Major BMW Recall: Fire and Airbag Risks

Jan 24, 2018

An Urgent Notice to All BMW Drivers

If you drive a BMW coupe or SUV manufactured between the years 2000 and 2015, the luxury automaker wants you to be aware of several widespread recalls that may impact your vehicle, as well as your safety.


Fire Hazards

In the fall, BMW issued two back-to-back safety notices for about 1 million of its vehicles that were at risk for catching fire, even when not in use. The first notice included more than 670,000 BMW 3 Series models manufactured between 2006 and 2011. BMW alerted the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration to a problem with these cars’ climate control systems, noting that the wiring and electrical conductors are vulnerable to overheating.

Below is an actual BMW Safety Notice letter received by a BMW driver.



The 2nd Safety Notice

The second safety notice was larger one, affecting more than 740,000 vehicles (some that were also included in the first recall) that contain a faulty interior heater that’s prone to short-circuit, causing the parts inside the crankcase ventilation system to melt. This is especially problematic because the purpose of this ventilation system is to help the gases escape from the internal combustion engine. The model and model years affected include 2008-2011 128i vehicles, as well as the following 2007-2011 models:

  • 328i
  • 525i
  • 528i
  • 530i
  • X3
  • X5
  • Z4

BMW is encouraging all owners of these recalled vehicles to visit their local BMW dealer as soon as possible to have the affected parts replaced, free of charge.


Faulty Airbags

Additionally, BMW has issued several recalls recently due to dysfunctional Takata airbags. The problem is so widespread, affecting nearly 2 million BMW cars from model years 2000 to 2015, that the manufacturer set up an informational microsite where drivers can learn more about the recall and what they can do if their cars are affected.

The following BMWs are included in the recall:

  • 1 Series model years 2008-2013
  • 3 Series model years 2000-2013
  • 5 Series model years 2001-2003
  • X1 model years 2013-2015
  • X3 model years 2007-2010
  • X5 model years 2001-2004 and 2007-2013
  • X6 model years 2008-2014

The problem is that the chemical propellant in the Takata airbags may deteriorate over time, and some of these airbags have ruptured during collisions, allowing metal fragments to pass through the airbag cushion material and resulting in injury or death to vehicle occupants.


Defects Due to Weather

Since temperature and humidity play a role in how quickly the chemical propellant breaks down, several states are in high alert for this airbag recall. Propellant is thought to break down the quickest in the following states:

  • • Alabama
  • • California
  • • Florida
  • • Georgia
  • • Hawaii
  • • Louisiana
  • • Mississippi
  • • South Carolina
  • • Texas

Other states that are somewhat high alert because of the weather they receive include:

  • • Arizona
  • • Arkansas
  • • Delaware
  • • Illinois
  • • Indiana
  • • Kansas
  • • Kentucky
  • • Missouri
  • • Nebraska
  • • Nevada
  • • New Mexico
  • • North Carolina
  • • Ohio
  • • Oklahoma
  • • Pennsylvania
  • • Tennessee
  • • Virginia
  • • West Virginia

Keep in mind that there is no true way to tell if this problem exists within your car. BMW has requested that drivers of any and all vehicles listed in the recall get the airbags in their cars replaced as soon as possible.


Take Action

If your vehicle has been affected by this recall, you should register it for free on BMW’s website. This will ensure that BMW is able to notify you when replacement parts for your car become available. Due to the high volume of this recall, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has created a priority schedule to issue replacement parts, beginning with the oldest affected vehicles in states with the highest alert status. BMW plans to notify all owners by letter when the replacement airbags are ready for their vehicles, and it then encourages owners to make an appointment with their closest authorized BMW center.


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