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BMW recalls 1.6m 3 Series cars due to faulty airbags

Time 7 years ago

P90074493-bmw-3-series-fourth-generation-1998-2005-03-2011-600pxGERMAN giant BMW is recalling 1.6m 3 Series models worldwide due to faulty passenger airbags.

The recall affects the E46 3 Series (pre-predecessor generation) built between May 1999 and August 2006 and is due to ‘potential problems with gas generators that may rupture’.

Of those 1.6m cars affected, some 189,000 are in the UK.


In a statement, BMW said: ‘We are not aware of a case involving a BMW vehicle. The replacement campaign is a voluntary precautionary measure that aims at minimising the risk of faulty airbag activation.

‘Formally speaking, it is a voluntary extension of last year’s recall campaign. At that time, the supplier stated a production period during which potentially faulty gas generators were installed in passenger airbags. Following this, BMW recalled 240,000 3 Series vehicles (E46) of the pre-predecessor generation. The supplier has now extended the production period.

‘In order to ensure maximum safety of our customers, BMW has decided to replace the passenger airbags in the vehicles from the suggested production period, and additionally, as a voluntary precautionary measure, the passenger airbags in all BMW 3 Series models (E46) of the pre-predecessor generation equipped with this airbag module.’

The 240,000 E46 units already recalled worldwide last year are excluded from the current replacement campaign.


Customers affected will be informed by BMW and rectification of the problem will take about one hour at a BMW dealership.

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer.

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