BMW has announced a recall of many of its 5-Series, 6-Series and 7-Series cars--and of the Rolls-Royce Phantom as well.
News of BMW’s recall brings a certain quote to mind. Legend has it Ettore Bugatti once said, upon questioning regarding the deficient braking his cars were then known for, “I build them to go, not to stop!”
Of course BMW builds their cars to both stop and go. However on certain high-mileage BMW 5-, 6-, and 7-series models built since 2002, brake fluid can leak into the hydraulics, inhibiting the build-up of pressure when the brake pedal is depressed. As a result, drivers of these cars have to apply greater force to the pedal to get the cars to stop. The brakes still work, but a panic stop situation might result in less than optimal braking performance.
Approximately 345,000 cars with BMW’s eight- and twelve-cylinder engines are being recalled worldwide. This includes some 5,800 V-12-equipped Rolls-Royce Phantoms that use the same braking system.
The recall is a voluntary move on the part of BMW, and was not mandated officially by the NHTSA. However, voluntary recalls usually are performed to head off an official NHTSA action.