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BMW broadens engine bolt recall to nearly half-million cars worldwide

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2012 BMW 3 Series

Almost one month ago, we reported on a BMW investigation into a potentially defective bolt that lived in the company’s VANOS variable valve timing system. At that point, the potential recall was seemingly limited to Chinese-market cars; the company was filing a recall application with Chinese officials.

Today, Bloomberg is reporting that the engine bolt issue has expanded into a recall for several world markets, involving some 489,000 vehicles. BMW was able to verify that report to Autoblog, while also providing a great deal more detail about the issue and vehicles affected.

The recall affects vehicles powered by N55 inline six-cylinder gasoline engines equipped with VANOS and Valvetronic technologies. 1 Series, 3 Series, 5 Series and 5 Series Gran Turismo, X3, X5, X6 and Z4 models from the 2010 to 2012 model years are included, as is the 2012 6 Series.

In total, 156,137 vehicles in the US are affected by the recall, which BMW says was filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration late on Wednesday.

In rare cases, the bolts holding the VANOS unit housing may become loose, or, in “extreme” cases, break. A broken bolt may trigger an engine warning light or send the engine into safe mode if the VANOS unit is compromised. Ignoring the issue could cause “no start conditions,” stalling and further engine damage.

As you might suspect, BMW recommends that owners observing engine warning lights should arrange for service.

NHTSA has yet to issue its own recall notice, though presumably they are forthcoming, and BMW’s own statement can be seen below.

Continue reading BMW broadens engine bolt recall to nearly half-million cars worldwide

BMW broadens engine bolt recall to nearly half-million cars worldwide originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 11 Apr 2014 14:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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April 11th, 2014

Toyota-BMW sports car to gain all-wheel drive, supercapacitors?

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Toyota FT-1 Concept

2014 BMW Z4Sales of salt are skyrocketing following the latest rumor of the planned joint-venture sports car from Toyota and BMW. The whisperings indicate that project will spawn both a replacement for the BMW Z4 and a long-awaited Toyota Supra successor based on the FT-1 Concept shown above. Word is that the new cars will feature front-engine, all-wheel-drive layouts with plug-in hybrid technology. This news would appear to run somewhat counter to earlier reports that BMW and Toyota are teaming for a six-figure hybrid supercar.

According to Autocar, the project will benefit from the experience Toyota gained with the TS030, its hybridized Le Mans prototype. The evidence for this is, of all things, a Toyota Yaris – in particular, the Yaris Hybrid R that was shown at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show last September. That car used a 300-horsepower, 1.6-liter gas engine, while a pair of 60-horsepower electric motors provided all-wheel-drive push (an additional motor also sent additional juice to the front axle). The 414-system-horsepower drivetrain used supercapacitors in place of the traditional lithium-ion batteries of traditional hybrids.

For the production sports cars, Autocar claims that the Yaris Hybrid R’s setup will serve as the basis for the new powertrain, although it won’t be a direct carryover. Instead, a 2.0-liter BMW engine will be paired with Toyota-designed, BMW-built motors.

While Toyota will be responsible for making the new car go, BMW will handle the car’s structure and body. Carbon-fiber reinforced plastic, high-strength steel and aluminum will all play major roles in the construction, according to AC, with a low curb weight being a high priority.

This all sounds rather far-fetched to us, largely because of the existence of the BMW i8. That car already generates 362 system horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque from a plug-in drivetrain, and it also benefits from extensive use of CFRP and aluminum. Finally, the i8 retails for six figures. Building the Z4 replacement that Autocar describes and keeping it around the current car’s price simply doesn’t seem possible. Besides that, the idea of an all-wheel-drive Z4 kind of runs counter to what the Z4 is, an old-school, cab-backwards rear-drive roadster.

Then again, this crazy industry has surprised us before. What do you think? Does any of Autocar‘s theory on the BMW-Toyota partnership make sense to you? What sort of car do you expect from the two companies? What would you hope to see in a Z4 replacement? Have your say in Comments.

Toyota-BMW sports car to gain all-wheel drive, supercapacitors? originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 24 Mar 2014 14:16:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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March 24th, 2014

Official: BMW jazzes up the Z4 with Pure Fusion Design package

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BMW Z4 Pure Fusion Design

While the new M3 sedan and M4 coupe may be the big news, they’re not the only things that BMW has in the cooker. The Bavarian automaker has just announced a new special edition that serves to highlight the Z4 roadster.

