38,000 Older BMWs Hit With “Do Not Drive” Order Due to Takata Airbags

Despite the long (and we do mean long) list of recalls announced by automakers since 2015, hundreds of thousands of vehicles around the world are still equipped with Takata airbag inflators that can explode and send shrapnel towards the occupants.

To this day, over 30 people have died as a direct result, most of them in the U.S.

Just like Stellantis did last fall for older Dodge and Chrysler cars, BMW is now ordering thousands of owners to stop driving their vehicles because they are no longer deemed safe.  

More than 90,000 units in the U.S. and 38,000 units in Canada are affected by this warning, more specifically 2000-2006 3 Series (E46) including M3, 2001-2003 5 Series (E39) including M5, and 2001-2004 X5 (E53) models.  

Photo: WheelsAge

Since the recall was first announced in 2016, BMW says it has continuously engaged in a variety of customer outreach campaigns to compel owners of these vehicles to have the critical safety repair completed as soon as possible. These have included contacts by phone, email, letters and online campaigns. BMW has also coordinated with its dealer network and certified collision repair centres to identify affected vehicles and facilitate repairs.

Unfortunately, many still haven’t had their Takata airbags replaced. As with any recall, the job comes at absolutely no charge for owners. It typically takes less than an hour to complete.

BMW plans to send owners of the unrepaired vehicles notification letters about the new “Do Not Drive” order starting in June. Making things complicated, of course, is the fact that these vehicles may have switched owners several times over the years.

Photo: WheelsAge

The longer owners wait, the more the propellant inside the airbag inflator breaks down due to exposure to temperature fluctuations and humidity, increasing the odds of a rupture if the vehicle is involved in a crash and the airbag deploys.

BMW says the recall work may be done remotely in some areas. Technicians can be sent where the vehicle is located to complete the repair on site. If the remote repair cannot be done, the vehicle can be picked up at the customer’s home or office free of charge and repaired. 

Drivers are strongly advised to visit Transport Canada’s recall database or BMW Canada’s website to determine whether their vehicle is part of an airbag recall and needs a replacement.

Share on Facebook

More on the subject

RecallsStellantis Issues Urgent Warning After Another Airbag-Related Death
Stellantis is now urging owners and custodians of certain older-model Dodge and Chrysler vehicles with unaddressed Takata driver-side airbag recalls to immediately stop driving them and schedule a visit to their local dealership. At the beginning of November, the U.S. division of the former FCA business unit issued a first …
RecallsProblematic Airbags in Volkswagens and Audis
Believe it or not, airbags that can explode during an accident are still a thing today! Volkswagen Canada has recently issued a recall regarding several models, but luckily, only a small number of vehicles: 202 to be more precise. The models impacted by this recall are the Volkswagen Golf (including …
Pre-owned vehiclesMore Airbag Problems Arise at Kia
No one wants to have to use an airbag, but everyone wants to be able to rely on in in the event of an impact. Unfortunately, airbags are not always ready to function safely. In 2019, an investigation told us that an airbag control module produced by U.S.-based ZF-TRW, which …
RecallsNearly 100,000 BMWs Recalled in Canada for Fire Risk
BMW is announcing a recall on more than one million vehicles around the world due to a potentially faulty positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) valve heater that could overheat and result in a fire. Similar recall campaigns were conducted in 2017 and 2019, once again affecting over a million BMWs globally.
NewsAirbag Recall May be Coming for Tens of Millions of Vehicles
Tens of millions of additional vehicles may soon be recalled due to faulty airbag inflators that can explode during a crash and injure or even kill occupants. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has determined that approximately 41 million inflators made by Tennessee-based supplier ARC Automotive between 2000-2018 …