Bimmerfest is reporting that BMW has notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of its intention to voluntarily recall more than 75,000 3 Series, 5 Series, X1, X3 and Z4 models due to a possible loss of power brake assist that could result in the vehicles failing to stop. The recall affects 2012-2014 models equipped with either the N20 or N26 engine produced from May 2012 to August 2013. Until recall repairs have been performed, BMW dealers will discontinue selling or delivering any affected vehicles in their inventories.

The problem has been traced to restricted oil supply from the intake camshaft to the brake vacuum pump, which may cause the brake vacuum pump to fail, resulting in a loss of power brake assist. While the hydraulic brakes will still function, the driver must much apply greater pedal pressure and the distance required to stop the vehicle will increase.

BMW has reported three minor accidents with no confirmed injuries. According to Bimmerfest, drivers who encounter a braking problem should "pull the emergency brake and apply as much brake pedal pressure as possible. If your BMW has an electronic parking brake pull up and hold the switch to engage the brake." Drivers should then park in a safe location and contact BMW Roadside Assistance.

While a repair is not yet available and we have yet to see any official notice from NHTSA, BMW will begin notifying owners of the recall in November. Repairs will be performed free of charge.

The affected models, as reported by Bimmerfest, are:
  • 2012-14 320i/328i, 320i/328i xDrive Sedan manufactured between May 2012 – August 2013
  • 2014 328i xDrive Sports Wagon manufactured between March 2013 – May 2013
  • 2012-13 528i, 528i xDrive Sedan manufactured between June 2012 – June 2013
  • 2013-14 X1 sDrive28i, X1 xDrive28i manufactured between June 2012 – June 2013
  • 2013-14 X3 xDrive28i manufactured between June 2012 – August 2013
  • 2012-14 Z4 sDrive28i manufactured between June 2012 – June 2013


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 46 Comments
      The Friendly Grizzly
      Brakes and BMWs. The issues with them go back a long time. I recall ever so fondly pulling the brake handle on my 2002 and having the cable pins tear right out of the brake shoes.
      clquake
      • 1 Year Ago
      "pull the emergency brake and apply as much brake pedal pressure as possible. If your BMW has an electronic parking brake pull up and hold the switch to engage the brake." Is this BMW's way to teaching people how to drift?
      CadiVetteFerrari
      • 1 Year Ago
      Interesting. When it's American cars that get recalls, they get labeled as garbage, or just garbage in general. When it's a German car, it's a ho-hum response, no outcry, especially with a dangerous problem like this.
        The Friendly Grizzly
        @CadiVetteFerrari
        Cadi, no. Not really. The usual excuses are: 1) These are highly precision, complex machines, so one must expect things go go wrong. It is the price you pay for quality. 2) It was built in not-Germany by not-German labor, so of course it is inferior to the ones built by blond, blue-eyed men.
      A-Toast
      • 1 Year Ago
      Reminds me of the time several years ago when Car & Driver gave a 3-series sedan the comparo win despite a catastrophic braking system electronics failure. What little credibility they had at that point was destroyed. And brakes have never been BMW's strong suit...just take a last generation M3 to the track and see how quickly you start cooking the rotors and brake fluid... This is what happens when car reviewers insist on overlooking the well-established history of a brand...in BMW's case, sketchy reliability and zero-margin engineering...in order to promote a narrative of "the brand to beat". It's shamefully dishonest and it's what allows BMW to continue selling its underbuilt hypemobiles for premium prices.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @A-Toast
        [blocked]
          Rotation
          • 1 Year Ago
          So you can pass off non-working brakes easily too? If the brakes weren't well tested, BMW shouldn't have sent the car to C&D. And ANY car tested should be counted on to have working brakes.
      Time
      • 1 Year Ago
      Whoah there...Pull the parking brake? Won't that just lock your car into a skid?
      Lawrence Yuen
      • 1 Year Ago
      Turbocharged engine. Intake pressure is positive, hence the pump.
      Tina Dang
      • 1 Year Ago
      That's not that bad. At least BMW is taking preventive measures (unlike certain American and Jap brands) for the 3 minor incidents. I have a 2008 750Li and have not had one problem. BMW makes exceptional (and HIGHLY complex) machines. Things like this will happen on complex autos.
        Steve
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Tina Dang

        Oh BS!! I had a brand new 2013 luxury edition 328i with less than 3500 miles and I experienced the brake failure issue (April 2013). It almost got my daughter and me killed, as we could not stop and rolled into a very busy intersection! Fortunately the cross traffic saw our oncoming car and stopped in time as we rolled into the middle of crossing traffic against the red light.  If these are such exceptional machines and BMW is such a standup manufacturer, they need to make this issue PRIORITY 1! There is no excuse....waiting till November to initiate the official recall (and avoid hurting the sales of their 2013-2014 inventories) is dangerous and irresponsible. Someone is going to get seriously hurt or killed! I'm sorry Tina but pull your head out of your "highly complex" A$& and get real.

          josun84
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Steve

          Steve, I had a similar problem with my 2012 X3.  I had it for about a month when I got into an accident due to a brake failure issue.  I was stopping at a stop light and my brakes failed to work.  My engine revved up when the brakes failed and my car kept rolling and hit the car in front of me approximately three times before it finally stopped.  I had other cars surrounding me and had no where to go except straight.  I had my two young sons in the car with me at the time.  Luckily I was only driving about 15 mph as I was just coming from another stop light.  No one was injured but I did have about $900 worth of damage to the front end and don't know how much damage there was to the car I hit.  Anyway, had the car towed to BMW where they kept my car for 2 months (yes, 2 months!).  The result, BMW left me to hang.  They refused to take responsibility and stated that there was nothing wrong with the car and I had to foot the bill for repairs not to mention having the accident on my driving record.  I never rear ended another car in my life!  I wonder what they did with the car for the two months because I haven't had an issue since.  In my opinion, what they did was unethical.  

        Rotation
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Tina Dang
        NHTSA already opened an investigation. This voluntary recall was strictly because they knew if they didn't do it there would be one forced upon them.
      Trent
      • 1 Year Ago
      I had a 335i and a Mustang at the same time and I can tell you that BMW makes MUCH better brakes than other brands like Ford. I cooked the brakes so bad I had to have the rotors replaced at 3000 miles.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Trent
        [blocked]
      Renaurd
      • 1 Year Ago
      BMW, the most overrated cars on the road today.
      jessesrq
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wow, AB sure has turned into an outlet for everyone who hates BMWs to espouse their expert opinions. This site is about as amusing as reading ObamaCare artciel comments on foxnew.com.
        Brandon
        • 1 Year Ago
        @jessesrq
        I think people are just mad about the fact that they don't sell a turbo-diesel manual wagon like the M550d over here.
      The Friendly Grizzly
      BMW: Brakes Might Work?
        dude
        • 1 Year Ago
        @The Friendly Grizzly
        ladies and gentleman we have winner!
      warren
      • 1 Year Ago
      Huh....mechanical problem, how about that. And here I thought the reason the typical poverty-spec BMW blew through traffic lights and took corners way too fast was because the dudebros and airhead-coeds that drive them were too busy texting or checking themselves out in the rear-view mirror.
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