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Detroit • BMW is recalling nearly 250,000 X5 SUVs worldwide because a bolt can break and cause the loss of power-assisted steering.
The recall affects X5 xDrive 35d models with diesel engines from the 2009 through 2012 model years.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the bolt holding a belt pulley can loosen and break. If that happens the SUVs can lose power-assisted steering, increasing the risk of a crash. If the bolt breaks, the SUVs still have manual steering, but it takes far more effort to turn the wheel, especially at low speeds.
So far no crashes or injuries have been reported from the problem in the U.S. and Canada. A BMW U.S. spokesman said he did not know if there were any crashes in other parts of the world.
BMW is recalling 29,800 X5s in the U.S. and another 5,500 in Canada, according to documents posted by U.S. and Canadian safety agencies. The rest of the vehicles are spread across the globe.
The trouble was discovered last year in Canada, where BMW has received 85 reports from dealers or warranty claims about the problem.
BMW dealers will replace the bolt and tighten it to the proper specifications. They'll also add a coating that keeps the bolts from coming lose. U.S. owners will be notified about the recall in January.