The recall affects popular 3-Series sedans, wagons, convertibles and coupes from the 2007 through 2011 model years. Also included are 1-Series coupes and convertibles from 2008 through 2012, and the Z4 sports car from 2009 through 2011.
If the cable connector fails, it can break the electrical connection between the battery and the fuse box. If that happens, the car can lose electrical power. This can cause the engine to stall unexpectedly, according to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The carmaker sent documents to the NHTSA saying the problem stems from movement between the battery cable and the fuse box. BMW says it knows of one minor collision in Canada due to the problem, but no injuries.
The company says dealers will replace the battery cable connector and secure it for free. It will start notifying owners in March.
The recall affects more than 504,000 cars in the U.S. and another 65,000 in Canada.
Owners can call BMW with questions at (800) 525-7417.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.