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Recalls: BMW X5 for power brake failure; Dodge Viper for airbags

German automaker expands on a 2010 brake recall to include V8-powered X5 models; Chrysler expands on earlier Jeep recall to include Viper models.

By Exhaust Notes Feb 15, 2013 5:31AM
BMW is recalling 30,265 X5 models to fix brake vacuum lines that could cause the power assist to fail, according to filings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

X5 SUVs equipped with V8 engines from the 2007-2010 model years are affected. A check valve in the brake vacuum pump connected to the engine -- a one-way valve that releases pressure and is supposed to keep an airtight seal -- can leak small amounts of lubricating oil into the vacuum hose that connects to the brake booster, which is responsible for providing power assist. The booster may then become contaminated with oil and the power-assist system could fail, although the brakes would still be operable, BMW said.

In 2010, BMW recalled 198,352 5-, 6- and 7-Series models for the same brake vacuum-pump failures in which oil was leaking into the hose and booster. BMW said that the X5's hose was routed upward, as opposed to horizontally, which should have eliminated the problem. But BMW said it had received a spike in warranty claims within the past two years on V8-powered X5 models.

BMW dealers will replace the brake vacuum hose and the brake booster and master cylinder if needed. The recall should begin by the end of February, and owners can contact BMW at 1-800-525-7417 or by email at

Chrysler is recalling 3,660 Viper sports cars from 2003 and 2004 to repair airbags that may inadvertently deploy. The recall adds to a November Jeep recall of nearly 920,000 Liberty and Grand Cherokee SUVs. Circuits within the airbag control module can fail due to "electrical overstress" and cause the Viper's front airbags to deploy without warning.

NHTSA had been investigating Jeep Liberty models since October 2011 and had received 126 reports of inadvertent airbag deployment, resulting in 59 "minor injuries."

In January 2012, NHTSA included the Grand Cherokee in the investigation after receiving 89 reports of inadvertent deployment, resulting in 22 minor injuries. There have been no reported incidents or injuries on the Viper, Chrysler said.

Chrysler dealers will install a new jumper harness "later in the year" that will fix the problematic components. Owners can call Chrysler at 1-800-247-9753.

[Source: NHTSA, NHTSA]
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