BMW has issued a warning to the owners of approximately 90,000 older vehicles in the United States, imploring them not to drive their vehicles due to the rising risk of their airbags deploying during a collision. Included in the warning are vehicles manufactured between 2000 and 2006 that have already been recalled to replace Takata airbag inflators that are hazardous.
Takata used ammonium nitrate, a volatile chemical, to inflate the airbags during a collision. However, over time, the chemical can degrade when exposed to heat and humidity, causing the metal canister to burst and launch shrapnel that could severely injure or murder drivers and passengers.
BMW has issued a recall for over 90,000 vehicles and asked owners to stop using them immediately.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has instructed owners of affected vehicles to immediately park their vehicles and contact BMW for additional information. The agency further explained that the airbags in these vehicles are among the oldest Takata airbags subject to recall, with an extremely high failure probability in the event of a collision.
BMW will provide free repairs, including mobile repair and free towing services, to its owners. Checking if their vehicle is included in the recall is possible by visiting BMW’s website or contacting BMW customer relations.
Since 2009, Takata airbags have caused at least 33 fatalities worldwide, 24 of which have occurred in the United States alone. While the preponderance of fatalities and approximately 400 injuries occurred in the United States, Australia and Malaysia have also reported fatalities.
The possibility of a hazardous malfunction has prompted the largest auto recall in United States history. Approximately 67 million Takata airbag inflators were recalled. According to the US government, however, many of them remain unrepaired.
Around 100 million defective inflators have been recalled worldwide, and the defective airbags prompted Takata Corporation of Japan to declare bankruptcy. Acting NHTSA Administrator Ann Carlson has exhorted owners to take immediate action and schedule their free repair in order to avoid endangering their own or their loved ones’ lives.