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Bavarian Auto Group and Consumer Protection Agency announce local BMW recall 10 days after being published on !

Only ten days after published the official BMW recall of 176.000 units of the 3 Series, 5 Series and X1 Series for technical problems with its power brakes on 15.01.2014, the Bavarian Auto Group (which is the importer of BMW and MINI in Egypt) together with the Egyptian Consumer Protection Agency CPA published an official and paid announcement in the weekly automotive advertising supplement of Al Ahram (24.01.2014) and Akhbar El Youm (25.01.2014) newspaper.

And while we of course applaud such a brave and respectable move of publishing such a consumer-oriented and consumer-friendly recall in a few local newspaper, still we found that there is some room for improvement for both the Bavarian Auto Group and the Consumer Protection Agency when publishing such recalls in the future:

1.) We strongly recommend to chose more popular newspaper and publication with more readers such as Almasry Alyoum newspaper, rather than the weekly automotive advertising supplements of Al Ahram and Akhbar El Youm which not only have a very bad reputation in terms of credibility and professionalism, but also have a very small and diminishing readership which probably does not exceed a couple of thousand readers.

2.) When publishing such recalls in the future, the recall should be more precise and more transparent in terms of explaining the exact technical problem and the steps taken by the company to solve and repair this problem, especially when life-threatening parts such as the braking-system are affected. This should include a detailed explanation and summary of the problem, the (possible) consequence of this technical problem and last but not least the remedy and steps taken by the company to solve this technical fault.

3.) Any recall must also include the model years of the affected models as well as the VIN numbers of those cars.

And since the official recall published by the Bavarian Auto Group in the weekly advertising supplement of Al Ahram and Akhbar Al Youm was not very clear or easy to understand, we decided to explain to our valued Auto Arabia readers this recall in more details.

While published on the 15th of January that BMW is recalling 176.000 models for power braking failure, we found that the Bavarian Auto Group and CPA were talking about ‘problems with the cam-shaft’ (3amood el Kama) in their official recall published in Al Ahram (24.01.2014) and Akhbar Al Youm (25.01.2014).

So what is the relation between the ‘engine cam-shaft’ and the power-brakes?

Well, that is easy to explain. Let us start again from the beginning to remind our readers.

This recall is about the BMW AG headquarter in Munich (Germany) announcing a recall in which it is recalling 176,000 cars worldwide to fix power brake failures. This recall is including the 3-Series, 5-Series, X1, X3 and Z4 models with 4-cylinder engines and came after several filings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

On many 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.

As a result of a poor fit of the intake camshaft's seal disk, oil may be blocked from leaving the engine to lubricate the vacuum pump. This could then cause the vacuum pump to fail and would then lead to the loss of power-assist braking.

The brakes would still work, but stopping distances would increase due to increased driver force needed on the brake pedal, which could then obviously lead to a crash.

BMW AG discovered the issue the first time from one of its U.S. dealer in October 2012 and while it initiated further quality checks and test at its factories and moved the seal disk deeper within the camshaft, the problems continued to mount throughout 2013.

BMW said by September 2013 that it received 105 warranty claims, 61 reports from dealers and 23 owner complaints regarding failed vacuum pumps and loss of braking. BMW also said that the issue typically occurred within the first hundred miles.

In November 2013 BMW dealers started installing a locking ring into the camshaft so the seal disk would not move anymore.

But this was not the only BMW recall in 2013.

In February 2013 BMW started recalling X5 with V8-engines (model years 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 2013, BMW recalled 570,000 cars, including the BMW Z4 and previous-generation 3-Series, for power failures and engine stalling.

In May 2013, BMW recalled 42,080 3-Series cars (model year 2002-2003) to replace frontal airbags that had inflators that could rupture and injure occupants during a crash.

But so far the Bavarian Auto Group and the Egyptian Consumer Protection Agency CPA have neither announced anything regarding those other recalls listed above nor to the other recalls published on !

Auto Arabia will continue being the Number 1 media source for automotive recalls in Egypt and the Middle East region, for the sake of our readers and viewers in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Cairo – Munich - Dubai

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