Manufacturing News

BMW plans recall for faulty engine parts

BMW AG plans to recall an unspecified number of vehicles in China after months of consumer complaints over a potentially defective engine valve component.

In a statement released Friday via the Sina Weibo microblog, BMW said it had started a "full investigation" into a potential bolt problem with VANOS, a device used in BMW engines that controls air intake and exhaust valves.

BMW's announcement came a day before China's Consumer Day on March 15. The event has in previous years spotlighted local and global brands over quality problems.

"BMW pays high attention to the recently reported VANOS bolt issue," the automaker said in the statement. The statement did not describe the nature of the defect, specify how many cars are affected or say which cars are included.

"We will file our recall application to the AQSIQ as soon as possible," it said, referring to China's quality watchdog, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

It also did not say whether the recall would be confined to China. A BMW spokesman in Beijing declined to comment.

It's highly unusual for carmakers in China to disclose recall plans before official recall announcements by regulators.

As part of China's Consumer Day, every year a TV program called "3.15," produced by the China Central Television, exposes consumer neglect in China by local and global consumer brands. Past targets have included Apple Inc. and Volkswagen Group.

Last year's program highlighted Volkswagen. Shortly after the show aired, the German automaker recalled 384,181 vehicles in China to replace defective transmissions.

The recall was announced by BMW (China) Trading Automotive, which imports BMW cars into China, and BMW Brilliance Automotive, BMW's vehicle production joint venture in China.

The announcement followed months of complaints by car owners about BMW's VANOS device.

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