BMW has issued a statement about cars using its N57 engine after it was revealed police drivers have been told  to avoid high speed chases in their vehicles.

The N57 six-cylinder 3.0-litre engine is one of the German manufacturer's most prolific powerplants and is widely used in older 5-Series saloons as well as some off-roaders.

BMW has stressed there is no reason for wider concern.

In a statement it said: "The safety of our customers and their vehicles is of utmost importance to BMW.

"We have been working with the Police for some time on a technical matter linked to a small number of special high-performance vehicles.

"This issue is associated with the particular way in which the Police operate these high-performance vehicles. This unique usage profile puts extra strain on some components and therefore BMW has specified a special servicing programme for these vehicles.

"There is no need for action on any civilian vehicles."

Earlier this week it was revealed that some police patrol cars have been told not to go 20mph above the national speed limit.

That means police pursuits are limited to 90mph.

Such vehicles are only to be used for basic routine inquiries.

Several forces have been transparent about their policies but West Yorkshire refuses to disclose if any of its vehicles are affected, despite operating a number of BMWs.

National Police Chiefs' Council lead on police driving, Deputy Chief Constable Terry Woods, said: 'We are aware there may be an issue with some older vehicles in our fleet and we are taking urgent steps to ensure this is addressed, including offering guidance to forces.

'Chiefs are working with the National Association of Police Fleet Managers to examine any risks.

'Our priority at this time is to ensure the safety and the long-term integrity of the equipment our officers use.'