The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued an alert on Thursday, May 4, informing BMW that it had issued a “do not drive” warning for nearly 100,000 vehicles produced between 2000 and 2006.
The vehicles included in the new order have previously been recalled for defective Takata air bags that have plagued the automaker for years.
The BMWs in question are the oldest airbags to be recalled, and they have “an extremely high probability of failure in a crash,” according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The inflator could rupture and metal shards could be sprayed in the driver’s face and could result in death or “subject them to devastating, life-altering injuries”.
“If you own one of these vehicles and still have a Takata air bag recall, please do not drive it until this urgent, life-saving recall is complete,” officials said. Replacement parts available.
“These vehicles are between 17 and 22 years old and the risk to occupants is significant.”
“If your 2000-2006 BMW has a recalled Takata air bag, get it repaired immediately for free,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator Sophie Shulman.
“These gas generators are now two decades old, and they become more dangerous with each passing day because they break even in a minor collision.”
The recalled models include the 2000-2006 BMW 3 Series (E46), including the M3, the 2000-2003 5 Series (E39), including the M5, and the 2000-2004 X5s (E53) equipped with certain Takata-made driver’s front Internal airbag inflator.
Parts are currently available for replacement, according to officials. Owners of the recalled vehicles are “urged” to contact their dealer or BMW customer service to arrange a free repair and tow.
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