German automaker BMW AG issued recalls involving about 150,000 luxury vehicles on Tuesday to repair faulty fuel pumps that could cause vehicles to lose power.
BMW said it notified the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that it would recall 130,000 vehicles from the 2007-2010 model years for emissions problems. The recall covers the 2007-2010 335i; 2008-2010 135i, 535i and X6 xDrive35i Sports Activity Coupes; and 2009-2010 Z4 Roadster sDrive35i.
All the vehicles have twin-turbo inline six-cylinder engines featuring BMW's direct fuel-injection system. BMW said the high-pressure fuel pump could fail on the vehicles and owners could experience long-crank engine starting times or reduced engine performance.
BMW said the company will replace the high-pressure fuel pump and update software, if necessary. BMW spokesman Tom Plucinsky said 15,000 to 20,000 vehicles already have received replacement fuel pumps from previous emissions recalls. He estimated that 40,000 vehicles would need new fuel pumps.
Separately, BMW recalled 20,800 2008 X5 Sports Activity Vehicles with inline six-cylinder engines to replace the low-pressure fuel pump. The automaker said if the fuel pump should fail, the engine would stop running and the driver would lose power assist for steering and brakes. BMW said the steering and brakes would still work under those circumstances.
BMW said it has had no reports of accidents or injuries connected to the recalls.
An ABC News investigation raised questions about the fuel pumps on Tuesday, and BMW expedited its recall because of the television report.
The government's auto safety agency opened an investigation in April 2008 into possible fuel pump failures on 2007 BMW 335i sedans. Owners complained that it took longer than usual to start the engine or cited "rough engine running."
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration closed its investigation in August 2008, citing 19 complaints and 8 reports of the fuel pump failure causing the vehicle to operate in "limp mode." The auto safety agency said only a small percentage of warranty claims or complaints indicated engine stall.
BMW told dealers in the spring of 2008 to check the fuel pumps for owners who complained about the problem and replace the pumps if necessary.
NHTSA said in August 2008 that the closing of the investigation "does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that a safety-related defect does not exist." It said it would continue to monitor future complaints.
BMW said owners would be notified of the recalls in the coming weeks and dealers would fix the vehicles. Owners can contact BMW Customer Relations at (800) 563-4269 or by e-mail: CustomerRelations(at)bmwusa.com.