BMW Recalls Vehicles Equipped with Faulty Airbag Inflators

re: NHTSA Campaign 20V017000

Laguna Hills, Calif. – January 23, 2020 – BMW of North American, LLC (OTCMKTS:BMWYY) is recalling nearly 60,000 vehicles equipped with faulty airbag inflators that could explode, sending sharp metal objects towards the driver and other occupants. The recall includes the following models:

  • 2008-2013 BMW 1 SERIES M
  • 2008-2013 BMW 128I
  • 2008-2013 BMW 135I
  • 2006-2011 BMW 325I
  • 2006-2012 BMW 325XI
  • 2006-2013 BMW 328I
  • 2006-2012 BMW 328XI
  • 2006-2011 BMW 330I
  • 2006-2011 BMW 330XI
  • 2009-2011 BMW 335D
  • 2006-2013 BMW 335I
  • 2007-2013 BMW 335IS
  • 2006-2011 BMW 335XI
  • 2006-2013 BMW M3
  • 2013-2015 BMW X1
  • 2007-2010 BMW X3
  • 2007-2013 BMW X5
  • 2008-2014 BMW X6
  • 2010-2011 BMW X6 ActiveHybrid SAC

The defect

The affected driver-side frontal inflators are non-desiccated and contain phase stabilized ammonium nitrate (PSAN) that were used as repair parts for all authorized Takata recalls.

Exposed to long periods of humidity and high temperatures, the ammonium nitrate (PSAN) could cause the driver frontal inflator to explode sending sharp metal fragments that could result in severe injury to the vehicle occupants or death.

The solution

BMW will notify affected vehicle owners by March 6, 2020 when the official recall will begin. All official BMW dealerships will perform the necessary repair free of charge. The repair consists of replacing the previous faulty Takata airbags with an inflator that does not contain ammonium nitrate.

X5 and X6 vehicles will only need the inflator and not the whole apparatus replaced.

Is your vehicle part of the recall?

Nearly 60,000 vehicles were originally part of this recall. As of April 9, 2021 – the last date information was available – 43,982 airbags had been replaced. To see if your car still needs to be repaired, use MotorSafety’s free lookup tool.


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Marshall EarleyBMW Recalls Vehicles Equipped with Faulty Airbag Inflators

New BMWs May Have Seat Belt Issue

Laguna Hills, Calif. – January 9, 2019 – BMW of North America, LLC is recalling certain 2019 – 2020 330i and 330i xDrive vehicles. The outboard rear seat belt pre-tensioners may not lock as they are intended to in the event of a crash.

The estimated total of affected vehicles is 135.

The defect

Affected vehicles’ pre-tensioner inflator tubes may not have been crimped while in production. As a result, affected pre-tensioners have not been produced to meet BMW specifications.

The issue poses a potential risk because the seat belt pre-tensioners may fail to lock, causing the occupant to slide forward rapidly and increasing the risk of injury. The seat belt itself, however, will still lock during a crash.

BMW has not received any reports of accidents or injuries that were caused by this defect.

Timeline of events

On December 2, 2019, the retractor part supplier, Autolive ASP, Inc, a pre-tensioner that was out-of-specification was observed during supplier production. According to the supplier, the pre-tensioner lacked a crimp along the circumference of the tube.

Further review by Autolive ASP revealed that some defective parts had already shipped and been used in production by BMW.

BMW used vehicle assembly information and supplier production records to determine the production dates and vehicle numbers of vehicles that may have defective parts. Affected production dates were determined to be within a range from April, 2019 to December, 2019. 

On December 19, 2019, BMW decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall. Certified BMW dealers were notified the next day.  

The solution

Affected owners will receive a letter on February 10, 2020 by first class mail with information about the recall. Once the letter has been received, vehicles should be brought to a certified BMW Dealer.

In order for the process to run smoothly, and to ensure that BMW has all of their information updated, owners are encouraged to register their vehicles online.

To perform the recall, BMW dealers will replace the entire affected rear seat safety belt, free of charge. The process should take about one hour per vehicle.  

Owners can continue to drive their vehicles in the lead up to the recall. However, owners are encouraged to bring their vehicles to have the problem remedied as some as possible after receiving a notification.

