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BMW recalls more than 394,000 cars because airbags could explode

Airbag recall still a concern for thousands of vehicles
Airbag recall still a concern for thousands of vehicles 03:11

BMW on Wednesday said it is recalling more than 394,000 vehicles in the North America because of Takata-made airbag inflators that could explode when deployed in a crash, potentially striking drivers and passengers with sharp metal fragments.

The recall applies to the following models:

  • 2006-2011 3 Series Sedan (324i, 325i, 325xi, 328i, 328xi, 330i, 330xi, 335i, 335xi), 
  • 2006-2012 3 Series Sportswagon (325xi, 328i, 328xi)
  • 2009-2011 3 Series Sedan (335d)

According to recall documents posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the original steering wheel on the affected BMW cars may have been replaced by owners with a sport or M-sport steering wheel with PSDI-5 inflators using ammonium nitrate that over time could lead to "overly aggressive combustion." 

"In the event of an inflator rupture, metal fragments could pass through the air bag cushion material, which may result in injury or death to vehicle occupants," BMW said in the recall report

Dealers will replace the driver-side airbag module for free, NHTSA said. Notification letters will be mailed to owners on August 23. Owners of the recalled BMW vehicles can direct any questions to the automaker's customer service at (800) 525-7417. BMW's number for the recall is "24V513."

BMW has received no reports of deaths or injuries in the U.S. in connection with this issue, according to the recall documents.

Millions of vehicles with airbags from Takata, the now-bankrupt Japanese manufacturer, are already under recall. NHTSA said that prolonged exposure to high heat and humidity can cause those airbags to explode when deployed.

Owners may also contact NHTSA's safety hotline at (888) 327-4236 (toll-free at 1-800-424-9153) or go to www.nhtsa.gov for further information.

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