De­fec­tive airbags found in re­paired BMWs spark fresh re­call

The Hamilton Spectator - - BUSINESS - RYAN BEENE

BMW is re­call­ing about 230,000 ve­hi­cles in the United States af­ter dis­cov­er­ing that some may have been fit­ted with de­fec­tive Takata airbag in­fla­tors dur­ing re­pairs, such as af­ter a crash in which the de­vices de­ployed.

The af­fected ve­hi­cles used airbags man­u­fac­tured by Petri, a Ger­man parts maker bought by Takata in 2000.

If those ve­hi­cles needed a re­place­ment airbag mod­ule, Takata PSDI-4 in­fla­tors would have been used, said BMW spokesper­son Re­becca Kiehne.

The faulty Takata in­fla­tors can ex­plode in a crash and spray ve­hi­cle oc­cu­pants with metal shards. The de­fect has been linked to at least 17 deaths world­wide and prompted one of the largest au­to­mo­tive re­calls in his­tory.

Michael Brooks, act­ing ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor at the Cen­ter for Auto Safety, a Wash­ing­ton-based ad­vo­cacy group, says other au­tomak­ers could be at risk of a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion if Takata parts were used to re­store de­ployed airbags. He urged the Na­tional High­way Traf­fic Safety Ad­min­is­tra­tion to in­ves­ti­gate.

“NHTSA should re­quest in­for­ma­tion from all man­u­fac­tur­ers that have Petri airbags, at a min­i­mum,” Brooks said. “If the Takata airbags have been re­plac­ing Petri airbags, they have to fig­ure out the en­tire pop­u­la­tion of af­fected ve­hi­cles and have them in­spected and re­placed if nec­es­sary.”

The af­fected BMWs were man­u­fac­tured ear­lier than the ones al­ready un­der re­call for de­fec­tive airbags, and brings the re­call to­tal to 1,568,247, Kiehne said.

Some of the ve­hi­cles were pre­vi­ously un­der re­call for pas­sen­ger­side Takata in­fla­tors, she said.

The newly af­fected ve­hi­cles in­clude cer­tain 2001-2002 X5 SUVs, 2000-2002 3 Se­ries and 2001-2003 5 Se­ries mod­els.

BMW deal­ers will in­spect the af­fected ve­hi­cles and re­place any Takata airbag in­fla­tors they dis­cover, Kiehne said.

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