More than 21,000 vehicles from multiple BMW-owned brands are being recalled to fix potentially dangerous child seat issues.
According to Consumer Reports, the problem involves faulty seat belt retractors in the front and/or back passenger seats which prevent people from being able to properly secure child seats in the affected vehicles.
The recall involves vehicles made by BMW, Mini, Rolls-Royce, and Toyota, and applies to 2021 models.
Details of the Recall
In the majority of these vehicles, only the front passenger seatbelts are affected and it is not recommended to install a child seat in the front passenger seat. However, the 2021 BMW 2 series convertible and M2 Competition Coupe, 3 Series and M3 sedans, and 5 Series sedans may have faulty automatic locking retractors (ALR) in the rear seat. Because these retractors help lock the seatbelt right for a snug child car seat installation, a faulty retractor would make it difficult to securely install child car seats using a seat belt.
BMW has said the emergency locking retractor or ELR, which activates in the event of a crash, should still work properly on the recalled vehicles. So, even a belt with a faulty ALR will restrain a car seat during a crash. However, a belt with a faulty ALR may not allow for a tight enough car seat installation in the first place, which would allow the car seat to move around.
BMW has a fix that is currently available. So vehicle owners are asked to contact their dealership as soon as possible to check if their car needs a new retractor and have it installed if necessary. Dealers will install and replace the retractors free of charge. A BMW spokesperson has said the company is not aware of any injuries related to this recall. Vehicle owners should get a recall notification by the middle of September.
Auto Product Liability Issues
Seatbelt retractors are an important part of the seat restraint system. This is important because it keeps passengers in place in the event of a car accident. They are part of a safety system that prevents passengers from getting partially or completely ejected during a crash, which could result in catastrophic or even fatal injuries. In this particular case, the defective retractors could potentially prevent the proper installation of a child car seat, putting the most vulnerable passengers at risk of serious injuries.
If you have one of these recalled vehicles, it is important that you take your vehicle to the dealership for an inspection right away. Recall repairs are always made at no cost, in accordance with federal law. If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a vehicle defect, please contact an experienced auto defect lawyer for more information about pursuing your legal rights.