Ripples from the original Takata airbag recall are still being felt, as BMW North America just issues a “Do Not Drive” order for older models fitted with such airbags. BMW wants 90,000 cars—2000-2006 E46 models (including M3), 2000-2003 E39 models (including M5), and 2000-2004 E53 X5s—to be taken off the road until their airbags can be replaced. Notification emails will be sent to owners of these vehicles starting in May with letters to follow in June.
Why is BMW issuing a Do Not Drive order on older cars that were already recalled? Apparently many owners of such cars never brought their cars in for the initial Takata recall from so many years ago. Whether they didn’t get the notice or decided to ignore it, those owners left 90,000 affected BMWs to drive around with dangerous airbags. And as the airbags age even further, they run a higher risk of causing injury, or even death, in the case of an accident.
The affected Takata airbags used a propellant that breaks down the over time, especially when exposed to heat and humidity. The older they get, the greater the chance of shrapnel being sent through the cabin if they deploy. So unless you want to risk your airbag turning into a claymore mine, you need to get your E46, E39, or E53 to the dealer for a recall repair pronto.
“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”, said Claus Eberhart, Vice President of Aftersales BMW NA, “Repairing these vehicles is quick, easy to arrange, and is completely free of charge.”
Not only is the repair obviously free, as it’s part of a recall, but getting the car to the dealer is also free. If you can’t make arrangements to get it to the dealer, BMW can pick the car up, bring it to a dealer, have the repair done, and bring it back free of charge. In some cases, if possible, BMW can send a technician out to you and have it repair remotely, on site, also free of charge.
There’s really no excuse for not having this recall done, as it costs nothing. So if you own an E46, E39, or E53 BMW, check to see if your car is part of the recall as soon as possible and, if it is, don’t drive it until it’s repaired. Do not risk your family’s, or your own, lives due to negligence.
Here are the ways you can check to see if your car is part of the recall:
- Visit www.bmwusa.com/recall
- Visit www.nhsta.gov/recalls
- Call BMW Customer Relations Recall Services at 1-866-835-8615
- Contact their preferred BMW service center by means other than driving their BMW to the facility