— BMW is recalling nearly 122,000 vehicles to replace the front driveshafts, an expansion of a 2016 recall for the same problems. Affected are the following 2011-2014 models:
- 2011-2013 X5 xDrive35i
- 2011-2013 X5 xDrive50i
- 2011-2013 X5 M
- 2011-2013 X5 xDrive35d
- 2011-2014 X6 xDrive35i
- 2011-2014 X6 xDrive50i
- 2011-2014 X6 M
- 2011 x6 ActiveHybrid
Since the first recall in 2016, BMW monitored the problem and noticed an increase in warranty claims concerning damaged components near the front driveshafts and rendering the vehicles unable to drive. Engineers investigated the driveshaft, sealing system, bearings and damage to broken parts.
Through February 2017, BMW looked at numerous factors, including the age and mileage of a vehicle, environmental conditions and driving behavior. By the end, engineers determined the front driveshaft sealing system starting with the 2010 model year were affected similar to the vehicles included in the 2016 recall.
BMW says the contact surface between the spider and the seal of the front driveshaft’s universal joint may be out of specification, sometimes allowing water or dirt to enter the universal joint and cause excessive wear and corrosion resulting in noise or vibration.
The U-joint can break after enough wear and tear and stop torque to the front wheels, but the rear drivetrain will continue to work, supplying torque to the rear axle. However, driving the vehicle in this condition will result in damage to surrounding components and make the vehicle useless for driving.
A sure-shot sign of things going wrong is noise from the area of the front drivetrain, a signal to get the vehicle to a dealer.
The BMW front driveshaft recall will begin April 24, 2017, when dealers will replace the driveshafts.
Affected owners may contact BMW at 800-525-7417.