New dangerous airbag sparks urgent recall

Moving Well | Sue Hewitt | Posted on 07 November 2019

BMW recalls 12,000 cars after suspected Australian airbag death.

More than 10,000 BMW owners previously unaffected by Takata airbag warnings have been told to stop driving their cars immediately after authorities identified a new type of potentially dangerous airbag. 

The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission has issued the warning following two recent crashes in Australia involving suspected faulty airbags, which resulted in a death and a serious injury.

The ACCC warns that a different type of Takata airbag, not subject to earlier recalls, has been identified that poses a “critical” risk of death or serious injury.

BMW in Australia on 7 November launched a voluntary recall of 12,000 BMW E46 3 series cars made between November 1997 and June 2000 after safety authorities discovered a “pattern of abnormal airbag deployments” in these cars in Australia, Japan and the US.  

Car in accident with airbags deployed

The ACCC says the risk involved in the latest Takata airbags is “critical”.

“The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development are working with police and other authorities to understand the facts regarding two recent suspected mis-deployments of these inflators in Australia, including a death and a serious injury,” an ACCC statement said.

If a car with a faulty airbag is involved in a crash, the airbag could explode, projecting sharp metal fragments around the car cabin at high speed that could potentially kill or injure car occupants, it said.

The ACCC’s deputy chair Delia Rickards says the risk involved in the latest Takata airbags is “critical”. 

“The ACCC urges people to stop driving their vehicle immediately and to contact BMW to arrange to have their vehicle inspected as soon as possible,” she says. 

The voluntary recall involves Takata NADI (non-azide driver inflator) type 5AT airbags which are not part of the current Takata compulsory recall.

“If your vehicle has been fitted with one of these dangerous airbags, BMW will arrange a loan or hire car or reimbursement for alternative transportation costs until airbag replacement parts are available or until other arrangements are made,” she says.

“BMW will arrange to tow your vehicle to repair facilities for inspection or send a mobile technician out to your premises or vehicle’s location to inspect the vehicle.”

Delia says customers affected by the latest recall on sedans and coupes “may wish to discuss the vehicle being purchased back by BMW”. 

The latest recall follows an urgent warning by the ACCC in September concerning 20,000 vehicles, including various models of BMW, GM Holden, Honda, Mitsubishi and Toyota that were already the subject of a compulsory recall due to faulty Takata airbags. The ACCC warned drivers to stop using these cars immediately and have them towed back to the dealer at the manufacturers’ expense so the faulty airbags could be replaced.

BMW owners concerned about the latest recall can contact their local dealership or BMW Australia’s Takata Hotline on 1800 243 675, or check BMW’s VIN look-up tool at

BMW models known to contain Takata Nadi airbags:

  • 316i sedan
  • 318i sedan
  • 320i sedan
  • 323i sedan
  • 325i sedan
  • 328i sedan
  • 330i sedan
  • 318Ci coupe
  • 320Ci coupe
  • 323Ci coupe
  • 328Ci coupe
  • 330Ci coupe