The recall, affecting about 1600 vehicles in Australia built from January 1 2007 to March 5 2010, is part of a global defect notice on 35,000 X5s in the US and Canada.
BMW says a vacuum hose leading to the brake booster has the potential to bleed oil into it, damaging an internal rubber membrane and leading to the loss of power braking assistance.
If that happens, the car can only be effectively braked if the driver pushes the pedal extremely hard – and with some drivers unable to exert enough pressure there is the risk of the vehicle not stopping soon enough or in a short enough distance to avoid collision.
“The immediate fix is to replace the hose with a modified that eliminates the problem,” BMW spokesman Scott Croaker says. “However if oil has got into the booster, we will replace the whole booster.”
The problem was discovered when overseas warranty claims increased, and Croaker says there have been no brake failure incidents reported in Australia.
Owners of affected vehicles should contact their nearest BMW service centre, or call the BMW Australia Customer Service on 1800 813 299.
This reporter is on Twitter: @KarlaPincott