BMW Sedans, Convertibles Recalled Over Faulty Air Bags

Laguna Hills, CA – Oct. 22, 2019 – BMW of North America recently announced that it’s pulling over 3,900 models from the marketplace due to the potential that the installed air bags are compromised. In the event of an accident causing the air bags to deploy, sharp metal fragments could break through them, potentially leading to a serious injury. Owners receiving notifications pertaining to the 2000-2002 BMW air bag recall are urged to take their vehicle to their nearest dealership so the issue can be fixed promptly. The luxury automaker says these notices will be mailed starting at the end of November.

The Defect

In documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, BMW says it’s recalling 3,924 sedans and convertibles over the possibility that the air bags installed could be faulty. Here are the affected vehicles in question, along with their model year and campaign identification number 19V698000:

  • 2000-2002 325i
  • 2000-2002 325xi
  • 2000-2002 323Ci
  • 2000-2002 325Ci
  • 2000-2002 330Ci

Should motorists in the aforementioned models be involved in a crash that is forceful enough for the air bags to deploy, they could explode upon impact, releasing sharp metal shards that may result in injury. The cause of this issue is believed to be the propellant used in the release of the air bags. According to NHTSA documents, the propellant has the potential to break down over time due to exposure to high levels of humidity and temperature cycling.

Timeline of Events

The 2000-2002 BMW air bag recall is one of several that have affected the auto industry tracing back several years. The Office of Defects Investigation arm of the NHTSA opened a sweeping inquiry into this issue back in June 2014 after learning of six separate incidents where air bags ruptured, which involved five vehicle manufacturers. The ODI ultimately determined that the common link between them all was the manufacturer of the air bags – Takata – and the locations of where these air bags were installed. All six took place in either Florida or Puerto Rico.

These events ultimately led to a much wider investigation of Takata air bags and their potential to cause serious injury to motorists. All told, at least 37 million automobiles had been equipped with 50 million defective air bags manufactured by Takata, according to the most recent statistics available from the NHTSA. Repair rates among automakers with Takata air bags installed rose 30% in 2018 compared to the previous year.

“Communicating the urgency for recall repairs with the help of stakeholders and DMVs is proving effective to protecting lives on our nation’s roadways,” NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi King said at the time.

This isn’t the first time this year that BMW has been affected by an air bag safety issue. In June, the luxury automaker announced it was recalling approximately 2,000 SUVs whose air bags were installed improperly. Prior to that, around 1,700 2-Series, 3-Series and 4-Series models were also recalled because of compromised passenger knee air bags.

The Solution

As for the 2000-2002 BMW air bag issue, the luxury automaker is getting ready to start distributing mailers that will inform owners about this problem. BMW says it will begin sending the notifications out starting Nov. 25. Recipients of the safety notices are urged to bring their vehicle to a local dealer. If appropriate, a replacement air bag will be installed free of charge.

For more information on other BMW recalls, visit MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesBMW Sedans, Convertibles Recalled Over Faulty Air Bags