BMW pulls the plug on 140,000 cars in China

BMW’s joint venture in China has recalled 143,215 cars after it emerged defective plugs in the electric power steering system could prove hazardous, the country’s quality watchdog has said.

China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine announced that BMW Brilliance will be recalling some of the 5-series cars made between 2009 and 2012. The recall will take place on 23 September, and BMW Brilliance will replace the affected plugs for free.

In an extreme scenario, like driving over flooded streets, water could enter the plug in the power steering system of an affected car, which may cause it to rust and hinder its power steering capabilities.

The announcement comes just one week after the Chinese environment ministry rejected a bid from BMW to expand one of its factories, citing inadequate wastewater analysis and failure to meet state anti-pollution targets.

Shares in BMW are down around 0.5 per cent.