BMW recalls utility vehicles for steering issue

Thu Dec 6, 2012 12:43pm EST

Dec 6 (Reuters) - BMW of North America will recall 29,800 X5 utility vehicles with diesel engines to replace an engine part that could break and cause a loss of power steering, federal safety officials said Thursday.

The issue affects 2009-2012 BMW X5 35d models made from Sept. 1, 2008, through Nov. 15, 2012, according to a report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

BMW of North America, a unit of Bayerische Motoren Werke AG , said the engine belt idler pulley bolt could loosen and break over time, which in turn could cause an unexpected loss of power steering and increase the risk of a crash.

The automaker has informed dealers and expects to begin notifying customers in January. Dealers will replace the bolt for free.