Check your car’s recall status using MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Sean ReyesNew BMWs May Have Seat Belt Issue

BMW Vehicles may Unexpectedly Shift into Neutral

Laguna Hills, CA – December 20, 2019 – BMW of North America LLC is recalling certain 2017-2019 2019-2020 M8 Gran Coupe, M8 Coupe, and M8 Convertible vehicles. The transmission wiring harness can be more easily damaged, causing an electrical short circuit.

The potential number of vehicles affected is estimated at 3,012.

The defect

According to BMW, the transmission wiring harness can be damaged by both high temperatures and compression from the wiring harness mounting clip, resulting in an electrical short circuit in the transmission wiring harness.

The defect is caused by mistakes in the setup of insulation material for the harness, routing, and some of the fastening points of the harness to the transmission housing.

A short circuit could cause the vehicle to unexpectedly shift into neutral while driving. The rapid loss of propulsion may cause a crash. No accidents have been reported that resulted from this defect. 

Timeline of events

On September 24, 2019, a vehicle’s transmission unexpectedly shifted into neutral at a BMW assembly plant. The vehicle could not shift back into drive.

Starting in October, BMW performed an engineering and assembly process review, as well as a field incident analysis. The field incident analysis found that the problem had occurred with 18 vehicles worldwide. Final analysis determined the cause of the problem.   

On December 4, 2019 BMW decided to have a voluntary safety recall

The solution

Owners of affected vehicles will be notified by mail and told to take their vehicles to a certified BMW dealer for repairs, free of charge. Dealers will replace and reroute the transmission wiring harness with new fasteners.

Rerouting will occur even if no damage has occurred. The entire process should take about an hour. The repairs will be covered by the BMW New Vehicle Limited Warranty.

Affected owners are told to wait until they have received their official letter from BMW before making an appointment, to ensure that all dealers have the necessary equipment

Dealers will be notified of the recall beginning December 1, 2019, while owners will be notified February 3, 2020.

Check your car’s recall status using MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Sean ReyesBMW Vehicles may Unexpectedly Shift into Neutral

BMW recalls 1999-2001 vehicles with deadly Takata airbags

Laguna Hills, CA – November 26, 2019 -– BMW is recalling 74,185 vehicles equipped with deadly Takata-manufactured Non-Azide Driver airbag Inflators (NADI). The recall includes the following cars:

  • 1999 – 2001 323i, 325i, 328i and 330i
  • 2000 – 2001 323Ci, 325Ci, 328Ci, 330Ci, 323iT, and 325iT 

As of the date of the recall, one person was killed and another injured as a result of this defect. Therefore, it is important that you take your vehicle in for repair immediately. Use MotorSafety’s free lookup tool to see if your car is part of this recall.

The defect

BMW states that these specific units may have received replacement airbags as part of a vehicle repair. Due to a manufacturing issue, the replacement NADI inflator can absorb moisture, causing the airbag to rupture or underinflate.

All listed vehicles may have had these devices installed during repairs. In the event of a crash, a rupture of the inflator can result in dangerous metal fragments hitting drivers and passengers, while an underinflated airbag can fail to shield the occupants properly.

These issues increase the risk of severe injury or death. BMW has not provided any guidance on how to ascertain if a vehicle possesses the defective NADI inflators.

Owners should exercise caution; a solution is not yet available at this time, and BMW recommends that owners should not utilize their vehicles until safe removal processes are available.

Timeline of events

On November 26, 2019, manufacturer Takata (TK Global LLC) disclosed that some of their NADI inflators produced from 1995 – 2000 were defective and issued a recall for all known extant units and vehicles that may contain said units.

Later that day, BMW issued a recall for several different classes of vehicle, gradually adding more to the list by the end of the day. BMW North America is currently the only automobile manufacturer to have issued a recall relating to these defective Takata NADI inflators.

Recommending that owners do not currently drive their vehicles, BMW is sending interim notices about the risk to owners until January 17, and again when the remedy becomes available.

The solution

Dealers will inspect the cars and replace the defective airbags free of charge. Owners were last notified on November 20, 2020.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 74,000 cars were originally part of this recall. As of April 30, 2021, only 4,162 airbags had been replaced. To see if your car still needs to be serviced, please use MotorSafety’s free lookup tool.

