BMW AG is the latest carmaker to upgrade its recall of vehicles with Takata airbags, telling owners to park the 90,000 affected sedans and crossovers in North America until the defective equipment has been replaced.
In its own statement, BMW Canada says approximately 38,000 of those affected vehicles are in Canada.
The “do not drive” alert follows similar orders from Honda Motor Co., Ford Motor Co. and others about the Takata Corp. airbags, which can explode if they are deployed after long-term exposure to high heat and humidity.
The crisis triggered the largest recall in global automotive history, affecting about 34 car brands. At least 25 deaths and more than 400 injuries in the United States. have been linked to the defect, according to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
BMW, in a statement, said 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 automaker’s U.S. website.
“We cannot state strongly enough just how urgent it is for our customers to take this warning seriously. We know these airbags only become more dangerous over time, which is why we are taking yet another step to get these parts out of our vehicles. Customers must park these vehicles immediately and take a few moments to check if their vehicle is safe for them and their family members to drive”, Claus Eberhart, vice-president of aftersales BMW NA, said in a statement. “Repairing these vehicles is quick, easy to arrange, and is completely free of charge.”
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 US$1 billion in penalties in 2017, with US$850 million set aside for automakers. Takata filed for bankruptcy the same year, and recalls have continued to this day.
Greg Layson of Automotive News Canada contributed to this report.