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.
If a vehicle with an affected airbag is involved in a collision, the airbag inflator could rupture, causing sharp metal fragments to enter the vehicle cabin at high speed and potentially killing or injuring vehicle occupants.
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.
Owners of affected vehicles should stop driving their vehicle immediately and urgently contact their local BMW dealership or call BMW Australia’s Takata Hotline directly on 1800 243 675 to organise their free vehicle inspection.
Vehicles will be either towed to the place of inspection or a mobile technician will come to inspect the vehicle at the consumer’s home or the vehicle’s location.
If the vehicle does contain an affected airbag, BMW will offer to arrange a loan or hire car or reimbursement for alternative transportation costs until parts are available for airbag replacement, or until other arrangements can be made. Alternatively, the consumer may discuss the vehicle being purchased 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.
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
Quotes attributable to ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard:
“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.”
“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.”
Notes to editors
Further information for consumers is available at productsafety.gov.au/airbags.
The model numbers of cars known to contain these airbags include:
325i ( 2 vehicles)
330i (1 Vehicle)
330Ci (1 vehicle)