German automaker BMW is recalling about 500,000 cars from model years 2010 to 2011 to fix a problem with the bolts that attach a car’s engine-control system housing. The bolts could loosen or even break, causing the car to stall.
About 156,000 BMW models, including the 1 Series, 3 Series, 5 Series, 5 Series Gran Turismo, X3, X5, X6 and Z4, are affected. BMW is not aware of any accidents related to the problem.
The issue first surfaced two years ago in China, and the company then began replacing the bolts. However, according to a report in The New York Times, BMW decided not to do the work in the U.S. “due to the very low rate of occurrence.”
As the number of incidents in China increased, the government insisted that BMW conduct a safety recall the The New York Times reports. That is when BMW decided to recall the cars sold in the United States as well.
BMW just got schooled by General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) and Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM), both of which delayed recalling millions of cars and either have paid or are staring at pay billions of dollars in both civil and criminal penalties.
We can expect to see a lot more recalls for a while, as carmakers err on the side of caution. And the recalls will cover a lot more cars because so many new models from a single manufacturer use the same parts. The BMW recall affects eight models in three model years. The Toyota recall announced on Wednesday affects six models from a period of six model years and a whopping 6.4 million vehicles.
So far in 2014, automakers have recalled nearly 15 million vehicles for a variety of problems. And the numbers likely will continue to grow.