With the huge and very public mess GM has found itself in with faulty ignition switches, other automakers like BMW seem extra eager to stay in the good graces of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). As a result, BMW of North America has issued a voluntary recall of approximately 156,000 vehicles from the 2010 to 2012 model years that were made in the United States. The German automaker has uncovered a possible defect with the variable camshaft’s timing, or as the company calls it VANOS.
Not fixing the problem can lead to a drop in engine output and eventually could cause engine damage if it is allowed to continue. The faulty part works to change the rotation of either camshaft in the engine, altering the flow of fresh air and fuel into the cylinders or the exhaust gases out of the cylinders and into the exhaust system.
BMW has said that it has found in a minority of cases the bolts that hold down the camshaft’s housing in place can loosen or even break, triggering the car’s “check engine” or “service engine soon” light. Shortly after that, a “check control message” shows up on the vehicle’s display. Left unattended, the engine will start to have problems with stalling out, not starting after several attempts and eventually will receive mechanical damage.
The recalled BMW models are the 2010 to 2012 1 Series, 2010 to 2012 3 Series, 2010 to 2012 5 Series, 2010 to 2012 5 Series Gran Turismo, 2012 6 Series, 2010 to 2012 X3, 2010 to 2012 X5, 2010 to 2012 X6, and 2010 to 2012 Z4.
Anyone who owns one of the models listed above can contact either BMW of North America directly or see their local BMW dealership for details on how the problem can be remedied. Of course, the repair will be free of charge.