BMW Recalls SUVs With Damaged Driveshaft Joints

Westwood, N.J. – March 29, 2017 – BMW of North America has recalled more than 121,000 vehicles with damaged driveshaft joints, according to documentation from the National Highway Transportation Administration. The recall, which follows a related campaign initiated in May 2016, impacts a number of models produced between November 2010 and April 2013, including:

  • X5 xDrive35i, xDrive50i and M sport utility vehicles
  • X5 xDrive35d diesel sport utility vehicles
  • X6 xDrive35i, xDrive50i and M sport utility vehicles
  • X6 ActiveHybrid sport utility vehicles

The Defect

The contact surface between the spider and the seal for the front driveshaft joint does not comport with internal quality standards. Consequently, contaminants and dirt may enter the fixture and degrade the universal driveshaft joint to the point of breakage. This would increase the likelihood of a wreck.

Timeline of Events

In April 2014, the German automaker decided to replace the driveshafts in numerous models due to improper contact-surface specifications. Four months later, BMW met with officials the NHTSA and the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport to discuss the defect, according to a report from the NHTSA. On July 29, the company reached out to affected owners and offered repairs free of charge under its extended warranty agreement.

In March 2016, customer complaints pertaining to the issue increased, forcing further investigations. On May 9, BMW issued an official voluntary recall.

The car company continued to monitor the situation as the recall progressed. Additionally, engineers evaluated driveshaft assemblies from other vehicles and compiled reviews. Over the course of November and December 2016, BMW officials reviewed the findings and found that other vehicles suffered from issues present in models involved in the 2014 quality assurance campaign. On Feb. 23, the automaker launched the latest recall. Dealers received notification March 3.

The Solution

BMW has ordered dealers to replace the front driveshafts in affected models, free of charge. It plans to notify owners April 24.

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