Here's a response from BMW NA on the recall question. I am satisfied with the response. Not sure why they'd stop the test drives, which could lead to lost sales opportunities. Although if someone is test driving a $60K vehicle and this happens, maybe they'd walk out the door quickly.
Thank you for contacting BMW of North America, LLC regarding our voluntary recall announcement of certain 2009-2012 model year BMW X5 xDrive 35d (Diesel) SAVs produced between September 2008 and November 2012. Through our own quality control process, BMW has discovered that the idler pulley bolt can loosen in affected vehicles, which could lead to additional bending forces on the bolt. If the bolt breaks, a sudden loss of power steering assist could occur. Please note that manual steering capability would be retained, although the effort required for steering the vehicle would be greater.
Owners of affected vehicles will receive a notification letter via First Class mail in January requesting the scheduling of a service appointment with an authorized BMW center to have the idler pulley bolt replaced and tightened with a revised procedure and a thread lock coating. If the alternator warning lamp (the battery icon) is illuminated in the vehicle’s instrument cluster, along with the warning message “Charging malfunction,” carefully pull over to a safe location away from traffic. Contact BMW Roadside Assistance at 1-800-332-4269 to have your vehicle brought to the nearest authorized BMW center.
BMW remains committed to maintaining the highest level of automotive excellence. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience should your vehicle be affected.
The BMW Customer Relations and Services Department is available Monday through Friday from 9:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M., Eastern Standard Time. You can reach us at 1-800-831-1117.