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BMW warns owners ‘do not drive’ 90,000 cars recalled over defective airbag

BMW warns owners ‘do not drive’ 90,000 cars recalled over defective airbag
A worker wearing a protective face mask checks the bodywork of an BMW X3 sport SUV in a light tunnel at the BMW South Africa Rosslyn plant in Midrand on Friday, May 29, 2020. (Photo: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

BMW is the latest car manufacturer to upgrade its recall of vehicles with Takata airbags, telling owners to park the 90,000 affected sedans and SUVs until the defective equipment has been replaced.

The “do not drive” alert follows similar orders from Honda, Ford and others about the Takata airbags, which can explode if they are deployed after long-term exposure to high heat and humidity. The crisis triggered the largest recall in US history, affecting about 34 car brands. At least 25 deaths and more than 400 injuries in the US have been linked to the defect, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Three BMW model ranges with driver’s airbags from Takata are affected: the 2000-2006 BMW 3 Series (E46) including M3, the 2000-2003 5 Series (E39) including M5, and the 2000-2004 X5s (E53). The recall also covers the BMW 1 series, X1, X3, X5 and X6 models made in certain years, according to the manufacturer’s website.

Owners are asked to check whether their vehicles qualify for a free repair by visiting BMW’s recall website, or call or contact a BMW service centre for assistance.

Investigations into issues with the Japanese airbags began in the early 2000s. The company pleaded guilty to criminal charges and agreed to pay $1-billion in penalties in 2017, with $850-million set aside for automakers. Takata filed for bankruptcy the same year, and recalls have continued to this day. BM/DM


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