The company said Tuesday that in certain diesel vehicles coolant could leak from the exhaust gas recirculation module, which could combine with soot at high temperatures and cause a fire.
BMW had already decided to recall 480,000 vehicles in Asia and Europe after a number of fires were reported in South Korea. Further examination led to an expansion of the action.
The recall covers some vehicles made between 2010 and 2017; a company statement said that customers with affected cars would be contacted. Some 54,700 vehicles are affected in the U.S and Canada.
No injuries have been associated with the issue, BMW said.