December 10, 2012 — BMW has announced a recall involving approximately 29,800 BMW X5 sport utility vehicles (SUVs) manufactured from September 1, 2008 until November 15, 2012. The problem is that the idler pulley bolt can loosen, bend, and/or break. If this occurs, the driver can lose power steering assist and potentially crash their vehicle. BMW has not received any reports of crashes or injuries due to the issue.
The following vehicle is being recalled:
- About 29,800 of the 2009 – 2012 BMW X5 xDrive35d (Diesel) SUVs
According to the recall notice, the bolt could loosen “due to a number of unfavorable contributing factors, including very low ambient temperatures,” and more. The bolt can potentially loosen over time. A loose bolt could be susceptible to bending and/or breaking, which could potentially cause a sudden loss of power steering assist. The driver would still be able to manually steer the vehicle, but with greater effort, which “may increase the risk of a crash.”
As of July 31, 2012, BMW Canada had received 9 reports of drivers losing power steering due to bolt failure, and 76 warranty claims involving issues with the bolt.
Issues with the bolt were first identified when several warranty reports were filed between November 2010 and February 2011 in Canada. On November 13, 2012, the field inspection campaign found that about half of the vehicles found that the bolt could be susceptible to bending or breaking. Two days later, BMW decided to conduct a voluntary worldwide recall of the X5.
Recalled vehicles that undergo maintenance will have the idler pulley bold replaced and tightened with a different torque procedure. The mechanic will also add a thread lock coating on the bolt to reduce the risk of breaking.
BMW expects that all customers should be notified of the recall in January.
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