BMW announced this week that it would expand a May 2016 recall of SUVs to include 121,737 additional model year 2011 to 2015 X5 and X6 vehicles that may contain a defective driveshaft.
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.
BMW will add 134,000 SUVs on top of a previous recall that included 21,000, due to the risk of driveshaft joints failing which could lead to the vehicles to stop moving.
The recall affects 2011-13 BMW X5 xDrive35i, X5 xDrive50i, X5 M and X5 xDrive35d SUVs; model-year 2011-14 X6 xDrive35i, X6 xDrive50i and X6 M SUVs; and model-year 2011 X6 ActiveHybrid SUVs.
Aside from the surprise switch to a rear-wheel-drive system, the broken u-joint can begin to damage other components if left unrepaired for too long. The company says in government documents that it has no reports of crashes or injuries. BMW will notify owners of the affected vehicles beginning in April, and dealers will replace the front driveshaft free of charge.