Feb. 19, 2013 at 2:33 PM ET
It hasn’t been a good week for BMW – or its customers.
Just days after recalling more than 30,000 of its big X5 crossovers for potential brake problems, the Bavarian maker has announced a second safety-related service action, this time because a battery cable connector can fail and cause engines to stall.
The latest problem impacts about 570,000 vehicles sold in North America, 504,000 in the U.S. and the rest in Canada. It covers various 3-Series models sold during the 2007 through 2011 model-years, as well as 2008 through 2012 1-Series coupes and convertibles and 2009 through 2011 Z4 roadsters.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a fuse box terminal can degrade over time, breaking the electrical connection with the trunk-mounted battery. If that happens, the cars may suddenly lose power and stall. BMW itself reports one minor crash resulting from the problem.
The problem will have its biggest impact on the 3-Series, the most popular product in the U.S. small luxury car market. BMW sold over 100,000 of the 3-Series sedans, wagons, convertibles and coupes last year alone.
BMW plans to replace the battery cable connector and better secure it so it doesn’t move while driving, potentially coming loose over time.
The automaker says repairs for both the battery cable problem and the brake issue will be handled for free, with notices going out to affected owners in the coming weeks.
The latter problem specifically affects BMW X5 Sport-Activity Vehicles sold between the 2007 and 2010 model-years, says NHTSA.
“The brake vacuum pump may leak a small amount of lubricating oil into the hose,” the federal safety agency explained. “The contamination could result in a loss of power assist braking. The loss of power assist in braking could increase stopping distance and lead to a vehicle crash.”
There have been no reports of collisions or injuries, however.
Owners may contact BMW for more information on both recalls at 1-800-525-7417.
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