The BMW logo is shown on the steering wheel of its i3 electric vehicle. Photo: Bloomberg

Johannesburg - A total of 3 120 BMWs in South Africa are affected by the company’s recall of 489 000 vehicles worldwide to repair a possible engine-bolt defect.

Guy Kilfoil, the general manager of group communications and public affairs at BMW South Africa, said on Friday that as part of a global voluntary quality measure, it was taking the precaution of checking the bolts on the Vanos unit in selected vehicles with six-cylinder engines and, depending on the results, the bolt or Vanos unit would be replaced.

The Vanos unit is an automotive variable valve timing system produced by BMW.

The BMW recall follows Toyota Motor of Japan last week announcing a global recall of more than 6 million vehicles, one of the biggest recalls in automotive history, to fix a range of safety defects.

Leo Kok, a Toyota South Africa Motors spokesman, initially said that the company would be participating in the recall of the previous generation Yaris model and the pre-facelift Hilux, Fortuner and Innova models, but on Friday he confirmed that the recall had been expanded to include the previous generation Rav 4 for a problem similar to that of the Hilux, Fortuner and Innova models.

Kilfoil said BMW’s recall affected 489 000 vehicles worldwide. The biggest individual markets affected were China with 232 000 vehicles and the US with 156 000 vehicles.

“Only 3 120 vehicles are affected in South Africa and customers will be notified via letter to book their car into the nearest BMW dealer for repair, at BMW’s cost. The recall campaign will only be implemented in South Africa from July onwards,” he said.

Kilfoil said the models affected in South Africa were the BMW 1 Series, BMW 3 Series, BMW 5 Series, BMW 6 Series, BMW 7 Series, BMW X1, BMW X3, BMW X5 (previous generation), BMW X6 and the BMW Z4 built between September 2009 and November 2011. This would only apply to those models with six cylinder engines.

The vehicles remained safe to drive and there was absolutely no need for concern. Kilfoil added that to address this issue, BMW SA would begin notifying customers by means of a letter to have the improved plug concept, which prevented frictional corrosion, fitted at no cost to them.

Affected owners could contact the customer care centre on 0800 600 555 if they had any questions or concerns, he said.

Kok said on Friday that Toyota SA had still not received details about the number of vehicles in South Africa that were affected by Toyota’s global recall.

The Yaris recall is to inspect and possibly replace the seat rail spring that secures the seat in place, while the Hilux, Fortuner and Innova recall is to inspect and replace the spiral cable that is attached to the driver’s steering column.

Kok previously stressed that Toyota SA’s recall campaign was pre-emptive and it was not responding to any issues recorded locally. - Business Report