BMW Airbag

BMW Issues Precautionary Recall on 16 Lakh 3 Series Units Worldwide

German carmaker BMW has decided to recall 16 lakh units of its 3 Series sedan over safety concerns regarding the passenger-side front airbags. This will affect E46 models from the 2000-06 years, which are believed to be manufactured between May 1999 and August 2006. The problem, even though more than ten years old, was only discovered recently by other carmakers using this particular air-bag setup.

The component in question, the airbag inflator, is said to be made by the Tokyo-based Takata Corporation, which has been responsible for over 120 lakh recalls made in the past five years by other major auto manufacturers such as Ford, Mazda, Chrysler, Honda, Nissan, Toyota and Subaru.


BMW believes that Takata made use of a faulty propellant, and could produce too much power once the safety airbags deploy. This excess power can rupture the inflator’s metal case, sending shrapnel flying into the passenger compartment. This shrapnel could either go towards the the windshield, or down towards the front passenger’s feet, which might prove to be fatal.

BMW has also stated that this is only a precautionary measure, and no such problems in its vehicles have been reported till date. The automaker is only taking this step since other automakers using similar setups have reported such issues.

BMW is recalling all such units regardless of whether they were sold or not. These replacements will be done by BMW dealers, and the costs of the quality measure will be borne by BMW. This new recall number does not include the 42,000 BMWs recalled during May 2013 for a similar problem.

By Pranav Arora

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