BMW has announced a recall of nearly 9,000 vehicles from the 2011 and 2012 model years. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a key driveshaft component on those cars may be prone to break.
The component in question is the rear driveshaft constant-velocity joint (aka the CV joint), which was manufactured in Germany by Vibracoustic GmbH & Co. KG. NHTSA documents indicate that the rivet connections on the CV joint "may have insufficient fatigue strength."
As a result, the CV join may break, which would prevent power from being transmitted to a car's rear wheels. That would cause a loss in propulsion and, depending on where the car was when the component broke, it could dramatically increase the risk of an accident.
Though BMW has received numerous complaints about this issue from owners, the automaker says that it has received no reports of accidents or injuries linked to the problem.
The recall affects the following models
2011-2012 BMW 135i Coupe
2011-2012 BMW 1-Series M Coupe
2011-2012 BMW 135i Convertible
2011 BMW Z4 sDrive 35i
2011 BMW 335i
2011 BMW 335d
2011 BMW 335i Coupe
2011 BMW 335is Coupe
2011 BMW 335i Convertible
2011 BMW 335is Convertible
2011 BMW 535i
2011 BMW 535i xDrive
2011 BMW 535i Gran Turismo
2011 BMW 550i xDrive Gran Turismo
2012 BMW 740i
2012 BMW 740Li
NHTSA says that 8,752 vehicles registered in the U.S. are included in the recall. The agency also notes that if a CV joint begins to fail, owners will first hear a noise coming from the area of the joint. Over time, this will be accompanied by a noticeable vibration.
BMW plans to mail recall notices to owners of the affected vehicles on or before March 27, 2017. After receiving those notices, owners will be able to schedule service with their local dealers, who will inspect the rear driveshaft CV joint. Depending on the part's production date, BMW may replace the joint entirely.
If you own one of these vehicles and have further questions, you're encouraged to contact BMW customer service at 1-800-525-7417. Alternately, you can call NHTSA's Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 and ask about safety campaign #17V067000.