BMW sign(l), Man talking(c), Car handle(R)

AR Pictures/Shutterstock @howlandautohaus/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘Uh oh, that’s expensive’: BMW driver brings her car into the shop. So why did the door start smoking in ‘thermal’ event?

‘Parents, do you know how to talk to your BMW about smoking?’


Parks Kugle


A seven-second clip of a BMW door handle smoking from a thermal event on TikTok adds to an ever-growing concern about the decline in quality in today’s car market.

User Howland_autohaus (@howlandautohaus) racked up 2.1 million views when he captured a high-tech door malfunctioning in the worst way.

In the video, he quips, “Bit of a thermal event today,” as he tugs on the door handle, venting a stream of smoke coming from it.

Some viewers were shocked by the malfunction.

“I don’t recommend that to my worst enemy,” a viewer said.

“Now i know a lot about cars but how the hell did u pull that off,” a second joked.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first high-tech malfunction documented by TikTokers. One user shared how her family’s Kia suddenly broke down while they were driving on the highway, and another discussed how he couldn’t turn off his Toyota Camry.

According to Scientific American, Modern cars are likened to computers on wheels. Recent models “come with automated driver assistance systems, large display screens, internet connections and a multitude of ways to sync with smartphones.” However, the journal notes that this ever-growing list of conveniences comes with some unexpected costs.

Not only are newer cars more expensive to repair, they are also less user-friendly and, “some experts in the field say, more likely to cause distraction and driver disengagement.”

Why did this BMW door suddenly start smoking?

Also, after the initial thrill of a new device, according to the data analytics company JD Power, drivers frequently discover issues with a variety of new features. These include complicated door handles, infotainment systems, and wireless phone chargers.

It’s unclear what exactly happened in the video, but car blog Automoblog reports that BMW has been hit with a class-action lawsuit over its Comfort Class Access System. This system is different from a key fob in that it allows people to lock and unlock their cars with their key fob out of reach. However, according to the lawsuit, this system has caused problems with children, pets, and elderly individuals who become trapped in the car when the fob is left inside.

Most of Howland_autohaus’s viewers were unsurprised by the malfunction.

“Theres more wires in that door panel than an entire car from the 70s,” one observed.

“Imagine sisyphus pushing the rock as bmw trying to design an electric door handle actuator that works,” a second said.

“That’s the heated doorhandle so you don’t have to brush off the snow or ice,” another observed.

“Parents, do you know how to talk to your BMW about smoking?” another joked.

@howlandautohaus BMW X5 failed door handle. #bmw #fyp #thermal ♬ original sound – Howland_autohaus

Luckily for the owner, the BMW was at the mechanic when it happened—unlike in one Bimmerfest discussion forum, where a BMW driver claims he walked into his garage to find his “rear passenger door handle melting.”

The Daily Dot reached out to BMW via email and Howland Autohaus via TikTok comment. No other form of contact was available.

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