Find by category:

Exhaust Notes

Recall: 176,000 BMWs for power braking failure

The 3-Series, 5-Series, X1, X3 and Z4 models with 4-cylinder engines are affected.

By Exhaust Notes Oct 1, 2013 9:39AM
BMW is recalling 176,000 cars worldwide to fix power brake failures, according to wire reports and filings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

On 2012-2014 BMW models with the company's new 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine -- including the Z4 sDrive28i, 320i and 328i, 528i, X1 sDrive28i and xDrive28i, and the X3 xDrive28i -- the engine vacuum pump can lose pressurized oil meant to drive the power brake mechanism.

Due to a poor fit of the intake camshaft's seal disk, oil may be blocked from leaving the engine to lubricate the vacuum pump, which could then cause the vacuum pump to fail and the loss of power-assist braking. While the brakes would still work, stopping distances would increase due to increased driver force needed on the brake pedal.

A total of 76,190 cars are affected in the U.S. The diesel-powered 328d is not affected.

BMW first discovered the issue from a U.S. dealer in October 2012 and while it initiated further quality checks at its factories and moved the seal disk deeper within the camshaft, the problems continued to mount throughout this year. By September, BMW said it received 105 warranty claims, 61 reports from dealers and 23 owner complaints regarding failed vacuum pumps and loss of braking. The issue typically occurred within the first hundred miles, BMW said.

In November BMW dealers will install a locking ring into the camshaft so the seal disk won't move anymore. Owners can call BMW at 1-800-525-7417 or by email at CustomerRelations@bm​

In February BMW recalled V8-powered X5 models from 2007-2010 that had similar vacuum pump and power braking failures. A check valve in the brake vacuum pump connected to that 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. Also in February, BMW recalled 570,000 cars, including the Z4 and previous-generation 3-Series, for power failures and engine stalling.

In May, BMW recalled 42,080 3-Series cars from 2002-2003 to replace frontal airbags that had inflators that could rupture and injure occupants during a crash.

[Source: NHTSA]
Oct 1, 2013 1:17PM
I've noticed that the people who talk trash about BMW's are the ones who can't afford them. I love my BMW! Things like this will happen on complex autos. (And the people who dislike my comment are the ones I'm talking about, lol) 
Oct 1, 2013 2:31PM

I like BMW for their maintenance program, unmatched in the auto industry. I doubt I will ever own any

other vehicle as my main driver, again.                                                  

Trade every couple of years and cost to maintain is pretty much zero.... 

Oct 1, 2013 12:37PM
I have a 6 series and I love it!  I do have to say that the radio and other electronics are a pain in the **** to figure out!!  I do have extended warranty on it, but when that runs out, I will be selling it ASAP because it will be way too expensive to fix if anything goes wrong with it.....I will definitely test drive the newer models when the time comes, especially the 4 door 5 series which is very nice looking.  Hopefully they will redesign the electronics to be more people friendly and I won't have to read through the huge (phone book sized) owners manual which I don't understand anyway
Oct 1, 2013 1:51PM
My 2002 BWW325ci is going strong with nothing more than routine maintenance.
Oct 1, 2013 2:18PM
No wonder there are so many bad BMW drivers in Idaho. They can't stop and that's why they wreck! DUH!
Oct 1, 2013 2:14PM
We have a 5 series, a 7 series and an X5 and we love them all! The 7 series is 14 years old and still awesome. The 5 series is 10 years old and we drive it every day. Young people comment all the time on what cool cars they are! These autos never go out of style and continue to be great drivng machines!
Oct 1, 2013 1:37PM

I have owned four 3-Series BMWs. The are truly, the ultimate driving machine. The last blizzard in the D.C area, about 3 years ago, I was able to go straight through and passed several cars on my way home . My street was untouched, yet it drove through twenty + inches of snow without any problem straight to my garage. As long as you keep your warranty current and service your vehicle regularly (take car of your car, it will take care of you), you'll have very little if any problems.


I had a nice 2005 corvette convertible with low mileage and loads of power and sold it in for my 4th 3-Series. No regrets. Those who speak negative about BMWs hold a grudge against the machine which has a reputation for excellence in performance.

Oct 1, 2013 2:40PM
 agree with Jay JJ

(who sold his Corvette for a 3 Series BMW


Having sold cars for over 30 yrs( now retired)( I can tell you that the Corvette is the most overated, most overpriced "wanna be " sports cars in the world. I know this is going to upset the Corvette owners, (who tend to get terribly defensive,) but unlike  Consumer Reports or JD Powers , I don't get paid to gush over any car

Oct 1, 2013 3:44PM
ive had 5 bmw automobiles. (2) m3. if you can find a faster better handling sports cars for 100k buy it
Oct 2, 2013 9:58AM
Status symbols, pure and simple, that is what BMW's are.   I can afford one, but choose to invest in assets that appreciate.  In fact, if you look at someone who has money, many don't own BMW's, Mercedes, Lexus ect.. They are smarter and invest in assets that will make them money.  I know personally a hand full of people that are well off and drive vehicles that are main stream.
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
MSN Money


Cars are cool, and here at MSN Autos we love everything about them, but we also know they're more than simply speed and style: a car is an essential tool, a much-needed accessory to help you get through your day-to-day life. What you drive is also one of the most important investments you can make, so we'll help you navigate your way through the car buying and ownership experiences. We strive to be your daily destination for news, notes, tips and tricks from across the automotive world. So whether it's through original content from our world-class journalists or the latest buzz from the far corners of the Web, Exhaust Notes helps you make sense of your automotive world.

Have a story idea? Tip us off at