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From Products Liability Law Daily, July 17, 2014

BMW expands recall of 3 Series vehicles to 1.6 million worldwide due to air bag troubles

By Joe Bichl

German automaker BMW has notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of its intention to recall all model year 2000-2006 BMW 3 Series vehicles, produced between May 1999 and August 2006, to replace the passenger-side front airbag. Calling the replacement campaign a “voluntary precautionary measure that aims at minimizing the risk of faulty airbag activation,” the manufacturer is recalling 574,000 vehicles in the United States and 1.6 million cars worldwide.

Expanded recall. The recall is an extension of a previous recall in June, wherein BMW conducted a voluntary limited regional parts collection campaign for 2000-2006 BMW 3 Series vehicles. At the time, NHTSA advised BMW that Takata Holdings had informed NHTSA of a potential problem with certain configurations of its frontal air bag system (specifically the air bag system inflator module) that it produced for several vehicle manufacturers, including BMW. Takata informed NHTSA that certain inflators, manufactured at Takata's plant between January 1, 2004, and July 1, 2007, for driver-side inflators and between June 1, 2000, and July 31, 2004 for passenger-side inflators, may potentially rupture during an air bag deployment after long-term exposure to high absolute humidity environments, possibly causing an injury. NHTSA then requested, all potentially affected vehicle manufacturers to conduct a limited regional campaign for potentially affected vehicles operating in high humidity areas identified as high-risk regions, specifically, Florida, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands, even if the vehicle manufacturer had not identified a safety defect or made a safety decision.

Remedy. In the expanded recall, BMW indicated it will replace the passenger-side front airbags in the vehicles from the suggested production period, and additionally as a voluntary precautionary measure, the passenger-side front airbags in all model year 2000-2006 BMW 3 Series vehicles equipped with this airbag module. BMW will notify customers with potentially affected vehicles will be informed by mail.

Contact information. For more information, consumers can contact BMW Customer Relations at 1-800-525-7417 or email Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to

Companies: BMW

MainStory: TopStory ProductRecallsNews NHTSANews MotorVehiclesNews

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