• BMW is recalling 2,642 units of its X5 and X6 SUVs
  • The recall applies to 2013 X6 models and 2012-2013 X5s
  • A machining error could cause leaking power steering fluid to start a fire

BMW will soon recall more than 2,600 units of its popular X5 and X6 SUVs. The automaker and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the recall, which affects 2012 and 2013 models manufactured in April and May.

According to NHTSA, the recall is necessary due to an increased possibility of engine fires. The government agency says that, because of a machining error on the steering gear surface, power steering fluid could leak onto hot exhaust parts in the engine compartment. Such a leak could lead to extremely hot underhood temperatures and potentially could cause a fire.

BMW says the problem was discovered during extreme steering testing of X5 and X6 SUVs at its plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where both vehicles are manufactured. As a result, the automaker says it has not yet received any reports of injuries or accidents related to the recall.

Nonetheless, BMW will soon begin mailing recall notices to owners of the 2,642 units of its 2013 X6 and 2012-13 X5 SUVs that are potentially affected by the problem. The notices will urge owners to bring their SUVs in to a dealership, which will replace the steering gear free of charge. BMW says owners with questions can call the automaker at 800-525-7417 or reach NHTSA's recall hotline at 888-327-4236.

Despite being redesigned nearly six years ago, the X5 remains one of BMW's most popular vehicles. Last month, the automaker recorded more than 3,700 sales of the mid-size SUV, reaching nearly 16,000 units sold through the end of May. That means X5 sales are up more than 25 percent over the same period last year, while the aggressively styled X6 is also enjoying a year-over-year sales boost of nearly 3 percent.

What it means to you: If you recently purchased a new X5 or X6, get ready to head back to the dealership when your recall notice arrives in the mail.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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