In the past several weeks BMW has shown intent to recall a variety of vehicles for brake related issues, from lights to booster pumps. Read on for the full tale.

BMW is recalling certain model year 2008 through 2010 528i, 535i, 550i, and M5passenger cars manufactured from March 1, 2007, through December 31, 2009. Over time, increased resistance at the taillight electrical contact points may cause damage to the ground terminal and housing of the connector resulting in an intermittent or permanent loss of functionality of one or more rear lamp functions (tail, brake, turn-signal, reverse).


Intermittent light operation reduces the ability to warn other motorists of the driver’s intentions, increasing the risk of a crash.


BMW will notify owners, and dealers will replace the rear lamp bulb carriers free of charge. The recall is expected to begin during October 2013. Owners may contact BMW customer relations at 1-800-525-7417 or email BMW at

BMW will Recall certain 2012-2014 model year BMW 3 Series, 5 Series, X1, X3 and Z4 models equipped with the N20 or N26 engine, produced from May 2012 to August 2013.

Situation: The oil supply via the intake camshaft to the vacuum pump could become restricted. If this were to occur, the vacuum pump could fail due to lack of lubrication, resulting in a loss of power brake assist.

A repair solution for vehicles already retailed is under development and not available at this time. Customers will initially be informed of the Recall in November by letter; and again when parts become available. Please do not contact the Parts Technical Group (PTG) requesting parts. The repair letter will be sent when the dealership has the necessary parts, tools and procedures to preform the repair.

The solution involves inserting a locking ring onto the camshaft so the oil supply to the brake assist vacuum pump is not impaired. The repair will take approximately two hours but can vary depending on your BMW dealers schedule. The repair will be preformed free of charge.

Affected Models

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
Models not list are not affected due to different lubrication and vacuum pump designs.

Number of vehicles affected in the US

Up to 76,190 BMWs are affected by this safety issue. The model break down is as follows –
2012-14 320i/328i, 320i/328i xDrive Sedan – 37,473 potentially affected
2014 328i xDrive Sports Wagon – 176 potentially affected
2012-13 528i, 528i xDrive Sedan – 12,708 potentially affected
2013-14 X1 sDrive28i, X1 xDrive28i – 10,547 potentially affected
2013-14 X3 xDrive28i – 14,517 potentially affected
2012-14 Z4 sDrive28i – 770 potentially affected

Known accidents

BMW is aware of three minor accidents with no confirmed injuries as a result of this problem. The NTSB has 7 reported incidents but that does not mean they have 7 accident reports. Vehicles affected have experienced the failure at low millage. It is not clear if having a higher mileage car means you will not have the failure.

Should you continue to drive your N20/N26 powered BMW?

BMW says it is safe to continue to drive your vehicle for now. As soon as you get the service letter that will be coming in December you should have the recall work performed. If you feel a loss of braking power pull to the side of the road and have your BMW towed to the nearest dealer by BMW Roadside Assistance.