BMW has issued a wide-ranging recall for several 2010-2012 model-year vehicles equipped with its inline six-cylinder engines. The recall--which affects 156,137 vehicles across the U.S.--will fix bolts that hold variable-camshaft timing (branded VANOS by BMW) unit housings in place. In rare cases, these bolts could loosen or break, the company says.

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If the bolts fail, a "Check Engine" or "Service Engine Soon" light will be illuminated, and a message will be displayed on the dashboard. BMW says owners can still drive the affected vehicles after the warnings appear, but the problem could get progressively worse over time.

If the car's diagnostic systems decide the VANOS unit is compromised, they will switch the engine to a reduced-power "safe mode." Continued driving with the malfunction could lead to stalling, an engine that refuses to start, and engine damage.

All vehicles affected by the recall are 2010-12 models with six-cylinder engines. It covers a wide variety of models, including the 3-Series and 5-Series sedans, 5-Series Gran Turismo, X3, X5, and X6 crossovers, Z4 sports car, and the 1-Series coupe and convertible.

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BMW will notify owners of the recall by mail, and will send a second notice when parts for the repair become available. BMW dealers will replace the defective bolts free of charge.

Owners can contact BMW Customer Relations at 1-800-525-7417, or via e-mail at [email protected].


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