We have noticed a large number of readers are interested in this recall. For that reason, we have updated the article to reflect the latest editorial standards; provided the most-up-to-date information in the “Solution” section and added the last section where drivers can check if their vehicle is part of this recall. To the best of our knowledge, the cars in this recall are not on the “Do not drive” list. However, out of the abundance of caution, we are keeping the original author’s recommendation NOT to drive these vehicles before they are repaired. Please contact with any questions.

Sean ReyesBMW recalls 1999-2001 vehicles with deadly Takata airbags

BMW Recalls SUVs for Faulty Steering Pinion

Laguna Hills, CA – November 8, 2019 – BMW of North America recently determined that it will need to recall 20 of its 2020 light SUV models due to concerns over a defect in the production process for a steering pinion gear, which could lead to increased crash risk.

Of the vehicles in the recall, all but one are 2020 BMW X3 M40i crossover SUVs, and the other is a 2020 BMW X3 M40i. All those light SUVs are expected to have this issue.

The defect

The affected X3 and X4 SUVs likely contain a steering pinion gear that is suspected to have been produced outside specification, and were made within a two-day span – September 27 and 28, 2019.

During the manufacturing process for these components, a supplier likely did not produce the gears with a proper mixing ratio in the quenching bath.

Consequently, the teeth of the pinion gears would not be hard enough to withstand certain driving conditions, and have the potential to break under pressure. That would likely lead to a loss of steering and, consequently, control of the vehicle.

These conditions, in turn, greatly increase the risk of a crash. The recall population was determined based on supplier production data that was then checked against vehicle assembly information on BMW’s end.

Timeline of events

On October 1, just a few days after these vehicles were produced, BMW of North America received word from the components’ supplier – based in Greenville, South Carolina – that a specific production lot may have contained the steering pinion gears that were not hard enough to meet specification.

The auto maker then issued a hold on vehicles that may have been affected, and conducted a review to see if these gears may have been delivered and used in the assembly of any vehicles.

Within a few days, the company found that some vehicles had likely been affected, and identified which ones fell into this population.

A little more than a week after receiving the report from the supplier, BMW issued the voluntary recall on October 9, but had not received any reports of accidents or injuries related to the problem in question.

The company notified dealers of the recall on October 16, and notified one likely affected owner on October 9.

The solution

To date, only one of the vehicles in the recall had an owner. That person was reached by phone and told not to drive the vehicle until it could be repaired by having the steering pinion gear replaced. The vehicle was transported to a nearby dealership for the remedy shortly thereafter.

Because this was essentially a single-vehicle recall at that point, BMW did not anticipate having to notify any other drivers via first class mail as it normally would in a recall situation.

However, if any more of these issues come to light, the repairs would fall under the BMW New Vehicle Limited Warranty, as the affected light SUVs are all from the 2020 model year. Reimbursement would, therefore, not be necessary.

Check your car’s recall status using MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Sean ReyesBMW Recalls SUVs for Faulty Steering Pinion

Two BMW Models Recalled for Faulty Components

Laguna Hills, CA – November 6, 2019 – BMW of North America recently announced that it will recall two different models – both sedans – due to potentially faulty engine components.

In all, 217 vehicles – 100% of which are expected to contain the defect – are involved in the recall, including:

  • 205 BMW 330i and 330i xDrive four-door sedans from the 2019 and 2020 model years
  • 12 BMW Z4 two-door sedan from the 2020 model year

It is expected that all of the recalled components may not have been produced within specifications.

The defect

All 217 vehicles in the recall were made with an engine that contains needle roller bearings for counterbalance shafts that may not have been properly installed initially.

Specifically, this started during the production process, which may have been out of specification, during set production periods that vary by model.

For the 330i and 330i xDrive models in the recall, this lasted from November 22, 2018 to August 26, 2019. For the Z4s, it stretched from May 24, 2018, to April 3, 2019.

Due to the potentially improper installation process, affected needle roller bearings could lead to the counterbalance shaft loosening, causing severe engine damage.

That, in turn, could lead to the engines in recalled vehicles shutting down, increasing the risk of a crash. Drivers would be able to notice if this happened to their vehicles because there would be a loud noise emanating from the engine compartment.

Timeline of events

In May 2019, BMW was made aware of two separate instances in which drivers of affected vehicles heard the aforementioned noises, right before their vehicles broke down.

The first of these involved a 2019 3 Series sedan that had been made in February, and the second, involving a vehicle outside the U.S., was made in April. Both vehicles had low mileages, and the engines were flagged for return, tear down and analysis. 

