Around 198,000 BMW and Rolls-Royce brand cars have been recalled in the US and a BMW spokesman said the recall may eventually involve approximately 345,000 cars worldwide.

The recall affects about 198,000 BMW models in North America and 5,800 Rolls Royce Phantoms worldwide, 2,550 of those in the US.

BMW's 2004-2010 5 and 6 and 2002-2008 7 series models are included as are Phantom sedans made between 2003 and 2010. Some convertible and coupe Rolls-Royce models from 2007 to 2010 are also affected.

The US government's NHTSA regulatory body said a check valve in the brake vacuum pump could leak a small amount of oil which, over time, could contaminate the brake booster and affect power assisted braking performance and, in extreme cases, cause a complete loss of assistance.

There have been no reports of injuries or deaths as a result of the problem.