By: Russell Maas | Published: December 10th, 2012
About 30,000 BMW X5 sports utility vehicles sold in the United States will be recalled within the next month, amid reports of sudden problems with the power assist steering that may potentially increase the risk of drivers having an auto accident.
Information about the BMW X5 recall (PDF) was received by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on November 27, impacting diesel powered xDrive 35d sport utility vehicles from the 2009 through 2012 model years.
According to information provided by the company, the BMW X5 diesel SUVs may experience steering assist failure.
The recalled BMW X5 vehicles have a part called the engine idler pulley, which can loosen over time and possibly break, causing the vehicle to lose the power to assist for its steering. This defect can be caused by low ambient temperatures putting wear-and-tear on the parts.
The steering assist allows for smooth and easy turning of the steering wheel but when that fails it requires greater effort to turn the vehicle, posing a high risk for an accident if the defect occurs while driving.
The recall affects 29,800 BMW X5 vehicles in the U.S. from model years 2009 through 2012. Another 5,500 are being recalled in Canada. In total, about 250,000 X5 vehicles are being recalled worldwide. The vehicles are four-door sport utility vehicles built from September 1, 2008 through November 15, 2012.
BMW’s recall will be initiated in light of an investigation earlier this year conducted by Transport Canada, the Canadian counterpart to the NHTSA. BMW there received at least 85 reports of bolts in the engine idler pulley cracking.
There have been no reports of accidents related to the defect, but BMW has advised that consumers with the vehicles listed above should contact their BMW dealer to replace and tighten the pulley bolt. A coating will also be added to keep the bolt from coming loose.
BMW will begin contacting consumers with registered affected vehicles next month which will direct them to dealers who will make repairs free of charge.