A major “do not drive” warning from BMW is in effect for nearly 90,000 cars manufactured between the 2000 and 2006 model years. The vehicles involved in the campaign were subject to a Takata driver-side airbag inflator recall, but they haven’t yet been fixed, as reported by Bloomberg.
The list of cars that have been advised to be kept parked until they’ve been repaired includes the E46-generation 3 Series built between 2002 and 2006, the E39-generation 5 Series built from 2000 to 2003, and the E53-generation X5 built between 2000 and 2004.
These older models are fitted with a driver-side airbag inflator made by Takata that can send shrapnel flying into the cabin, in the direction of the front passengers, if nudged. BMW says that it has notified owners about the glitch several times since 2016, and it added that the issue becomes serious with time. “The risk of serious injury or death increases,” it wrote in a statement.
“Owners of affected BMWs that have not had their vehicles inspected and repaired should not consider them safe to drive,” it added.
BMW has said it will again reach out to those who own a car that needs to be repaired in the coming weeks, as reported by Autoblog.
It is going to great pains to guarantee that all vehicles remaining fitted with a Takata airbag inflator are promptly fixed, and it will contact them through email.
While car owners can take their vehicle to an authorised dealership to have the recall fixed, the company is also sending technicians to the location of the vehicle so they can fix it there, or it is offering to pick up vehicles and deliver them once the fix is finished.
“These inflators are two decades old now, and they pose a 50 per cent chance of rupturing in even a minor crash,” NHTSA Acting Administrator Ann Carlson said in a statement, as reported by the Associated Press.
“Don’t gamble with your life or the life of someone you love – schedule your free repair today before it’s too late,” it added.
Deaths due to airbag explosions
At least 33 people have died as a result of airbag explosions since 2009 globally, including 24 in the US.
The majority of the fatalities and 400 or so injuries occurred in the US. They also occurred in Australia and Malaysia.
At least 67 million Takata inflators were recalled as a result of the potential for the hazardous defect, which prompted the greatest sequence of auto recalls in US history. Many, according to the American government, have not been fixed. Globally, some 100 million inflators have been recalled. Takata Corp. of Japan went bankrupt as a result of the blowing air bags, reported the Associated Press.