BMW North America has issued a recall and stop-sale for select 2016 7-Series sedans due to an issue with the airbag control module. The module was manufactured by Continental. Somewhere, someone at Takata is silently rejoicing.
In the United States, the issue involves an estimated 6,110 BMW 740Li, 750Li, and 750Lxi models built between July 1, 2015 and December 11, 2015. Some 47,000 2016 7-Series have been built worldwide and a total of 26,000 are affected.
BMW says it will mail recall notices to owners by May 16. Owners will be able to take their cars to their local dealerships to replace the modules, which could take up to four hours, and there will be no charge. Obviously, BMW will also repair unsold cars before they can be sold.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's defect report, the airbag control module used on some 7-Series models may contain metallic residue. In cases of extreme acceleration or vibration, some of that residue could come into contact with the module's circuit board, which could cause it to short circuit.
That would cause the airbag module to reset, making it inactive while it restarts. If the car were to be involved in a collision during that reset period, the airbags wouldn't deploy, and that could lead to injury. Thus far, BMW knows of no faulty deployments.
Owners of 2016 BMW 7-Series are encouraged to call BMW customer service at 800-525-7417, or NHTSA's Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236 and inquire about safety campaign #16V173000.