BMW Joins Recall Rush

Assortment of popular models targeted.

by on Apr.11, 2014

The 2012 BMW 3-Series is one of the many models targeted by the latest recall.

BMW has become the latest maker to announce a major safety recall, targeting an array of its more popular models due to an issue that underscores why there have been so many large-scale recalls in recent years.

A total of 156,137 luxury cars and so-called Sport Activity Vehicles – BMW’s term for an SUV – are targeted, and the maker blames defective bolts that can cause engine stalling or damage.

Global Auto News!

Among the models included in the recall are the BMW 3-Series and X5, two of the maker’s most popular product lines.  Also targeted are the 1-Series, 5-Series and 5-Series Gran Turismo, X3, X6 and Z4 sports car, all sold during the 2010 to 2012 model-years. Also covered is the 2012 6-Series model.  All are equipped with BMW’s inline six-cylinder engine.

In a report to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, BMW said that in “rare” instances, bolts holding the housing for the variable camshaft timing, or VANOS, unit can come loose or break away entirely.  At the very least, that would limit engine performance by putting the vehicle into “safe mode.” But in a worst-case scenario, the vehicles could stall, fail to restart or suffer more serious engine damage.

(GM places two engineers on paid leave as it expands investigation into ignition switch recall. Click Here for the latest.)

If the bolts break and the timing unit comes loose, the vehicle’s “check engine” or “service engine soon” warnings would flash.

The maker says that if the car stalls, a driver should try to get to the side of the road and have the vehicle towed to a dealer.

It is advising owners of the vehicles covered by the recall to dealers immediately.

The German maker recently recalled 232,000 vehicles sold in China for the same reason. It initially delayed taken action in the U.S. market because the problem appeared to occur very infrequently, but as additional reports came in it decided to expand the recall.

BMW also plans to extend its warranty on 170,000 other vehicles in which the VANOS problem occurs much less frequently.

(GM is NOT working with NASA on ignition switch recall, contrary to reports. Click Here for that exclusive report.)

The breadth of the Bavarian maker’s latest recall demonstrates why many of the industry’s most recent service actions have been so large.  In an effort to improve economies of scale manufacturers now try to share basic components on as wide a range of vehicles as possible.  In some cases, components such as airbag modules may even be shared among different manufacturers. While that may help lower costs it can cause large-scale headaches when a shared part or component proves defective.

That’s something both Toyota and General Motors have demonstrated on a massive scale lately.  The Japanese maker this week recalled 6.4 million vehicles worldwide while GM has recalled roughly 6 million vehicles over the past two months, nearly half of them due to a shared, defective engine ignition switch.

(Click Here for more on the latest Toyota recall.)

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One Response to “BMW Joins Recall Rush”

  1. Jorge M. says:

    Get use to it… Recalls are going to become an everyday event with the cars being so complex. NHTSA won’t be able to handle all of the recall activity.

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