Some 12,000 BMW vehicles are being urgently recalled after transport safety authorities identified another Takata airbag that poses a critical risk of death or serious injury, the competition watchdog says.
BMW in Australia on Thursday began a voluntary recall of its E46 3 Series cars produced between November 1997 and June 2000.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission says it comes after safety authorities identified a pattern of abnormal airbag deployments involving BMW cars in Australia, Japan and the United States.
If a vehicle with an affected airbag crashes, the airbag inflator could rupture, causing sharp metal fragments to enter the vehicle cabin at high speed, the ACCC says.
Owners of the vehicles are advised to stop driving them immediately and contact their local BMW dealership or BMW Australia’s Takata hotline on 1800 243 675 for a free inspection.
“BMW will arrange to tow your vehicle to repair facilities for inspection, or send a mobile technician out to your premises or vehicle’s location to inspect the vehicle,” the ACCC’s deputy chair, Delia Rickard, said on Thursday.
“If your vehicle has been fitted with one of these dangerous airbags, BMW will arrange a loan or hire car or reimbursement for alternative transportation costs until airbag replacement parts are available or until other arrangements are made.
“You may also wish to discuss the vehicle being purchased back by BMW.”
The airbags are Takata NADI-type 5AT airbags and are not part of the current Takata airbag compulsory recall.