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FEM Control Unit wet condition failure... *please sticky*

22697 Views 33 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  shabadoo25
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.

: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:
Did a bit of research and it appears to be a known issue:

Bulletin Number: SIB-61-02-12
BMW: ELECTRONIC MALFUNCTION AND VARIOUS CHECK CONTROL MESSAGES ARE DISPLAYED IN CID (CENTRAL INFORMATION DISPLAY) AND INSTRUMENT CLUSTER. *PE

Bulletin Number: SIB-61-09-12
BMW: VARIOUS ELECTRICAL MALFUNCTIONS RELATED TO THE FEM. WINDSHIELD WIPERS MAY NOT STAY IN PARKED POSITION. WIPERS OPERATE WHEN SWITCHED OFF. WIPERS PARTIALLY MOVE WHEN SWITCHED ON. HAZARD WARNING LIGHTS FLASH PERMANENTLY. *KB
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 :)
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?
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...
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)
+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...
I've now how this problem occur for a second time. The FEM was replaced first time, and going to be replaced again.
Update:

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...
Update:

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)

Regards!
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Add me to the list. Just sent the car in for FEM control unit replacement. Apparently sourcing the parts has been difficult for my dealer, not sure if it's because of the number of replacements BMW has had to make on these cars recently?
Interesting. I am surprised we have not had more posts on this in this forum, unless I have missed them. Are those quotes from other forum? Is this specific as far as we can tell to the F30?

Would be nice to start cataloging the model year, and the date of production to see how wide spread this is.
I would also add that this is probably recall worthy if it turns out to be a systemic problem. I am not sure if wipers are considered part of the safety system for a vehicle, but I would guess they are... :dunno:
hey,budy,is your car have same issue there?????? I m really worried about mine,it's on the shipping vessel....:cry:
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.
This sorta happened to me like suddenly windshield wipers were going slow or just randomly began moving when the window had no water drops

What should I do now if this continues to happen?

I still haven't fixed my head restraints
Fortunately, it never rains here in Texas. :p
Haha youre in Austin best place ever in texas

but im in houston area so last month it rained every other day at least 4 times a week
Fortunately, it never rains here in Texas. :p
I don't have the car yet, so no way to know, but it does appear to be a pretty common problem right now.
hey,budy,is your car have same issue there?????? I m really worried about mine,it's on the shipping vessel....:cry:
MY 2012 F30, was built at the end of April in Germany.

I haven't had the chime lights go off, but I do have the "once I turn on the wipers, I can never turn them off unless I turn off the car" problem. The wipers also periodically "stutter" sometimes. Car is sitting at the dealer going on day 3 waiting for the replacement control unit.
Interesting. I am surprised we have not had more posts on this in this forum, unless I have missed them. Are those quotes from other forum? Is this specific as far as we can tell to the F30?

Would be nice to start cataloging the model year, and the date of production to see how wide spread this is.
I haven't got any chimes yet but Ive only drived it once in the rain

it never chimed (only driven 600 miles though)

having it since april whatever problems yall have i have :(
I don't have the car yet, so no way to know, but it does appear to be a pretty common problem right now.
Wow, if this is anyway wide spread, what a mess. I hope BMW gets it in gear and fixes this so that it doesn't turn into another 3 years of denial and then an, OH yeah that might be an issue, HPFP type situation.
N4S
I just took delivery of my car on Monday, was produced three weeks ago in mid-July.

Had a huge downpour today and no issue, but wondering if the MY2013's would have had this issue addressed and corrected and thus nothing to worry about. Anyone know if this is specifically a 2012 issue that's been fixed prior to the 2013's being shipped?

BJ
I have a June production 2012 that I have driven in several hard rainstorms. No problems here.
FEM issues 1 day old

Firstly I'd like to say hi..!

Secondly I'd like to say how disapointed iam with my 1 day old F30 320d.

I picked the car up yesterday and drive in some pretty severe rain...whilst driving I had the parking brake warning light flash up, hazard lights going off and the. A load of other electric issues, parking sensors wouldn't work, reverse lights constantly on, windscreen wipers were on constantly and the auto start feature wouldn't work!

Called BMW assist to come and look at it, they ended up taking the car away.

I can't say I'm that impressed with a car that I have only driven for 1 day!

I'll update what BMW say!

Cheers,

Tom
I'm a June build 2012, lots of rain onmy Ed with no issue.
Looks like a wide spread issue.

Known in European dealer ships as well, and currently part 2 weeks back ordered according Innsbruck BMW dealer. Friend of mine experienced FEM failure just after 400km driving his ED car.
Car, 2013 F30, 335i, production date August 2012
Based on the mixed results it sounds like a bad batch of parts.
Seems like it. I had the unit replaced a few weeks ago, and finally got to test it out in the recent rain we've had here in the last week. Things are working smoothly now and I hope not to have more problems.

Dealer says that it takes forever to fix the car because once they get the new control unit, they have to "reprogram" the car, which basically consists of their tech guy starting the reprogramming sequence for the entire car and waiting 6 hours hoping that it doesn't error out somewhere along the line.
Based on the mixed results it sounds like a bad batch of parts.
Click Here for a video of the problem.

FEM -- the new HPFP? An acronym right up there w/ASS?

Sweet to have New Hotness, but I force myself to wait for a 3rd year o'production.

Really, really would enjoy BMW's explanation re: 6+ hr reprogramming time....

.
Seems like it. I had the unit replaced a few weeks ago, and finally got to test it out in the recent rain we've had here in the last week. Things are working smoothly now and I hope not to have more problems.

Dealer says that it takes forever to fix the car because once they get the new control unit, they have to "reprogram" the car, which basically consists of their tech guy starting the reprogramming sequence for the entire car and waiting 6 hours hoping that it doesn't error out somewhere along the line.
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