Apparently this ultimate driving machine is having some problems. There aren't that many BMW ActiveE out there (around 700 EVs on two-year leases), which will make the task of recalling all of them for power steering issues easier.
Apparently, BMW is experiencing some growing pains with its electric car demonstration program. This isn't a huge deal and I don't want to sound too harsh; I'm glad that BMW is working on electric cars and doing some real-world tests with leased cars. When working with a new technology, you're bound to face new challenges. But I do wish that they would jump with both feet and start designing vehicles to be electric from the ground up. If they don't, they will eventually get their lunch eaten by companies like Tesla, and maybe even Nissan (a pure EV Infiniti is at the R&D phase, I'm sure).
Here's the all-caps press release from the NHTSA:
Vehicle Make / Model: Model Year(s):
BMW / ACTIVEE 2011
BMW / Z4 2012
Manufacturer: BMW OF NORTH AMERICA, LLC Mfr's Report Date: JUN 28, 2012
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 12V302000 NHTSA Action Number: N/A
Component: STEERING:ELECTRIC POWER ASSIST SYSTEM
Potential Number of Units Affected: 162
BMW IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2011 1-SERIES ACTIVE E AND MODEL YEAR 2012 Z4 VEHICLES. VARIATIONS IN ELECTRICAL CURRENT MAY OCCUR WITHIN THE ELECTRIC POWER STEERING ASSISTANCE SYSTEM, LEADING TO SUDDEN LOSS OF POWER STEERING ASSISTANCE.
SUDDEN LOSS OF STEERING ASSISTANCE MAY INCREASE THE STEERING EFFORT REQUIRED TO CONTROL THE DIRECTION OF A VEHICLE, INCREASING THE RISK OF A CRASH.
BMW WILL NOTIFY OWNERS, AND DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE STEERING ASSISTANCE MODULE, FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING JULY 2012. OWNERS MAY CONTACT BMW CUSTOMER RELATIONS AT 1-800-525-7417.
CUSTOMERS MAY CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-9153); OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.