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Old 07-30-2012, 03:02 PM
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FEM Control Unit wet condition failure... *please sticky*

Mods, please have a look at this post, and consider moving it to this thread and stickying this thread... as it appears that BMW have a pretty substantial problem on their hand with failure of the FEM control module in wet conditions and have no permanent fix in place yet.

Might save owners trawling the interwebs some time to be able to see what the issue is if their car experiences the symptoms.

Originally Posted by carconvert View Post
:thumbdown So I'm on the road driving home from work today, its pouring rain, and out of the blue the cluster area throws up a visual warning me that the parking brake is on (I verified it wasnt on), then the hazard lights come on, the windshield wipers start malfunctioning as in they start going in slow-motion, and the audible warning chime comes on. I immediately pull over to the shoulder, the car shuts off because of the auto start (expected), but the hazards stay on and I can't manually turn them off. The centre master unlock button is also unresponsive. I get out of the car doing the open tiwce thingy to do a visual inspection of the exterior (not sure what I was looking for) started the car up again, I tried to disable the auto start/stop before driving off, same thing... the audible and visual warnings continue all the way home. Now I'm in my garage at home but the hazards wont turn off. So now its Friday evening, BMW service isn't open til Monday, and I'm afraid the battery will die over the weekend due to the hazards flashing continously.:mad0259::sigh:
Originally Posted by carconvert View Post
Did a bit of research and it appears to be a known issue:

Bulletin Number: SIB-61-02-12

Bulletin Number: SIB-61-09-12

Originally Posted by MacAttackBMW View Post
Weak man - sorry to hear this. Make sure to take it in tomorrow. You can always start it and run it for a while to charge the battery later tonight. On the plus side - if you get this on record now, And they cant fix it and you keep having the issue, you may be a candidate for a lemon law case and get all of your money back which you can then apply to a new car and essentially drive this free for months or more - been there, done that. My 2008 335i was lemon law'd after 17 months - got every penny back including tax, license, all payments, etc. essentially drove a next to free car for a year and a half then got a phat 34K check to use as a down on my next car
Originally Posted by Raspartan View Post
Based on what you were describing it seems likely that water might have gotten into a seal somewhere and caused an intermittent electrical fault. Hope everything works out.
Which dealership was this?
Originally Posted by carconvert View Post
Update: Dealer says they need to replace the FEM: Front Electronics Module. I made them show me and it's a little rectangular box which is accessed on the passenger interior side right beneath the gove box. Should be done and ready for tomorrow -- drove the x1 home as a loaner... miss the car already. No water found in the electronics module...
Originally Posted by djeffreyt View Post
Any updates on the car?

I actually just had this happen to my car yesterday, almost exact same as yours. It was raining, started car up and started driving, and I noticed the car was chiming at me and said the parking brake was on. Stopped and checked and it wasn't. Tried to pull it and release and see if the car would react different, nope. Tried to restart car, and no change. Decided to start driving home as hail was coming and I didn't want my car out in it. Emergency lights suddenly come on while driving and won't go off. I call BMW assist and they say I should tow it in, so I'm waiting and suddenly hail starts falling so I scramble home to my garage (luckily no damage) but in the mean time the emergency light suddenly goes off and now are completely inoperable, the auto start/stop manual turn off won't work now, windshield wipers will start but won't turn off properly (even stayed on when I turned the car off once) and the parking lights read as on no matter if they are or aren't.

Taking it in to Mortiz BMW in Arlington Texas tomorrow (Didn't have a loaner today). Gonna just print this thread for them. Thanks a lot guys!

Oh, in case anyone is wondering it's a 2012 328i Sport (production 2/2012)
Originally Posted by Arrows2100 View Post
+1 on this problem.

Fast lane of motorway.. Raining. The wipers were going super fast so I turned the sensitivity switch down a notch. The wipers stopped working completely and then all of a sudden 'Parking Brake' chime and warning comes on, all doors unlock, hazard lights are on permanently and wipers go crazy again.

Find a way onto the hard shoulder and try turning everything off. Hazards were solid on as were wipers. Car otherwise would start fine but would go crazy as it thought handbrake was on.

BMW Assist sent out recovery who had to tow it. Just as we got o drive it on the flatbed the engine wouldn't start. The wheel (being electrically assisted) was locked and it had to get dragged up via winch/skates.

The best part? Being only 24 I couldn't get a 'similar' car from Enterprise. They tried to hook me up with a Fiat 500 which I managed to change... For a Hyundai i30 =\

Can't wait to get down to the dealership tomorrow and see what they can sort out whilst cars in for repair. BMW call center previously said it wouldn't be a problem getting another similar from Enterprise =\

Hopefully it's a known enough fault that it's an easy diagnosis. If they take ages I'll direct them here (don't want to tell them their job). But I also hope it isn't such a well known fault the part is out of stock. Unless I get an M3 i'd rather just have my 318d back quick for fuel economy.

I'll keep you guys updated as this seems like it might become a bit of a flaw...
Originally Posted by pany View Post
I've now how this problem occur for a second time. The FEM was replaced first time, and going to be replaced again.
Originally Posted by Arrows2100 View Post

My car has already had the FEM replaced as said previously in this thread. However I got an error the other day saying:
"Possible imminent failure of windscreen wipers."

So. Since its normally the wipers that go mental pre FEM replacement I am thinking I might be related (although the error message is a new one)

The car still drives fine and now the error has disappeared.

I'm beginning to worry that there's a problem with the sealing of the electrics against heavy rain. BMW at the moment are thinking its a software/programming fault and are waiting on a special 'PUMA' or something arriving to help with sorting it.

I'll keep this thread updated with any changes...
Originally Posted by Arrows2100 View Post

Summary - Already had FEM replaced. Subsequently had a 'Windscreen Wipers- Possible Imminent Failure' displayed on iDrive.

Had a call from the showroom saying that they've ordered a new 'updated electronics module' and it isn't only me with the problem. He didn't state whether it was the FEM or not.

This was the result of a 'PUMA' request to BMW HQ last week if I remember correctly. I don't know what that means exactly.

Repair should take a day to fit. As with all new cars - electrics now need programmed specifically to the vehicle (including this new module)

** Removed - Tim330i **

Last edited by tim330i; 07-31-2012 at 06:52 AM.
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