Safety recall slams brakes on BMWs and Rolls-Royces

Possible braking function fault forces recall of more than 6,000 BMWs and 485 Rolls-Royces in the UAE, but no accidents have been reported yet.

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ABU DHABI // More than 6,000 BMWs and 485 Rolls-Royces in the UAE may be affected by a worldwide recall after a problem in the brake system was discovered, the BMW Group said yesterday.

The German firm announced on Friday that it was recalling approximately 345,000 BMWs and 5,800 Rolls-Royces worldwide to repair the fault, which, it said, has caused no accidents.

The recall involves BMW 5, 6 and 7 Series vehicles powered by V8 and V12 engines produced between July 2001 and November 2009, and Rolls Royce Phantom series models produced between 2003 and 2010.

BMW Group said that in the affected vehicles, a leak may develop in the power braking system, potentially causing vacuum loss and a reduction in braking assistance. Mechanical braking will still function, however, allowing the driver to slow and stop the vehicle.

BMW Group Middle East importers and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars dealers have started to contact their customers via letters, e-mails and telephone calls requesting that a service appointment be scheduled.

The group said it would take one to four hours to repair the problem in affected vehicles, at no cost to the customer.

“The safety of our customers is paramount to us,” said Phil Horton, the managing director of BMW Group Middle East.

BMW Middle East sold 8,096 BMW and Mini vehicles in the region in the first six months of 2010, a 13 per cent rise over last year. Abu Dhabi Motors sold 1,707 BMW and Minis, the highest number in the region, for the same period.