BMW is recalling certain U.S.-market X5 diesel models to address an issue that could lead to the loss of power assistance for the steering system.
The problem lies with the engine belt idler pulley bolt, which is at risk to loosen and break over time. Should this happen, the power steering system will fail, increasing the driver effort needed to steer and heightening the risk of a crash.
The issue affects 29,800 X5 35d models from the 2009-12 model years that were built from September 1, 2008 through November 15, 2012. An additional 5,500 Canadian-market X5s are also being recalled over the problem.
The recall campaign is expected to begin in January 2013, at which time dealers will replace the idler pulley bolt and tighten it to the proper specifications at no charge. In the interim, BMW has issued a stop-sale to prevent any affected vehicles from leaving dealer lots before the recall is performed.
No accidents or injuries stemming from the faulty bolt have been reported, although BMW has received 85 dealer reports and warranty claims related to the issue.