BMW is assessing -- at the request of the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration -- some of its cars in Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands as part of a broader probe into the safety of airbags produced by Takata Corp. NHTSA is looking into whether Takata airbag inflators produced after 2002 have risk of failing in areas of high humidity.
Honda Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co. and Mazda recently issued global recalls of around 2.9 million vehicles fitted with Takata airbags. A BMW spokesman has disclosed that BMW indeed installed Takata airbags into E46 3-series generation produced between June 2000 and August 2006.
Those airbags are similar, but not the same, to the airbags seen as potentially defective by other carmakers. The spokesman noted that BMW’s action was not a safety recall, but a special technical campaign. He added that they were not aware of any incidents involving Takata airbags in BMW cars.
In a June 11 letter to the NHTSA, Takata quipped it would support "regional campaigns" to replace particular driver-side air bag inflators produced between January 2004 and June 2007; and some passenger-side inflators made between June 2000 and July 2004.
According to Takata, these inflators were believed to be shipped to BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Nissan and Toyota for vehicles sold in the US. Takata also said it would support a campaign to replace the inflators in vehicles in high humidity areas of Puerto Rico, Florida, Hawaii and the Virgin Islands.