Laguna Hills, CA – Sept. 26, 2019 – BMW has announced the recall of two vehicles, one 2020 M340i and one M340i xDrive, due to a rear center headrest that may fold improperly in the event of a rear-impact crash. If the headrest were to fold down in such a setting, the risk of injury to the occupant would dramatically increase.
During production of both vehicles listed for the recall, the head restraint interlock was not welded sufficiently to the head restraint support rod bracket, according to paperwork filed by BMW with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
As of Sept. 26, manufacturer has not received any reports, nor is it otherwise aware, of any accidents or injuries caused by the defect. However, the improper production could lead to a break of the weld in the event of a collision, which in turn increases the risk of injury for the occupant in the rear center seat.
Timeline of Events
On July 29, BMW first became aware of an instance where a foldable rear center head restraint did not function as intended via an internal rear crash validation test. Further analysis ascribed the defect in that case to a broken weld of the interlock on the head restraint frame.
“A check of other parts was initiated,” according to the chronology that BMW filed with the NHTSA, “and two additional suspect head restraints were found.”
The vehicles included in the recall were produced between July 4 and July 31. BMW reviewed vehicle assembly information and supplier production records in order to determine the specific vehicles that carry the defect. Their investigation resulted in the identification of two specific vehicles in which the head restraint interlock was not properly welded.
On Aug. 7, BMW decided to conduct a voluntary recall on the two vehicles suspected to carry the defect. The manufacturer’s paperwork notes that dealers were notified Aug. 14, and that notification to owners “is expected to began and end on Oct. 7, 2019.”
BMW plans to notify the owners or dealers currently in possession of the two automobiles, at which point local dealers will replace the rear center headrests of the vehicles on the manufacturer’s behalf.
For more information on this field action, vehicle owners may contact the manufacturer’s customer service line at (800) 525-7417. And for more information on other BMW recalls, be sure to visit MotorSafety.org.