BMW will proactively recall a still unspecified number of vehicles in China following months of consumer complaints over a possibly faulty engine control component. In a statement released through the Sina Weibo microblog, BMW said it had commenced a "full investigation" into a potential bolt issue with VANOS, which a device in BMW engines that controls air intake and exhaust valves.
"BMW pays high attention to the recently reported VANOS bolt issue," said the statement. "We will file our recall application to the [General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine] as soon as possible." It is unusual for carmakers in China to divulge recall plans ahead of official recall disclosures by the AQSIQ.
BMW's announcement -- issued by BMW (China) Trading Automotive Ltd. and BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd. -- followed months of complaints by groups of BMW car owners over what they called as BMW's quality issue with the VANOS system. The announcement comes a day before China's Consumer Day on March 15, which has in past years spotlighted local and global brands over quality problems.
As part of the yearly event, a TV program called "3.15" exposes consumer neglect in China by local and global consumer brands. The program had featured Apple Inc. and Volkswagen AG. In 2013, 3.15 featured Volkswagen. Shortly after the broadcast, VW recalled 384,181 vehicles in China to replace faulty transmissions. [source: Reuters]