German automaker BMW will recall more than 232,000 vehicles in China due to an engine part defect that could pose a safety hazard, China's quality watchdog said Wednesday. A total of 232,098 cars, including both imported ones and those manufactured by its joint venture in China, will be recalled from June 18, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection & Quarantine (AQSIQ) said in a statement. The government agency said bolts attached to the variable valve timing system in the engines of some cars may become loose or even break, leading to a possible engine malfunction and posing safety risks. BMW (China) Trading Automotive, which imported vehicles, and joint venture BMW Brilliance Automotive will replace the defective bolts for free in the affected cars, which were produced between June 2009 and June 2013, AQSIQ said. China is the world's largest car market and is crucial for foreign automakers as sales elsewhere have slowed due to sluggishness in the global economy. The country's auto sales surged 13.9 percent to 21.98 million vehicles last year.