Defective airbags found in repaired BMWs spark fresh recall
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.