Called the Pure Fusion Design package, the specially-equipped Z4 incorporates Nappa leather trim in ivory with brown stitching covering the seats, armrests and door panels. The lower dashboard is done up to match in white, with brown-accented black leather upper dash, window sills, sun visors and instrument surround. A brown leather line accents the interior, with Fineline wood trim.

BMW is offering the Z4 Pure Fusion Design in the unique shade of sparkling brown metallic pictured here, along with other available colors, and customers can combine the package with the M Sport pack as well. Scroll down for the full press release.

Continue reading BMW jazzes up the Z4 with Pure Fusion Design package

BMW jazzes up the Z4 with Pure Fusion Design package originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 15 Dec 2013 13:05:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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December 15th, 2013

Official: BMW jazzes up the Z4 with Pure Fusion Design package

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BMW Z4 Pure Fusion Design

While the new M3 sedan and M4 coupe may be the big news, they’re not the only things that BMW has in the cooker. The Bavarian automaker has just announced a new special edition that serves to highlight the Z4 roadster.

Called the Pure Fusion Design package, the specially-equipped Z4 incorporates Nappa leather trim in ivory with brown stitching covering the seats, armrests and door panels. The lower dashboard is done up to match in white, with brown-accented black leather upper dash, window sills, sun visors and instrument surround. A brown leather line accents the interior, with Fineline wood trim.

BMW is offering the Z4 Pure Fusion Design in the unique shade of sparkling brown metallic pictured here, along with other available colors, and customers can combine the package with the M Sport pack as well. Scroll down for the full press release.

Continue reading BMW jazzes up the Z4 with Pure Fusion Design package

BMW jazzes up the Z4 with Pure Fusion Design package originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 15 Dec 2013 13:05:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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December 15th, 2013

Report: BMW recalls over 76k 2012-2014 models over brake failure

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2012 BMW 3 Series

Bimmerfest is reporting that BMW has notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of its intention to voluntarily recall more than 75,000 3 Series, 5 Series, X1, X3 and Z4 models due to a possible loss of power brake assist that could result in the vehicles failing to stop. The recall affects 2012-2014 models equipped with either the N20 or N26 engine produced from May 2012 to August 2013. Until recall repairs have been performed, BMW dealers will discontinue selling or delivering any affected vehicles in their inventories.

The problem has been traced to restricted oil supply from the intake camshaft to the brake vacuum pump, which may cause the brake vacuum pump to fail, resulting in a loss of power brake assist. While the hydraulic brakes will still function, the driver must much apply greater pedal pressure and the distance required to stop the vehicle will increase.

BMW has reported three minor accidents with no confirmed injuries. According to Bimmerfest, drivers who encounter a braking problem should “pull the emergency brake and apply as much brake pedal pressure as possible. If your BMW has an electronic parking brake pull up and hold the switch to engage the brake.” Drivers should then park in a safe location and contact BMW Roadside Assistance.

While a repair is not yet available and we have yet to see any official notice from NHTSA, BMW will begin notifying owners of the recall in November. Repairs will be performed free of charge.

The affected models, as reported by Bimmerfest, are:
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

BMW recalls over 76k 2012-2014 models over brake failure originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 28 Sep 2013 17:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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September 28th, 2013

Report: Police arrest ‘Fastest Lap Around Manhattan’ driver [w/video]

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Manhattan Fastest Lap video screencap

Don’t speed. Don’t drive recklessly. Don’t try to break the unofficial record for a lap of Manhattan. And if you go against this reasonable advice, do not, under any circumstances, record it and post the video on YouTube. If you do, you’ll end up like Christopher Adam Tang – under arrest and facing a bevy of charges relating to the video.

Tang posted the video, which showed him lapping Manhattan in 24 minutes last Wednesday, and it quickly went viral. Now Tang, who went by the online moniker AfroDuck, is in cuffs. According to a local CBS affiliate, he was picked up at his home on Wednesday evening by police, who also seized the car used in the video, a 2006 BMW Z4.

What isn’t clear is how Tang was caught. His video seems carefully done in that there are no outwardly visible signs that point to him, while the video itself is clearly sped up. While the NYPD hasn’t come out and said that Tang was caught due to its extensive surveillance systems around the city, police commissioner Ray Kelly did point out that the new systems “will assist in this type of investigation.” Let that serve as a warning to anyone that tries to break the 24-minute barrier. Scroll down to watch the full video.

Continue reading Police arrest ‘Fastest Lap Around Manhattan’ driver [w/video]

Police arrest ‘Fastest Lap Around Manhattan’ driver [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 06 Sep 2013 19:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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September 6th, 2013
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