BMW Gives ‘Do Not Drive’ Order Over Recalled Takata Airbags

The front of a BMW car

BMW has sent out a crucial “do not drive” order that applies to about 90,000 cars over potentially dangerous Takata airbags fitted in the vehicles.

The cars involved in the recall were manufactured between the 2000 and 2006 model years. According to, the cars included in the campaign are part of a recall related to the Takata-made driver-side airbag inflator, but they have not been repaired yet.

The list of vehicles includes the E46-generation 3 Series, built between 2002 and 2006, the E39-generation 5 Series, built from 2000 to 2003, and the E53-generation X5, built between 2000 and 2004. The M3 and M5 models are part of this campaign as well.

According to BMW, these vehicles were included in earlier recall campaigns but were not taken to the dealership for repairs. All these older-model vehicles are equipped with a driver-side airbag inflator made by Takata. When the airbags deploy, these defective inflators could come apart, sending shrapnel flying into the cabin in the direction of front seat passengers.

Recall Repairs

The automaker says it has warned owners about the problems several times, but adds that the problem grows in seriousness as the airbag inflators age and the risk of it coming apart and causing serious injuries or fatalities increases. Owners of the affected BMWs that have not had their vehicles inspected and repaired should not consider them safe to drive, the automaker has warned.

In the coming weeks, BMW will reach out to motorists who own a car that needs repairs via email in May and via regular mail in June. Drivers can take their car to any authorized dealership to get the recall repair done. The company is also sending out technicians to the vehicles’ locations so the repairs can be performed on-site.

Additionally, BMW is offering to pick up cars and return them when the repair is completed. The repairs will be done free of charge. The parts are readily available, and the repair typically takes under an hour, according to the automaker. If you are unsure of whether your BMW’s airbag inflator has been replaced, you can visit BMW’s dedicated recall site, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s site. or call BMW’s customer service line at (866) 835-8615. BMW has said that about 87% of its affected cars have already been repaired.

The Takata Airbag Recall

Faulty Takata airbag inflators have affected a number of U.S. and international automakers. The airbag inflators are responsible for the largest series of recalls in U.S. history. So far, 67 million inflators have been recalled by 19 automakers so far. The Takata airbags have caused 30 deaths worldwide, including 24 here in the United States. Most of the deaths and about 400 injuries have happened in U.S., but they also have occurred in Australia and Malaysia.

Owners of older Honda, Ford, and Stellantis vehicles equipped with Takata inflators have previously been told not to drive them. NHTSA officials have said that these inflators are nearly 20 years old now and pose a 50% chance of rupturing in even a minor crash. Takata used ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion to inflate airbags in a crash. However, the chemical can become more volatile over time when exposed to moisture in the air and repeated high temperatures. The explosion can rupture a metal canister and hurl shrapnel into the passenger compartment.

Types of Injuries Caused by Defective Takata Airbags

Drivers and passengers have suffered serious injuries as a result of metal pieces that fly into the vehicle compartment. This shrapnel, in several instances, has pierced victims’ faces and necks, causing catastrophic or even fatal injuries. Some of the injuries that have been attributed to Takata airbag explosions include:

  • Severe cuts or lacerations.
  • Eye injuries.
  • Large wounds that are consistent with stab or gunshot injuries.
  • Torn arteries and nerves.
  • Skull fractures.
  • Head injuries or concussions.
  • Bleeding on the brain.

Victims of these types of injuries need immediate medical attention, to say the least. Many may require emergency surgery, long-term medical care, and even reconstructive surgery to repair tears and scars. Some of these injuries have been deadly.

Product Liability Issues

In cases where defective auto parts cause injuries and losses, there are a number of parties that can be held liable, including the automaker. Injured victims may be able to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities, scarring and disfigurement, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.

Families that have lost loved ones in a Takata airbag defect case may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering, and loss of love, care, and companionship.

If your vehicle has been recalled due to its use of a defective and dangerous Takata airbag, please be sure to schedule a repair as soon as possible. Do not drive your vehicle until the repair is done, if possible. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of these or other dangerous auto products, contact an experienced auto product liability lawyer to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.


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