The recall includes BMW 3-Series sedans, M3 coupes, M3 convertibles and station wagons from model years 2002 and 2003.
In each of the recalls, the Takata-made airbags for the front passenger seat may not inflate correctly because of a manufacturing defect in the propellant used in the airbag inflator. As a result, there's a risk of fires starting or of passengers being injured by metal fragments shooting up toward the windshield or down into the passenger foot well.
The Takata airbags involved in the BMW recall were made from April 2000 to September 2002 at Takata's plant in Moses Lake, Wash., BMW's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, report said. At that plant, NHTSA said, propellant components in the airbags may have been produced with an insufficient compaction force. The report also said inflator propellant components made from October 2001 to October 2002 at Takata's plant in Monclova, Mexico, may have been exposed to an uncontrolled environment with too much moisture. If either of these conditions occur, over time the inflator propellant could degrade, which could create a condition of excessive internal pressure within the airbag system when the bag deploys, the report said.
Last month, 3.4 million vehicles worldwide made by Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co., Honda Motor Co. and Mazda Motor Corp. were recalled because of problems related to airbags made by Takata. The Japanese automotive parts company is the world’s second-largest manufacturer of airbags and seatbelts.
The NHTSA has issued a report stating that 42,080 BMW vehicles will be recalled in the U.S. alone.
BMW company spokesman Dave Buchko told Reuters that the company isn't aware of any injuries or accidents related to the issue, nor of any improper deployments of the airbags in its vehicles.