BMW has decided to recall about 1.3 million of its cars worldwide because of potential battery problems that could, in extreme cases, result in a fire.
The cars involved are 5 and 6 Series models built between 2003 and 2010.
BMW said it had received nine reports of the defect, but was not aware of any injuries resulting from the fault.
Owners should take the vehicles to authorized dealers for repair.
The company said the battery cable cover may be incorrectly mounted.
A company statement said: “In order to carry out a quality measure, BMW is recalling all BMW 5 and 6 Series models of the previous generation, built between 2003 and 2010 and still on the market, for repair at authorized dealers.
“This can result in the electrical system malfunctioning, the vehicle failing to start and, in some cases, to charring or fire.”
The statement said the company would write to all owners and that checks would take about 30 minutes and be free of charge.
Earlier this month, BMW reported record profit margins in its core car business for 2011.
BMW profits jumped by 51% last year to 4.9 billion Euros ($6.43 billion) compared with 3.24 billion Euros from 2010. Sales rose 14% to 68.82 billion Euros.