The recall is to replace potentially faulty driver-side Takata airbags that may either split when they deploy in a crash, or in extreme cases shoot small fragments of metal and plastic at the people they are supposed to protect.
Find out if your car is affected by the Takata recall here.
Cars falling under the latest recall include the BMW 1 Series built between 2004-15, the BMW 3 Series built between 2005-14, the BMW X1 built between 2009-16, and the BMW X3 built between 2004-10.
“Affected Takata airbag inflators could kill or seriously injure vehicle occupants if deployed,” BMW said in a statement. “Customers are advised to contact their preferred authorised BMW dealer or BMW Australia immediately to book the free rectification.”
Under the guidelines laid out by the Department of Infrastructure, if the airbag replacement is likely to take longer than 24 hours, customers can ask for “alternative transport, which may include a loan or hire car or funding of other reasonable transportation (e.g. CabCharge)”.
This is the first of several staged recalls for BMW-badged products to replace the faulty airbags. The next stage of the recall is expected in about mid-December and covers the driver-side airbag in just about every model in BMW’s showroom built between 2012-17, aside from the “i” cars and the flagship 7 Series.
The third stage of BMW’s recall roll-out will replace passenger-side airbags in versions of the BMW 3 Series built between 2001-03, and 1998-2006. BMW has previously recalled the 3 Series built between 2001-03 to replace the more dangerous driver-side Alpha airbag that has already been linked to one death and a serious injury in Australia. According to BMW’s airbag replacement schedule, the early-model 3 Series airbag’s replacement will be a “like-for-like”, suggesting the replacement airbag will also need to swap out for a safer version within a few years.
Under the rules of Australia’s first-ever compulsory recall, car makers affected by the Takata scandal were required to publish a list of affected vehicles, and their schedule of fixes, on their websites by July 1.
Brands affected by the recall include Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Citroen, Ferrari, Fiat, Ford, Holden, Honda, Jaguar, Jeep, Land Rover, Lexus, McLaren, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Skoda, Subaru, Tesla, Toyota and Volkswagen.
Brand-new cars are still being added to the list; vehicles including 2018 model year versions of the Ferrari: 488 GTB, 488 Spider, California T, F12 Berlinetta, F12 tdf and GTC4 Lusso, the Holden Barina, Trax and Cruze, and the Skoda Octavia, Superb, Kodiaq, Rapid and Fabia.
McLaren has said the five unsold model year 2018 vehicles it had in stock would be “repaired prior to sale”.