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updated: 9/1/2011 7:04 AM

BMW recalls 241,000 cars in U.S. for rear-light malfunction

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Bayerische Motoren Werke AG is recalling 241,000 3-Series cars in the U.S. because of a rear- light defect it says may cause crashes.

The recall is for model years 2002-2005 of the 325i, 325xi, 330i and 330xi cars, the Munich-based company said today in a posting on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website.

Lights including tail, brake and turn signals may only work intermittently on the cars, BMW told the auto-safety regulator. This "reduces the ability to warn other motorists of the driver's intentions" and "could cause a vehicle to crash without warning," the company said.

BMW yesterday recalled 120,000 diesel cars worldwide because of a defect that could cause filter heaters to keep running after engines are turned off and cause a fire.

Mathias Schmidt, a BMW spokesman, didn't immediately respond to a phone call seeking comment.

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