A BMW recall involving 1.6 million 3 Series vehicles based on concerns over airbag safety has been announced by the German automaker. The vehicles included in the recall were manufactured between May 1999 and August 2006 (pre-predecessor generation E46). The fault originates from a Japanese supplier.
The company added that approximately 570,000 vehicles will be recalled in the US.
The BMW group says that defects with gas generators that may rupture in cars produced by its competitors using the same supplier have become evident in some cases.
A voluntary precautionary measure
So far, the company has received no reports of the problem occurring in BMW vehicles. The replacement of the airbags is a voluntary precautionary measure aimed at minimizing the risk of faulty airbag activation, BMW stressed.
The BMW Group wrote:
“Formally speaking, it is a voluntary extension of last year’s recall campaign. At that time, the supplier stated a production period during which potentially faulty gas generators were installed in passenger airbags.”
“Following this, BMW recalled 240 000 3 Series vehicles (E46) of the pre-predecessor generation. The supplier has now extended the production period.”
Last year, 240,000 46 units had been recalled globally; they are excluded from this recall.
The Munich-based carmaker says that affected customers will be contacted. The replacement of the faulty part, which takes about one hour, will be done free of charge.
BMW 3 Series, fourth generation 1998 – 2005 (03/2011 Source: BMW)
Takata linked to several recalls
The bag inflators are made by the Japanese company, Takata. According to the US National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), the following automakers would be recalling vehicles to fix a potential airbag inflator defect:
- GM (recalled 8.4 million cars at the end of June, 2013, because of ignition switch defects which would not allow the airbags to deploy),
- Toyota (has recalled 2.79 million vehicles so far),
The NHTSA had investigated six reports of airbag inflator problems in Puerto Rico and Florida. The airbag inflator ruptures are believed to be caused by high levels of humidity. So far, the defect has led to more than ten million vehicles being recalled worldwide.