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The fuel pump recall going around isn’t new – here’s what you need to know

Social media is what it is – sometimes good, sometimes bad. Right now, it seems a little more of the latter, as a lot of questions about the “recent” fuel pump recall affecting BMW motorcycles have been going around. The thing is this, though: The fuel pump recall – the second one, sort of (more in a moment) – was issued in August 2020, even if you only recently received your letter, yet in the last week I’ve seen it discussed on social media as if it’s a new recall – complete with people expressing surprise – and received information about it in email from friends who “just wanted to make sure” I knew about it.

A good number of years ago, BMW issued a recall (13V-617) on the fuel pump housings of about 17,000 motorcycles because the plastic plate where the fuel fitting quick disconnect threads in was prone to cracking after prolonged use. Many of us (myself included) fixed this before the recall with a metal collar, but welcomed a new fuel pump housing nonetheless.

fuel pump
Fuel pump photo from Euro MotoElectrics.

As a result of further problems with this assembly, BMW Motorrad issued another recall in August 2020, this time for the fuel pump itself, saying “potentially affected motorcycles contain a fuel pump of a certain design that, over time, could develop a fuel leak.” The recall also states, “The fuel pump will be replaced at no charge to the customer, and should take about one hour. If you previously replaced the fuel pump at your own expense, you may be eligible for reimbursement of certain expenses.”

The same motorcycles affected by the previous recall are affected by this one, and here’s the list. If your motorcycle is on this list, you need to contact your dealer to discuss the next step.

  • 2005-08 K 1200 GT, R, R Sport and R
  • 2005-08 R 1200 ST
  • 2005-11 R 1200 GS, GS Adventure (GSA from 2006) and RT
  • 2006 HP2 Enduro
  • 2006-08 R 1200 S
  • 2006-11 R 1200 R
  • 2007-09 HP2 Mega Moto
  • 2007-10 HP2 Sport
  • 2009 HP2 Mega Moto US
  • 2009-11 K 1300 GT and S
  • 2010-11 S 1000 RR
  • 2012 K 1600 GT and GTL

The recall campaign started in October, so letters went out starting then, but you may not have received your letter until recently. To find out if any of your vehicles are affected by any recall, point your web browser to the NHTSA Safety Issues & Recalls web page, where you can plug in your vehicle’s VIN and get a quick report back on what open (i.e. not yet completed) recalls exist for your vehicle.

If you haven’t received a letter about this recall yet, you can still call your dealer and set up the service once they have the parts available. You can also call BMW Customer Relations at 800.525.7417 or contact them via email.

If you see evidence of a fuel leak or smell gasoline, you should not operate the motorcycle, as there is a risk of fire and of course that would be bad.

Reimbursement for repairs made prior to a recall such as this are possible through the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation (TREAD) Act, passed in 2000 after Congressional hearings looking at fatalities associated with Ford Explorers fitted with Firestone tires. You’ll need to have followed specific steps and be able to provide documentation to get reimbursed, and you’ll go through your dealer – not Customer Relations – to get paid back.

According to the TREAD Act, you may only be reimbursed for a repair covered by the recall, and expenses related to towing, rental and other damage are not covered. How much you’re reimbursed is based on the MSRP for the replacement parts, and the reimbursement includes labor costs. The repair must have been completed at your expense within 10 days of the last owner notification letter sent by BMW, so if you got your letter and then had the fuel pump replaced, you’re likely to miss out on reimbursement.

There is also an active recall campaign affecting the brakes on about 9,000 BMW motorcycles built between August 2018 and February 2020, specifically:

  • 2019-20 R 1250 GS, GS Adventure and RT
  • 2020 S 1000 RR and XR

According to a dealer bulletin issued by BMW, “The front brake calipers may show slight sweat marks or isolated drops of brake fluid. Although this low-pressure leakage has been shown to have no effect on brake performance, BMW Motorrad is conducting a non-compliance recall to inspect each vehicle as the front brake calipers do not meet a Federal Regulation.”

This recall was accompanied by a stop-sale order, and rumor had it BMW changed caliper suppliers to deal with the problem.

Both of these recalls started in October 2020, and most owners should have received notification from BMW by now. If you own a potentially affected motorcycle and haven’t heard from BMW, give your dealer a call.