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BMW recalls 150,000 cars over faulty fuel pumps

Posted by Clifford Atiyeh  October 26, 2010 04:08 PM

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BMW said today it would recall about 150,000 vehicles in the US due to faulty fuel pumps that could reduce engine power, or in some cases, shut the car off entirely while driving.

About 130,000 cars that use a high-pressure fuel pump, used in BMW's twin-turbocharged six-cylinder engines, will be recalled to replace the pump or apply a software update, the company said. The affected cars include the 2007-2010 335i, 2008-2010 135i, 535i, and X6 xDrive35i, and the 2009-2010 Z4 sDrive35i.

The voluntary recall was announced shortly after ABC News aired a report on BMW models that were allegedly sluggish during acceleration. BMW said this effect -- known as a "limp home" mode -- was normal if the car detects problems with the fuel pump.

The New York Times quoted a BMW spokesman who said the affected cars are "driveable under less power" but that it was not a safety defect.

In addition, BMW will recall 20,800 six-cylinder X5 models to replace the fuel pump, which uses a lower-pressure unit. If this unit failed, the company said the engine would shut off and cut off power assists to the steering and brakes.

High-pressure fuel pumps are used in a process called direct injection, where fuel is sprayed directly into each cylinder head instead of being mixed with air via the intake valves. Engines with direct injection are able to produce greater power and fuel economy than those with standard fuel injection.

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Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
In the garage: 1995 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (by association)
Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
In the garage: 2006 Subaru Baja
AAA's Car Doctor, John Paul John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England, a certified mechanic, and a Globe columnist. He hosts a weekly radio show on WROL.
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Craig Fitzgerald has been writing about cars, motorcycles, and the automotive industry since 1999. He is the former editor of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.
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