BMW recalls vehicles with Takata air bags


Westwood, N.J. – Aug. 31, 2017 – BMW of North America has recalled more than 3,400 vehicles possibly equipped with defective Takata air bag inflators, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign, which amends an earlier action initiated in September 2016, affects 2012-2013 X-3 xDrive28i and xDrive35i sport utility vehicles with production dates ranging from Nov. 8, 2011 to April 20, 2012. BMW estimates that 1 percent of the total vehicles named in the recall contain the problematic safety features.

The Defect

Affected models are believed to include Takata front driver-side air bag assemblies with inflator modules that are incorrectly welded and therefore prone to disconnection in the event of a crash. In such a scenario, metal air bag components could disperse with a high rate of speed throughout the cabin, potentially harming or killing occupants.

Car manufacturers across the globe have been dealing with this particular defect for more than two years, The New York Times reported. Safety officials attribute 17 deaths and hundreds of serious injuries to defective Takata air bags. However, BMW has yet to receive any reports connecting the air bag inflator modules in this latest recall to accidents of injuries.

Timeline of Events

On Sept. 20, 2016, BMW issued a safety recall with the NHTSA identification code 16V-683. Soon after, the automaker asked Takata to initiate an internal investigation aimed at reviewing air bag module installation records across all production sites. BMW requested this action after reviewing additional field reports and recovered parts. On July 20, 2017, Takata shared the preliminary results of this investigation, which indicated that two more air bag modules produced by the company could potentially harm passengers. Eleven days later, the parts manufacturer recommended that BMW issue a safety recall to correct the potentially defective parts.

BMW analyzed its production logs and pinpointed models containing the air bag inflator modules mentioned in the Takata report. On Aug. 2, 2017, safety officials for the British automaker decided to launch a voluntary recall action. BMW notified dealers of the action Aug. 8.

The Solution

The car manufacturer has ordered dealers to replace the front driver-side air bag assemblies in the affected vehicles free of charge, according to NHTSA documents. BMW intends to notify owners via first-class mail on or around Oct. 2. Those in need of more immediate assistance can contact BMW customer service representatives at (800) 525-7417 or call the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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