A widespread recall affecting more than 3.4 million vehicles from several different makes has now hit BMW.
According to the automaker, roughly 220,000 of its 2002 and 2003 3-Series models have been affected by the recall worldwide, with 42,080 of these located in the U.S.
The recall is due to a defective airbag from Japanese supplier Takata Corp. Other makes with vehicles featuring the defective airbag include Honda, Infiniti, Lexus, Mazda, Nissan, Pontiac and Toyota.
The root of the problem is an airbag inflator that deteriorates over time. This can cause the inflator to rupture when the airbag is triggered, which in turn can cause injury to occupants by pieces of the inflator breaking off and turning into projectiles.
For BMW, the recall affects 325i, 325xi, 330i, 330xi sedans; 325Ci and 330Ci coupes and convertibles; 325iT and 325xiT Sports Wagons; and M3 coupes and convertibles. As mentioned, it is only those vehicles from the 2002 and 2003 model years, and the airbag in question is the passenger side frontal unit.
BMW is in the process of notifying owners affected by the recall. Once replacement parts are available, estimated for July, 2013, BMW will notify owners again to contact their dealers and schedule a replacement of the passenger airbag, free of charge.
For further information you can contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 1-888-327-4236 (reference recall campaign number 13V172000) or BMW at 1-800-525-7417.