BMW is recalling nearly 357,000 older vehicles in the United States to replace Takata front air bag inflators. The inflators are among 10 million sold to 14 automakers that Takata is recalling. According to the recall notice, the BMWs recalled all have inflators that were used to replace older ones until permanent replacements were ready.
The first recall covers about 293,000 3-Series cars from 2000 through 2006. The second covers nearly 60,000 3 Series and 1 Series cars from 2006 through 2012. Also included are X1, X3, X5 and X6 SUVs from as early as 2007 to as late as 2015. The third recall includes just over 4,000 X5 and X6 SUVs from 2007 to 2012.
The same recall notice says that Takata used ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion to inflate air bags. The chemical can deteriorate over time when exposed to high heat and humidity and burn too fast, blowing apart a metal canister and hurling shrapnel. Permanent replacements don’t use ammonium nitrate.
The NHTSA estimated in November that about 25%, or 13 million vehicles, still hadn’t been repaired.
BMW is not the only one recalling cars. These type of airbags were sold to 14 different automakers, who will conduct their own recalls. Nissan, Ford, Fiat Chrysler, Honda, Subaru, Ferrari, General Motors and Mazda already have made recall announcements.
All of the Takata recalls are being phased in by the age of the vehicle and location. Vehicles registered farther south, where conditions are hot and humid, get first priority.