If you own a BMW from the early 2000s and haven’t had the vehicle already inspected and repaired, please park it now and don’t drive it. BMW and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration issued a recall for all BMW E46 3 Series vehicles manufactured in the 2000 to 2005 timeframe as well as for the E39 5 Series made from 2000 to 2003 and the E53 X5 manufactured from 2000 to 2005, all equipped with front airbag inflators from Takata.
“The risk to vehicle occupants is dire,” the NHTSA said in a statement.
BMW said that “[O]wners of affected BMWs that have not had their vehicles inspected and repaired should not consider them safe to drive.”
“If you have a model year 2000-2006 BMW with a recalled Takata air bag, get it repaired immediately – for free. These inflators are two decades old now and, with every day that passes, they become even more dangerous as they can rupture even in a minor crash,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator Sophie Shulman.
Takata’s airbag inflators are made using volatile ammonium nitrate to inflate the airbags in a crash. However, the ammonium nitrate can deteriorate over time when exposed to heat and humidity and blow apart a metal canister, thereby hurling shrapnel that can injure or kill drivers and passengers.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)