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Reuters / January 31, 2003

FRANKFURT - BMW AG said on Friday it was recalling 164,000 of its X5 SUVs worldwide due to a fault with the brake hose, a move that would cost as much as five million euros.

"We have written to customers asking them to bring their cars to the garage. It could affect 164,000 cars, 19,900 of them in Germany," a BMW spokesman said, adding that the necessary adjustments would only take a few minutes.

He said the brake hose in some of the cars could come loose over the front axle which could lead to damage and a loss of brake fluid in extreme cases. The recall affected cars built between August 1999 and April 2002.

Since it started building the X5, BMW has delivered close to 240,000 of the vehicles to customers worldwide. The model has been one of the company's main drivers of growth in the important U.S. market.

BMW said it was not aware of any accidents linked to the fault, which it had discovered during routine quality checks.

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