Part of a global recall of approximately 176,000 cars, the local recall affects 116 BMW 1 Series hatches; 1985 3 Series sedans, 91 Tourings and nine Gran Turismos; 105 5 Series sedans; 277 X1 models; 283 X3s; and 27 Z4s built between November 1, 2012 and July 31, 2013.
Relating to the vehicles' vacuum pump – driven and lubricated with engine oil by the intake camshaft – the recall stems from a manufacturing defect in the intake camshaft that can cause an interruption in oil supply to the vacuum pump during engine operation. If this occurs, the power brake booster may not be sufficiently supplied with enough vacuum force, reducing the effectiveness of the brake assistance function.
BMW Australia product communications manager Scott Croaker told CarAdvice, the recall only affects vehicles equipped with the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder N20 engine.
"The failure of the brake booster unit is generally noticed over time as the pedal force needed for braking gradually increases. If the unit fails completely, the driver must exert increased force on the brake pedal," Croaker said.
"The front and rear brakes of the vehicle are nevertheless fully functional, and the vehicle can be decelerated and stopped by applying increased brake pedal pressure."
According to the official recall notice on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) product safety recalls website, the reduced braking effectiveness of a complete vacuum pump failure "poses a hazard to the driver and other road users".
To remedy the problem, Croaker said a visual inspection of the intake camshaft will be completed, taking around one hour, with vehicle's found to have a defective intake camshaft having the part replaced, taking approximately five hours to complete - all at at no cost to owners. BMW says it expects the possible camshaft failure rate to be less than 0.5 per cent.
Croaker said no accidents or injuries have been reported as a result of the recall.
Globally, the issue has seen approximately 76,191 vehicles recalled in the US, 25,000 in China, 9376 in Canada, 6841 in Germany and 2738 in Mexico.