December 6, 2012 / 5:49 PM / 8 years ago

BMW recalls utility vehicles for steering issue

A logo of BMW is pictured on a car before the German luxury carmaker BMW annual shareholders meeting at the company's headquarters in Munich, May 16, 2012. REUTERS/Guido Krzikowski

(Reuters) - BMW of North America will recall 29,800 X5 utility vehicles with diesel engines to replace an engine part that could break and cause a loss of power steering, federal safety officials said Thursday.

The issue affects 2009-2012 BMW X5 35d models made from September 1, 2008, through November 15, 2012, according to a report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

BMW of North America, a unit of Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, said the engine belt idler pulley bolt could loosen and break over time, which in turn could cause an unexpected loss of power steering and increase the risk of a crash.

The automaker has informed dealers and expects to begin notifying customers in January. Dealers will replace the bolt for free.

Reporting by Paul Lienert in Detroit; Editing by Phil Berlowitz

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