Heated seats are common in the automotive industry these days, but they weren’t as common 14 years ago. This is the age of the BMW 6 Series mentioned here, and apparently the heating elements experienced some kind of malfunction that made things very uncomfortable for the person in the driver’s seat.
By very uncomfortable, we mean the seat has become hot enough to burn the man’s sweater. According to Daily mailDavid Murch was sitting in his parked 650i when he noticed an “unusual” sensation in his lower back. He stood up to find a burnt hole low in the leather on the driver’s seat. In addition, small cigarette-sized holes were burnt in his sweater, apparently caused by a short in the seat heating elements. Yikes.
Suffice it to say he wasn’t happy with it, but his local BMW dealership reportedly told him there was nothing he could do, at least from the prospect of a free replacement. At 14 years and 90,000 miles, the older E64 convertible is well out of warranty, but Murch believes BMW should recall the 6 Series models to investigate and remedy what could be a dangerous situation. In this case, age and mileage would not be a factor.
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Some might say this is an overreaction for a 14-year-old car that has suffered a lot of wear and tear, but there is some evidence to support Murch’s concern. In the United States, BMW has issued recalls for the 5 and 7 series from the same era for heated seats that could overheat and burn the leather. More specifically, the recall states:
“It is possible that the heating mat in the side back brace could overheat and damage, or melt a small hole in that area of the seat cover. If this were to happen, an occupant could be burned.”
The recall applies to certain 2004 5-series and 7-series models, as well as certain 2003 7-series cars. We found no recalls for the 6-series, but NHTSA is reporting a handful of complaints from 6 Series owners describing similar items. problems. Also, some basic internet research finds all kinds of talk about heated seat issues related to BMWs from this era.
Motor1.com contacted BMW North America to inquire about this potential issue. We will add an update if new information becomes available.