— BMW AC smells of mold, mildew and vinegar have caused a class action lawsuit that alleges the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems hold condensation which creates bad smells.
The condensation allegedly creates a moist environment for the growth of fungus, bacteria, mold and spores which are blown into the interiors of these BMW models.
- 2014-2021 BMW 2 Series
- 2014-2021 BMW 3 Series
- 2014-2021 BMW 5 Series
- 2014-2021 BMW 6 Series
- 2014-2021 BMW 7 Series
- 2014-2021 BMW X3
- 2014-2021 BMW X4
- 2014-2021 BMW X5
- 2014-2021 BMW X6
Florida plaintiff Sean Parkinson purchased a certified pre-owned 2018 BMW 540i in June 2021 when the vehicle had about 36,000 miles on the odometer.
The plaintiff says the BMW air conditioner emitted a strong vinegar smell which continues today. The plaintiff says he took the vehicle to a BMW dealer in November but was allegedly told nothing could be done about the smell.
The BMW lawsuit alleges the owner again contacted a dealer because of mold and mildew in the air conditioning system and the potential health consequences.
"A dealership representative in the service department informed him that the Defect was known to BMW, that there was no remedy BMW could offer to eliminate the Defect. The dealership representative informed Plaintiff that he, too, experienced the Defect in his own BMW Vehicle." — BMW AC smell lawsuit
According to the plaintiff, his BMW AC still smells like vinegar due to the moldy mildew air when condensation forms on the evaporator and in other areas of the heating and cooling system.
The BMW AC smell class action lawsuit alleges mold can secrete mycotoxins which are toxic to humans and known to cause "allergic reactions, infections, cellular damage, DNA damage, interference with RNA synthesis, inflammation, gastroenteritis, and other harmful effects."
The moldy vinegar smells make riding in the vehicles an unpleasant trip. And the BMW class action also alleges occupants can suffer health consequences.
BMW owners claim the moldy air and vinegar smells can occur each time the AC is turned on, especially in humid weather after it has rained.
The BMW AC smell lawsuit also alleges BMW dealers offer only temporary repairs such as replacing the cabin air filters, checking for clogged drains and applying cleaners. The lawsuit further alleges replacing the cabin air filter is a waste of time because the filter is “upstream” from the evaporator which collects moisture.
Then BMW allegedly forces owners to pay for AC smell repairs even when the vehicles are still under their warranties.
The BMW lawsuit alleges vehicle owners must continue to pay for repairs because all dealer repairs are only temporary and will need to be performed again in the future.
According to the BMW AC smell lawsuit, the automaker has issued technical service bulletins (TSBs) to dealerships since 2004 regarding air conditioning smells. TSB SI 64 04 03 was first issued in 2004 but revised several times, with BMW telling dealerships:
“The condition described in this bulletin is influenced by environmental and other external factors (dust, pollen, smoking, pets, etc.), therefore, corresponding repairs are not covered under the BMW limited warranties.” — BMW AC smell bulletins
The BMW AC bad smell lawsuit asserts the automaker should repair all the vehicles and reimburse customers for repairs or compensate owners and lessees for an alleged diminution in vehicle values.
The BMW AC smell lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey: Sean Parkinson, v. BMW of North America, LLC.
The plaintiff is represented by Ahdoot & Wolfson, PC.