BMW had recalled 232,000 imported and locally produced cars in China earlier this month for the same reason.
The company said in an email on Thursday that vehicles would be checked to see if the bolts holding the variable camshaft timing (VANOS) unit were prone to loosening, or in extreme cases, breaking.
Drivers of potentially affected vehicles may continue to drive their vehicles, but if they see warnings like "check engine" or "service engine soon", they should immediately contact their nearest authorized BMW center, the company said.
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BMW said it had informed the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the recall.
BMW's recall follows a string of recalls by leading automakers around the world. Toyota, the world's biggest carmaker by sales volume, on Wednesday said it would recall more than 6 million vehicles.
General Motors is being investigated by U.S. lawmakers for its slow recall of 2.6 million cars related to problems with ignition switches.