Artificial Noise on 2021 i3

BMW i3 Forum

Help Support BMW i3 Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


New member
Dec 7, 2021
I am just replacing my 2017 i3 Rex with a 2021 i3. It has an artificial noise generator. I believe it was an option. Does anyone know how to switch it off?
It depends where you are. In many countries you cannot legally turn off the pedestrian warning sound - it is after all there for the benefit of pedestrians, and not for the benefit of the driver.

If you are in a territory where it is a mandatory requirement, there will be no option within Idrive to turn it off. It should still be possible to turn it off by coding, but you need to bear in mind that this may have insurance implications in some countries.
My 2018 i3 lease was totally quiet, thankfully. But when I switched to a 2021 lease (which I have now purchased) I noticed the warning noise as a low but obvious rumble. Now, 3 years later, I hardly hear it. You may not have the same experience but I’m I longer bothered by it.
I would encourage you to let it be -- it's been mandated for a purpose.

"Data from 32bn miles of battery-powered car travel and 3tn miles of petrol and diesel car trips showed that mile-for-mile electric and hybrid cars were twice as likely to hit pedestrians than fossil fuel-powered cars, and three times more likely to do so in urban areas."

This is from data collected before the widespread use of pedestrian acoustic warning systems in Europe and the US. The study is not definitive as to the reason(s), but from observation I have to assume that EV stealth is a leading factor. I can certainly name a time when my young son and I would have been on the receiving end of a silent EV.
Yeh, have had peeps listen and then x the road, Darwin genes I recon

I love my quiet car, drive it with care, I'd def disable the noise

My wife's Zoe makes a nasty humming noise when driving slowly, easy to switch off
I drive with care, too. In my silent 2017 it was annoying how often on my quiet residential street pedestrians simply had no Idea I was behind them, and this isn't isn't the sort of situation where I'd go tooting my horn.

Here's the reality as I see it: regardless of fault, if I tamper with my acoustic warning system, and a pedestrian steps out in front of me, and I have zero opportunity to react, and they're gravely injured or killed, I'd not only have to live with that on my conscious, but also with the threat of one good personal injury attorney connecting the dots and eating my lunch. Certainly, if I or any of my family or friends faced a similar injury vs. an EV, that's something I would inquire about.

I would recommend not being so blasé about disconnecting it.
Yeh, have had peeps listen and then x the road, Darwin genes I recon
I've been hit by a car. The concussion caused personality changes for several months. Don't know if the driver made a habit of driving with care or not, I don't have any recollection of the actual incident.