Throughout The Car Industry
BMW Recalls 21,000 Cars
BMW has long since lived up to its self-proclaimed "Ultimate Driving Machine" moniker. We have seen dozens of examples of BMW's ability to produce amazingly powerful, fast, luxurious, and elegant cars, while still making them fun to drive day-to-day. But even the mighty BMW is subject to a screwup here and there. It's inevitable; you build millions of cars, and you're bound to have a few that don't quite come out right. It happens to bakers, bartenders, authors, and, obviously, carmakers; the odds are that if you produce a lot of something, eventually a small percentage will be incorrect.
BMW has had one of those hiccups, and while 21,493 cars may not seem like a small number to most of us, it is a relatively small portion of the overall Bimmer production picture. That being said, if you own one of those 21,000 cars, the result is the same, no matter what the percentages work out to. Owners of 2011 model year X5 xDrive 35i, xDrive50i, X5 M, X6 xDrive35i, X6 xDrive50i, and X6 M vehicles are all suspect to a recall. The cars and trucks in question have build dates between April 5, 2010 through November 20, 2010. There are also 2011 model year X6 Active Hybrid models that were produced between April 15, 2010 through November 17, 2010 as well as 2011 model year X5 xDrive35d trucks equipped with diesel engines in question that were produced between April 7, 2010 through November 20, 2010 that have all been potentially affected.
The problem is that the universal joints in these cars seem to have a don't always seal out water and debris that may splash up under the car. That debris can get stuck inside the universal joint and eat away and damage the joint over time. Naturally, if the universal joint wears out or becomes damaged, it may fail. If that happens, there is a symphony of potential bad things that could arise from this event. The front universal joint is the one in question, and the situation could cause the front wheels to stop working properly, which could cause the car to suddenly change its driving character, surprising the driver, causing a crash. Or, if the joint fails, it could easily damage any number of other parts under the car, which could affect anything from steering to braking, all of which would probably end poorly.
If you are one of the owners of the cars in question, fear not. BMW has said it will notify owners soon and has slated the recall to begin early next month. They will inspect, and replace the universal joint and front driveshaft free of charge. Owners may call BMW at 1-800-525-7417 with questions.
NHTSA Campaign Number: 16V311000
Component(s): POWER TRAIN
Potential Number of Units Affected: 21,493
Manufacturer: BMW of North America, LLC
BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is recalling certain model year 2011 X5 xDrive 35i, xDrive50i, X5 M, X6 xDrive35i, X6 xDrive50i, and X6 M vehicles manufactured April 5, 2010, to November 20, 2010, 2011 X5 xDrive35d diesel vehicles manufactured April 7, 2010, to November 20, 2010, and 2011 X6 Active Hybrid vehicles manufactured April 15, 2010, to November 17, 2010. The affected vehicles have a front driveshaft universal joint that may not seal out water and debris from getting in and damaging the joint, which could lead to its failure.
If the front universal joint fails, the front wheels would not be driven, affecting vehicle traction. Additionally, continued driving of the vehicle with a broken front universal joint may damage other components. Either condition may increase the risk of a crash.
BMW will notify owners, and dealers will replace the front driveshaft, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin on July 1, 2016. Owners may contact BMW customer service at 1-800-525-7417.
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
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