In June, BMW of North America conducted an engineering review  of both engines and initially found that the counterbalance shaft’s needle roller bearings may have been to blame for the breakdowns.

Further analysis included looking into the production process while the company continued to monitor other vehicles in the field.

During that analysis period, another similar breakdown, this time including a 5 Series sedan that was made in May, occurred in September.

The engineering review eventually found that the press-in force for some needle roller bearings of the counterbalance shafts was smaller than specified, and engine production records indicated which of these components were affected by the defect based on production dates.

That, in turn, allowed BMW to determine which vehicles to recall, and the voluntary order itself was made on October 8.

To date, the company has not received any reports of accidents or injuries related to the defect.

The solution

Owners of affected vehicles will be asked to bring their vehicles to authorized BMW dealers to have the engines replaced free of charge. These changes will be covered by the BMW New Vehicle Limited Warranty program and therefore will not require reimbursement.

Dealers received notification of the recall on October 15, and owners should get letters via First Class mail on or around December 6.

Check your car’s recall status using MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Sean ReyesTwo BMW Models Recalled for Faulty Components

BMW Launches Massive Recall Due to Backup Camera Glitch

Laguna Hills, CA – October 23, 2019 – BMW of North America is poised to recall an extraordinarily large number of models due to a backup camera system snafu that may prevent motorists from seeing what’s behind them while shifting into reverse.

Affecting potentially 257,500 vehicles, a handful of the models that may contain this camera glitch include:

  • 2018 – 2020 540d
  • 2018 – 2020 640i xDrive Gran Turismo
  • 2018 – 2020 Rolls Royce Phantom
  • 2018 – 2020 530 ixDrive
  • 2018 – 2020 540i xDrive
  • 2018 -2020 X3 sDrive
  • 2018 -2020 X3
  • 2018 – 2020 M40i,
  • 2018 – 2020 X3 M and Z4 sDrive models

Motorists affected by this BMW recall are urged to bring their vehicle to a local BMW dealer so the system can be updated with the appropriate software. There will be no charge for the repair if one is required.

The defect

As documented by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, BMW intends to recall an estimated 257,481 2018 – 2020 model year vehicles because the backup camera can be manipulated in such a way that prevents the display from appearing on the driver’s screen.

In addition to the 2020 Toyota Supra and 2018 – 2019 Rolls Royce Cullinan and Phantom, over 20 BMW models may have faulty backup cameras in place. These included but aren’t limited to the following:

  • 330i
  • 530e
  • 530i
  • 540d
  • 540i
  • 640i
  • 740 Le
  • 740Li
  • 745 i3
  • 750Li
  • 840i
  • M340i
  • M5
  • M550i
  • M850i

Multiple X models, as well as the Z4, are also a part of the recalled BMW model population. 

Timeline of events

In mid May, NHTSA’s Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance reached out to BMW in order to obtain details on the performance of the automaker’s X4, specifically in terms of how the rear view camera system was functioning from an overall performance standpoint.

Roughly three weeks later, BMW provided the OVSC with an exhaustive report of the backup camera unit, which led to a meeting regarding compliance rule FMVSS 111.

The minutes from this confab revealed that the units may be out of compliance, specifically Section 5.5.6 of FMVSS 111, which pertains to rear visibility.

In 2014, NHTSA mandated that all 2018 models have backup cameras as standard inclusions to guard against the potential for serious injury, particularly to young children who may be out of motorists’ view when putting their cars in reverse.

Concerned that other backup cameras may be out of compliance aside from certain X models, BMW decided to launch a voluntary recall on additional models for which there was sufficient evidence to suggest they may be compromised.

It’s possible that all of the 257,481 automobiles involved may contain this flaw.

Some of the models affected by this BMW backup camera recall also have other separate safety recalls in effect. For example, a small portion of M340i models may have rear headrests that could fold down improperly during operation.

Additionally, M40i vehicles are subject to a voluntary recall over a seat defect that appears to emanate from a welding issue.

The solution

The fix appears to be as simple as updating the software that’s used to make the backup camera functional. Motorists thusly advised by first-class mail are encouraged to bring their car to a dealer so these units can be fully inspected.

The software refresh will come at no cost. Operators can expect to receive a notification in late November or December, as the automaker intends to distribute the notices starting November 19.

