URGENT RECALL: Thousands of BMW vehicles fitted with potentially deadly airbags

There’s been another major car recall, this time involving thousands of BMW cars fitted with potentially deadly Takata airbags.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission alerted Aussie motorists to the new recall on Thursday, saying transport safety authorities in Australia, the US and Japan have identified a “different type of Takata airbag” that poses a critical risk of death or serious injury to vehicle occupants.

It’s now prompted an urgent recall of around 12 000 BMW vehicles which may still be in use on Australian roads.


“BMW in Australia has today begun a voluntary recall of BMW E46 3 Series cars, produced between November 1997 and June 2000, following safety authorities’ recent identification of a pattern of abnormal airbag deployments involving BMW cars in Australia, Japan and the US,” The ACCC said in a statement.

If a car with an affected airbag is involved in a crash, the airbag inflator could rupture, causing sharp metal fragments to enter the vehicle cabin at high speed, potentially killing or injuring vehicle occupants.

Owners of affected vehicles are being warned to stop driving their car immediately.

“Because of the critical level of risk, the ACCC urges people to stop driving their vehicle immediately and to contact BMW to arrange to have their vehicle inspected as soon as possible,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

“BMW will arrange to tow your vehicle to repair facilities for inspection, or send a mobile technician out to your premises or vehicle’s location to inspect the vehicle.

“If your vehicle has been fitted with one of these dangerous airbags, BMW will arrange a loan or hire car or reimbursement for alternative transportation costs until airbag replacement parts are available or until other arrangements are made. You may also wish to discuss the vehicle being purchased back by BMW.”

The airbags are Takata NADI (non-azide driver inflator) type 5AT airbags and are not part of the current Takata airbag compulsory recall.

The ACCC and the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development are working with police and other authorities to understand the facts regarding two recent suspected misdeployments of these inflators in Australia, including a death and a serious injury.

The model numbers of cars known to contain these airbags include:

Model Body Type
316i Sedan
318i Sedan
320i Sedan
323i Sedan
325i ( 2 vehicles) Sedan
328i Sedan
330i (1 Vehicle) Sedan
318Ci Coupe
320Ci Coupe
323Ci Coupe
328Ci Coupe
330Ci (1 vehicle) Coupe

Consumers who are unsure of whether they are affected by this recall can use the BMW VIN look-up tool at recall.bmw.com.au