BMW is advising owners of roughly 90,000 older models not to drive their vehicles until the air bags can be changed because the Takata air bag inflators they now have are faulty, according to the Associated Press. The three models listed below that have the inflators are affected by the recall:
- 2000 – 2006 3 Series
- 2000 – 2003 5 Series
- 2000 – 2004 X5
At least 33 people have died as a result of the infamous Takata air bags globally, including 24 Americans, according to the AP. Although cases have also been documented in Australia and Malaysia, the majority of the fatalities and an estimated 400 injuries have occurred in the United States.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, owners of recalled vehicles should store their automobiles right now until they can have them towed to a shop or have a mobile mechanic come to them. Affected owners are free to choose either of those two options.
BMW: The Car Company Recalls 90,000 Cars Over Defective Air Bags
“These vehicles are 17 to 22 years old, and the risk to vehicle occupants is dire,” the agency said in a statement Thursday. “These are some of the oldest Takata air bags under recall and have an extremely high probability of failure during a crash.”
The problem is caused by the flammable ammonium nitrate that is used to inflate air bags during collisions. But as the car ages, that chemical can deteriorate in the presence of heat and humidity, which can lead to it blowing a metal canister apart. If that occurs, shrapnel might be sent soaring through the air, injuring or killing drivers and passengers.
“These inflators are two decades old now, and they pose a 50% chance of rupturing in even a minor crash,” NHTSA Acting Administrator Ann Carlson said in a statement. “Don’t gamble with your life or the life of someone you love – schedule your free repair today before it’s too late.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration advises owners of recalled automobiles to park their vehicles as soon as possible until a tow truck can pick them up or a mobile mechanic can come to them. Affected owners can choose from one of those two options without paying anything.
Owners of potentially affected vehicles can check the status of their vehicle on the BMW website. The BMW customer service number is 1-866-835-8615. Owners can utilise the recall lookup tool on the NHTSA website as well.