BMW has issued a recall for specific 2014 SUVs after determining nearly 500 of the vehicles were equipped with defective Takata air bag inflators that can cause injury or death when inflated.
The recall affects X3, X4 and X5 xDrive35i models manufactured in February and March 2014.
The automaker said it became aware of the issue Nov. 6 after a customer complaint was submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), alleging that an air bag on a 2014 X3 ruptured.
“BMW immediately initiated an engineering investigation, and proactively contacted the air bag supplier, and also NHTSA,” the OEM said in its safety recall report. “Although the analysis has been initiated, it is still in the preliminary stages and will continue. Preliminary information suggests that there may have been an anomaly during a specific period of time involving inflator production at the supplier.”
As of the date of the NHTSA filing, BMW said the vehicle had not been inspected. It initiated the voluntary recall for vehicles containing inflators from the production lot that the affected vehicle was equipped in, it said.
According to BMW, vehicle manufacturing information and supplier production records were reviewed to determine how many vehicles were affected by the “supplier production anomaly.” It determined that 457 X3s, one X4, and 28 X5s were equipped with Takata PSDI-X driver-side front air bag inflators.
BMW said affected owners will be notified of the recall via mail and asked to schedule an appointment with an authorized dealer to have the air bag replaced for free. Those who’ve already done so could be eligible for reimbursement, it said.
This is the latest in a string of Takata recalls. In July, NHTSA issued a “do not drive” warning for 2003 Dodge Ram 1500s after a passenger was killed by a Takata air bag rupture.
The federal administration said this was the first time a Takata death has been attributed to an exploding passenger-side inflator, and the first related to this make and model of vehicle.
Chrysler initially recalled certain model year 2003 Dodge Ram 1500, 2500, and 3500 trucks in 2015. The recall applied to vehicles manufactured from August 29, 2002 to July 25 2003 to address a safety defect in the passenger side frontal air bag inflator.
Takata air bags, which have now been linked to 26 U.S. deaths, and issues with their inflators have been ongoing since 2008.
Approximately 67 million air bags used by 19 OEMs have been recalled because the inflators can explode when the air bags are deployed, causing serious injuries or death. The inflators use phase-stabilized ammonium nitrate as a propellant that has been known to result in violent explosions and send metal shrapnel into the faces of vehicle occupants.
In August, General Motors issued a recall for more than 900 vehicles equipped with Takata air bags.
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