For more information on the BMW backup camera recall or others announced by different manufacturers, visit Be sure to have your VIN information available, which you can use to see if your car is subject to an existing recall.

Sean ReyesBMW Launches Massive Recall Due to Backup Camera Glitch

BMW sedans, convertibles recalled over deadly Takata airbags

Laguna Hills, CA – October 22, 2019 – BMW is pulling over 3,900 models from the marketplace due to the possibility that installed air bags are compromised. In the event of an accident that the air bags to deploy, sharp metal fragments could break through them, potentially leading to a severe injury.

The recall includes the following vehicles:

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

The defect

The cause of this issue is believed to be the propellant used in the release of the air bags. 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 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 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 November 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.

Is your vehicle part of the recall?

Over 3,900 airbags were originally part of this recall. As of April 9, 2021 – the last date for which information is available – 1,425 airbags had been replaced. To see if your car still needs to be repaired, use MotorSafety’s free lookup tool.

Note: June 8, 2021

We have noticed a large number of readers are interested in this recall. For that reason, we have added the last section to allow the driver to check if his or her car is part of the recall and include the most up-to-date information on the recall’s completion ratesThe article has also been updated to reflect the latest editorial standards.

Sean ReyesBMW sedans, convertibles recalled over deadly Takata airbags

Three Hybrid Vehicles Listed in Recent BMW Recall

Laguna Hills, CA – September 29, 2019 – Field incidents demonstrating the failure of a specific part on three different BMW hybrid electric vehicles has led to a small but very significant recall from the manufacturer.

As part of the action, BMW has recalled 139 vehicles due to potentially faulty Electric Motor Electronics (EME) modules, across three different models.

BMW estimates that roughly 10 percent of those 139 vehicles contain the defect, which has the potential to cause a complete shut-down of high-voltage electric power – increasing the risk of a crash should the error occur while the vehicle is in motion.

Owners of the vehicles containing the defect should be notified within the coming weeks, with repairs conducted by dealers afterward.

The defect

The exact part causing the defect on the vehicles is the EME’s printed circuit board (PCB), which BMW reported was not produced to proper specifications.

According to paperwork the manufacturer filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “this [defect] could lead to an increase in transition resistance at certain PCB contact points and cause a loss of electrical contact.”

Following this loss of electrical contact, the EME module would shut down high-voltage electrical power on the vehicle, resulting in a loss of propulsion and increasing the risk of a crash. 

The vehicles involved in the recall are the:

  • 2019 BMW i3 BEV
  • 2019 BMW i3 REx
  • 2019 BMW i8

While there is unfortunately no “warning” or other indication presaging the errors caused by the defect, BMW did report that in the event of a shut down of high-voltage electrical power, the affected vehicle would still retain power steering and braking via its 12-volt power. 

Timeline of events

According to the safety recall report that BMW filed with the NHTSA, the manufacturer first became aware of the possibility for the defect via field incident reports from non-U.S. markets involving high-voltage electrical power loss on the i3 and i8 vehicles.

“Further reviews were conducted, which also involved the EME supplier and sub-supplier,” the safety recall report stated.

“The Tier-1 supplier informed BMW that certain EME modules may not have produced to specifications. The supplier indicated that the EME’s PCB may not have been produced to specifications on a specific assembly line by the Tier-2 supplier.”

By reviewing production records held by the “Tier-2 supplier”, BMW identified the production dates of the PCBs which potentially contained the defect.

Following that, other records were cross-referenced in order to determine the exact vehicles which contain those PCBs (and potentially, the defect along with them).

BMW decided to conduct the recall on August 7, 2019

The solution

BMW has indicated that owners of the vehicles involved in the recall will be notified by first class mail no later than October 7, 2019. Owners will be instructed to bring their vehicle to an authorized BMW center to have the EME replaced free. 

For more information on other recalls involving BMW and additional major auto manufacturers, visit

Sean ReyesThree Hybrid Vehicles Listed in Recent BMW Recall

BMW Recalls Two M340i Vehicles Due to Rear Center Headrest Defect

Laguna Hills, CA – September 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.

The defect

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 September 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 August 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 August 14, and that notification to owners “is expected to begin and end on October 7, 2019.”

The solution

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 other BMW recalls, be sure to visit

Sean ReyesBMW Recalls Two M340i Vehicles Due to Rear Center Headrest Defect