The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released its most recent crash test results for midsize luxury sedans and found that Infiniti's Q70 sedan scored well across the board in the moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests, which earned it the group's Top Safety Pick+ designation.
Related: 2014 Infiniti Q70 Expert Review
The safety organization also tested the BMW 5 Series and Lincoln MKS, which did not perform nearly as well, ranking at the bottom of seven cars tested in the class. The BMW garnered a marginal score in the small front overlap test, which replicates hitting another vehicle or object like a pole at 40 mph at an offset angle, not head-on.
"The BMW 535d is a highly capable midsize sport sedan made better by the power and efficiency of its new diesel engine — but adding options quickly spends any money saved by choosing an alternative-fuel powertrain," said Cars.com reviewer Aaron D. Bragman. Check out Bragman's review for more.
Cars.com photo by Aaron D. Bragman
Vehicles Affected: Approximately 156,137 BMW vehicles from the 2010-2012 model years. The recalled models are the 2010-11 128i coupe and convertible; 328i xDrive sedan; 328i sedan, coupe, convertible and sports wagon; and Z4 sDrive 30i. Affected model-year 2011-12 vehicles are the 135i coupe and convertible, 335i sedan, X5 xDrive 35i and X6 xDrive 35i. Affected model-year 2011 vehicles are the 335i xDrive sedan, 335i coupe and convertible, 528i sedan, 535i sedan, 535i xDrive sedan, X3 xDrive 28i and X3 xDrive 35i. Affected model-year 2010 vehicles are the X3 xDrive 30i and X5 xDrive 30i. Affected model-year 2012 vehicles are the 2012 640i coupe and convertible. Model-year 2010-12 535i Gran Turismo vehicles are also part of the recall.
"In addition, owners of approximately 170,172 model year 2010-2012 BMW vehicles equipped with inline-six-cylinder engines not covered by this recall, will receive an extended warranty to address this condition," the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in its recall notice.
The Problem: The bolts that secure the variable camshaft timing adjustment unit could become loose and may break. This could cause reduced engine power or the engine could stall, increasing the risk of a crash. BMW has not received any reports of accidents or injuries related to this issue, the automaker said in a statement.
The Fix: Dealers will inspect and replace the affected bolts for free.
What Owners Should Do: BMW will notify owners starting in May. Owners can call BMW at 800-525-7417 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 888-327-4236 for more information.
Vehicles Affected: Approximately 76,200 model-year 2012-14 vehicles equipped with 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engines, including the 1 Series, 3 Series, 5 Series, X1, X3 and Z4.
The Problem: An interruption in the oil supply to a part could mean the loss of power braking assist; this could require the driver to press harder on the brake pedal in order to stop.
The Fix: BMW will notify affected owners by mail, and dealers will repair the problem in the power braking system.
What Owners Should Do: The automaker said drivers who lose power brake assist should pull over and call for roadside assistance. Owners can call BMW at 800-525-7417 or email CustomerRelations@bmwusa.com for more info; they can also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov.More Recalls
The Problem: Over time, increased resistance at the taillight electrical contact points may cause damage to the ground terminal and housing of the connector, resulting in an intermittent or permanent loss of functionality of rear lamp functions, including taillights, brake lights, turn signals and reverse lights. This reduces the ability to warn other motorists of the driver's intentions, increasing the risk of a crash.
The Fix: Dealers will replace the rear lamp bulb carriers for free.
What Owners Should Do: BMW will begin notifying owners in October. Owners can call the automaker at 800-525-7417 or email CustomerRelations@bmwusa.com for more info; they can also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov.
That Mercedes-Benz in your driveway might have turned the tables on the Joneses, who are now trying to keep up with you, but that envy doesn't end with your neighbors. According to a report released today by the National Insurance Crime Bureau, to steal a Mercedes-Benz is considered an honor among thieves. The German automaker's iconic three-pointed star adorns three of the top 10 most-stolen luxury models in the U.S., with the C-Class taking the No. 1 spot with 485 thefts from Jan. 1, 2009, through Dec. 31, 2012.
The Des Plaines, Ill.-based nonprofit's analysis divided the luxury-vehicle segment into three subclasses — compact, midsize and premium — with thefts across all three totaling 4,384 for the 2010-12 model years. The compact class accounted for the greatest portion of that total, with 2,150 thefts, followed by the midsize class' 1,734 thefts and the premium's 500. By state, the distribution of thefts largely correlates with population size: California lays claim to 1,063 of the total luxury thefts, the most, while South Dakota and Wyoming each had only one. By core-based statistical area, which includes a densely populated urban center and its surrounding areas, the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island area had the largest number of luxury thefts at 806, followed by Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, Calif., with 491, and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Fla., with 452.
BMW expands its diesel engine offerings with the addition of a 5 Series diesel in a mildly refreshed 2014 model. Along with a more-efficient diesel engine, the refresh adds minor front and rear styling tweaks as well as new standard features such as navigation, larger center console storage compartments and cupholders.
The diesel-powered 535d sedan's turbocharged six-cylinder makes 255-horsepower and 413 pounds-feet of torque. BMW says the diesel will have "substantial fuel economy gains over its gasoline-fueled counterpart," though official EPA figures won't be available until closer to the car's August on-sale date. The 535d's available all-wheel drive puts it in a rare class of diesel, all-wheel-drive sedans along with the 2013 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Bluetec — surprisingly, we're asked frequently about diesel, all-wheel-drive sedans at Ask.cars.com.
BMW plans to offer a six-cylinder diesel engine in its 5 Series midsize luxury sedan in the second half of 2013. The debut joins a new diesel engine option for the 3 Series. Dubbed 328d, the compact luxury car uses a turbo four-cylinder diesel engine. Ludwig Willisch, president and CEO of BMW of North America, said the numerical designation for the 5 Series diesel hasn't been decided on yet.
The last time BMW offered a six-cylinder diesel in one of its U.S. passenger cars was the 335d, sold from the 2009 to 2011 model years. Rated at 265 horsepower, the turbocharged diesel engine developed a commanding 425 pounds-feet of torque for impressive off-the-line performance. Six-cylinder diesel versions of the 5 Series already available in Europe offer similar levels of torque.
After years on the margins in the passenger-car segment, diesels are on the upswing in the U.S., and the gains are most apparent in the luxury segment. Audi plans to sell diesel versions of nearly all its passenger cars; BMW hasn't made that big of a commitment to the U.S. market, but it appears willing to test the waters a little more.
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