!

Fri Dec 18, 2020 8:26 pm

So sorry to hear about this...hope your insurance covers your loss. I appears the missing dip stick is the culprit. I hate to say this but it appears to be the fault of the people who did your oil change.

The oil from the REX engine flowed out the dip stick channel, drained down to the hot engine exhaust and caught on fire. If it smelled like burning oil, then its burning engine oil.

If you were traveling on the highway then the REX will increase its output to keep the SOC and the engine would be revving higher rpm's and this would result in an internal pressure inside the engine. So engine oil would flow up through the dip stick channel and results were apparently catastrophic.

BWi3luv
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2020 6:07 pm

Re: My i3 caught on fire!

Sat Dec 19, 2020 8:26 am

That was my thought but considering it was serviced at bmw, hoping their insurance will be covering it instead of mine. They are opening an investigation.

BL5
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun May 03, 2020 10:23 am

Re: My i3 caught on fire!

Mon Dec 21, 2020 9:43 pm

Wow sorry to hear about your i3 catching fire. I'd file a claim with your own insurance company, as long as you have comprehensive coverage it will fall under that coverage/deductible. Comprehensive does cover mechanical failures. Let them work it out with BMW on fault and possible subrogation. The dealer's insurance could cover this loss under garage keepers.

Go find yourself a newer nicer BMW i3 and don't sweat this, no one got hurt.
2015 White REx, loaded Tera, ACC
2017 White REx, every option
2018 Tesla P3

Edii
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2021 12:46 am

Re: My i3 caught on fire!

Thu Jun 17, 2021 12:50 am

Hi

I had a similar incident, however it wasnt an oil changed they replaced my REX and then my car blew up a day after I got it back, I was wondering if you can let me know what the outcome of the matter was, as well as how long it took for them to conduct the investigation?

My incident happened last month a technician was supposed to come on the 4th of June from Munich but this has been "delayed" due to COVID.

Thank you very much
Best regards

Edi

BWi3luv
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2020 6:07 pm

Re: My i3 caught on fire!

Thu Jun 17, 2021 4:39 pm

The incident occurred on Dec 15, 2020. Of course because of the holidays and covid, everything moved slowly. Investigation was late January. In the meantime, bmw put me in a beautiful brand new x5 rental. It was a gas guzzler because of the turbo but awesome in the snow and this year we had more than normal in Ohio. The investigation revealed that the oil cap had not been tightened properly, in other words…technician error. The dealership ultimately replaced the car with a year newer (2017), with less miles, the tera trim package and sunroof for exactly what we owed on the previous car. BMW North America gave us some money towards it as well as a gesture of kindness for our trouble. My new car had to be shipped from California and it had to be certified by dealership which took a week. I had my new car in mid February. We were so pleased not to submit it to our insurance. BMW owned their mistake, and made it right. Accidents happen, I bet this technician will now be the most thorough one they have ever had, and they have made life long customers out of us.
Last edited by BWi3luv on Fri Jun 18, 2021 7:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

JohnWasser
Posts: 87
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2020 6:15 pm

Re: My i3 caught on fire!

Fri Jun 18, 2021 7:21 am

I wonder why the REX kicked on. Is it something that happens automatically after an oil change? Was it due for a maintenance run? Was the battery below 6.5%?

BWi3luv
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2020 6:07 pm

Re: My i3 caught on fire!

Fri Jun 18, 2021 7:31 am

The battery was low so it kicked into the Rex.

SSi3
Posts: 265
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:55 am
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: My i3 caught on fire!

Fri Jun 18, 2021 9:50 am

BWi3luv wrote:
Thu Jun 17, 2021 4:39 pm
The incident occurred on Dec 15, 2020. Of course because of the holidays and covid, everything moved slowly. Investigation was late January. In the meantime, bmw put me in a beautiful brand new x5 rental. It was a gas guzzler because of the turbo but awesome in the snow and this year we had more than normal in Ohio. The investigation revealed that the oil cap had not been tightened properly, in other words…technician error. The dealership ultimately replaced the car with a year newer (2017), with less miles, the tera trim package and sunroof for exactly what we owed on the previous car. BMW North America gave us some money towards it as well as a gesture of kindness for our trouble. My new car had to be shipped from California and it had to be certified by dealership which took a week. I had my new car in mid February. We were so pleased not to submit it to our insurance. BMW owned their mistake, and made it right. Accidents happen, I bet this technician will now be the most thorough one they have ever had, and they have made life long customers out of us.
wow thanks for the update, glad to hear the dealership and BMW stepped up.
Born electric 4/25/15 (2015 REx)
Re-born fully electric 7/27/19 (2019 i3s BEV)

Edii
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2021 12:46 am

Re: My i3 caught on fire!

Fri Jun 25, 2021 4:31 am

Theyre taking the piss out of me, its been almost 2 months and they havent done anything yet, if I show you some pictures and the video of my car, you will say "how the hell did you survive?", it was horrific. BMW UK seems like theyre in cruise control nobody cares with some really relaxed vibes, its a shame the customer service has been horrendous, for someone that has only owned BMW it has really made think if its time to buy another brand.

In the UK, everyone that I have spoken to (lawyers, insurance brokers etc.) have told me I have to report it to my insurance company for the investigation to take place, theyve put me in a really nice brand new 2021 520D MHEV (incredible by the way, really makes you realise how BMW are actually Kings of the Road), I am still paying for the vehicle I do not have AND fuel for the courtesy vehicle that they have provided.

But honestly this turtle style approach is becoming a pain in the neck for me.

NEVER buying an I3 especially with range extender, their have been so many that have caught a light its ridiculous clearly big reason for them removing it from the line.

Thank you for your help though!

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