BMW has expanded a recall of 2010-2012 model-year cars and SUVs to include roughly 156,000 vehicles registered in the U.S. According to Mashable, the recall affects:
The recall stems from problems with the bolts used to manufacture BMW's six-cylinder engine. The automaker says that "in very rare circumstances", the bolts that hold the variable camshaft timing unit can loosen, or possibly even break.
Should that happen, as the New York Times notes, drivers would first be notified by a warning light on the dashboard. Over time, the damage to the engine would become more severe, and drivers might find the engine difficult or impossible to start. In some cases, it could even stall, dramatically increasing the likelihood of an accident. However, BMW notes that it knows of no collisions or injuries associated with the problem.
BMW began this recall in China nearly two years ago, but only added U.S. models to its repair list late last week. The automaker hasn't fully explained why it's just now including U.S. vehicles, other than to note that the underlying problem is extremely rare. Our guess is that the recall-mania currently sweeping America may have encouraged BMW to be a bit more proactive.
Including the U.S. units, the total number of recalled BMW vehicles now sits at around 489,000.
BMW has not indicated when it will begin the U.S. model recall. When owners do receive notification from BMW, however, they'll be able to take their vehicles to BMW dealers, who will replace four bolts in the engine, free of charge.
If you own one of the vehicles listed above and have further questions, you're encouraged to call BMW customer service at 800-831-1117.