BMW has issued an urgent “Do Not Drive” warning for owners of roughly 90,000 vehicles built between 2000 and 2006.
West Africa Automotives
The affected vehicles are outfitted with defective Takata airbags, which have a high likelihood of failure in the event of a crash. The recall affects the 2000-2006 3Series E46, the 2000-2003 5 Series E39, and the 2000-2004 X5 E53. It includes both the M3 and the M5.
All of these older models are equipped with a driver-side airbag inflator made by Takata that can send shrapnel flying into the cabin — in the direction of the front passengers — if triggered.
BMW notes it has warned owners about the problem several times since 2016, and it adds that the problem becomes increasingly serious as the part ages.
“The risk of serious injury or death increases,” it wrote in a statement.
“Owners of affected BMWs that have not had their vehicles inspected and repaired should not consider them safe to drive,” it added.
“Customers must park these vehicles immediately and take a few moments to check if their vehicle is safe for them and their family members to drive,” said Claus Eberhart BMW of North America’s vice president of aftersales.
“Repairing these vehicles is quick, easy to arrange, and is completely free of charge.”
If you’re not sure if your older BMW’s airbag inflator has been replaced, you can visit BMW’s dedicated recall site, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s site, call the brand’s customer relations line at 1-866-835-8615 or get in touch with a dealership.
The Takata airbag recalls fiasco dates back to 2013 when automakers confirmed they were aware of problems related to those airbags. At the time, 13 deaths and 100 injuries had been recorded in Honda vehicles.
Takata, which filed for bankruptcy in 2017 and paid a $1 billion penalty in the US alone as a direct result of the largest recall in automotive history, admitted it had mishandled the manufacture of explosive propellants and improperly stored chemicals used in airbags.