Up to 2.1m Australian cars may be fitted with faulty airbags, including some BMW models, Reuters report. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) warn that these faulty airbags may cause serious injury or worse. This week, we talk you through the Takata airbag product recall.

Five BMW models are on the recall list, issued by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development. These models are:

  • 3-Series 3 E46 (1999-2006)
  • 5-Series E 39 (2002-2005)
  • X5 E-53 (2002-2005)
  • X5 E-70 (2007-2012)
  • X6 E-71 (2007-2012)

Why Recall?

A recall means that a vehicle’s safety mechanisms have been found to be non-compliant with Australian safety standards. In this case, a number of Takata airbags fitted in BMWs from 1999 have been found to be unsafe and in need of replacement.

What’s the Problem?

Some BMW 3-Series E46 vehicles may have been fitted with faulty Takata airbags. In a crash, the front passenger airbag may rupture or split and deploy abnormally.

The Takata airbags on the driver’s side in some BMW 3-Series E46, 5-Series E39, X5 E53, X5  E-70 and X6 E-71 vehicles may have malfunctioning gas generators. In high levels of humidity, the gas generator may explode and propel shards of metal into the cabin.

BMW 3-Series E46, 5-Series E39 and X5 E53 may also have additional Takata airbag trouble:

Takata airbags may also have been installed throughout a vehicle’s history or as part of another recent Takata airbag recall. In these, the airbag inflator may have been replaced with an airbag module now known to deploy incorrectly. In these, the passenger airbag module may split or rupture, shooting metal fragments into the passenger area of the vehicle.


How Do You Know Which Cars Are Affected?

Most recalls have Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) ranges attached. Every vehicle has a VIN, its own unique marker. A VIN is a 17-digit alphanumeric code printed on the vehicle. Through the ACCC, the Department have released VIN ranges requiring a recall.


What Can I Do?

It is important not to panic. The Takata airbags will not deploy by themselves – you still need to crash. So, as ever, drive safely.

BMW Group are currently securing the required parts for E46 front passenger airbag inflators. Owners will be sent a letter with further information once these parts are available. This letter will tell them to take their vehicle to their preferred BMW dealership or dealership alternative for inspection and rectification. As yet, the parts are not available. Until these parts are available, neither dealership nor dealership alternative will be able to replace your Takata airbag.

In the case of the faulty driver’s airbag, BMW are attempting to contact all owners of the 3-Series E46, 5-Series E39 and the X5 E53 via mail.

If you are worried your vehicle may need to be recalled, you can contact the BMW Customer Interaction Centre on 1800 813 299 or the ACCC.


Contact Us

It is important to have your vehicle serviced annually, or as often as its manufacturer recommends. If your BMW is due for a service, contact us today.

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