2012 BMW X5Enlarge Photo
BMW is conducting a voluntary safety recall of certain 2009 through 2012 model year X5 xDrive35d SUVs for a problem that can lead to loss of power steering.
2009 BMW X5 xDrive 35dEnlarge Photo
A notice on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) site puts the number of vehicles potentially affected in the U.S. at 29,800. According to a report in The Detroit News, another 5,500 diesel-powered X5 SUVS in Canada are involved in the recall.
Affected vehicles were built from September 1, 2008 through November 15, 2012.
2011 BMW X5 xDriveEnlarge Photo
Both the NHTSA bulletin and documentation from BMW (PDF) describe the problem as an engine belt idler pulley bolt that can loosen and break over time. If this condition occurs, the vehicle could experience a sudden loss of power-assisted steering, thus increasing crash risk.
Even if the power-assisted steering is affected, drivers will still be able to steer manually, although the effort required to turn the wheel would increase, especially at low speeds.
BMW said it discovered the problem in Canada after a single warranty claim involving the idler pulley belt on an X5 xDriver35d was processed in November 2010. Subsequently, there were several dealer field reports and additional warranty claims processed for the same issue. BMW has received a total of 35 warranty claims and dealer field reports on this problem.
According to BMW, there have been no reported accidents or injuries due to the issue.
What BMW will do
BMW will notify owners during January 2013 and dealers will replace and tighten the idler pulley bolt.
In the meantime, owners of 2009 through 2012 BMW X5 xDrive35d SUVs with any questions or concerns may contact BMW at 1-800-525-7471.
Alternatively, owners of vehicles involved in the campaign may contact NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or go to http://www.safercar.gov. Reference the NHTSA campaign ID No. 12V550000.