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BMW Issues ‘Do Not Drive’ Warning for 90,000 Vehicles Over Risk of Exploding Airbag Inflators

BMW is warning owners of roughly 90,000 BMW vehicles from model years 2000 to 2006 to stop driving their cars because they may be equipped with defective Takata airbags, which may explode or otherwise malfunction during a crash, resulting in severe injuries or even death to drivers and passengers.

According to the NHTSA, this recall affects 2000-2006 BMW 3-Series (including the E46-generation M3), 2000-2003 BMW 5-series sedans (including the E39 M5), and 2000-2004 BMW SUVs.

“These inflators are two decades old now and, with every day that passes, they become even more dangerous as they can rupture even in a minor crash,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator Sophie Shulman.

In the event of a crash, NHTSA says the airbags in these vehicles have “an extremely high probability of failure.” If the inflators rupture, metal debris may be ejected into the cabin by the occupants, causing severe harm.

Related article: BMW Airbag Recall Lawsuit

What’s the Problem?

BMW of North America, LLC, is recalling certain xDrive vehicles for defective front passenger airbags which may explode without warning, ejecting metal fragments into the cabin at high speed, increasing the risk of severe injuries or death. According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), this recall affects:

  • 2009-2012 BMW xDrive35d
  • 2008-2012 BMW X6 xDrive35i
  • 2008-2012 BMW X6 xDrive50i
  • 2008-2012 BMW X6 M
  • 2007-2012 BMW 30si
  • 2007-2012 BMW
  • 2007-2012 BMW xDrive30i
  • 2007-2012 BMW
  • 2007-2012 BMW xDrive35i
  • 2007-2012 BMW 48i
  • 2007-2012 BMW xDrive48i
  • 2007-2012 BMW xDrive50i
  • 2007-2012 BMW M
  • 2010-2011 BMW X6 ActiveHybrid

The recalled BMWs are equipped with passenger frontal airbag inflators that contain phase-stabilized ammonium nitrate (PSPI-2), a propellant used as a remedy part for previous Takata airbag recalls. Factors that may increase the risk of airbag explosion include high temperatures, high relative humidity, and high-temperature cycling.

BMW is notifying owners and dealers will install a replacement airbag inflator, free of charge. This recall began on March 6, 2020.

BMW Recalls 16,000 EVs Over Power Loss Malfunction

January 11, 2023 – BMW is kicking off 2023 with a big recall, claiming that a defect in its high-voltage battery software could result in a loss in power to the wheels of its iX, i7, and i4 EVs. This recall affects about 14,086 vehicles in the U.S. and 2,155 cars in Canada.

Because this is a software issue, BMW is resolving the problem through an OTA software update. Drivers in the U.S. will begin receiving software updates starting this week. However, if you’re in Canada, you’ll receive a notice in the mail asking you to schedule a service appointment.

BMW xDrive Recalled for Electrical Defect, Fire Risk

The NHTSA on Feb. 1, 2021, announced that BMW is recalling the following vehicles which were defectively manufactured in a manner that makes them prone to catching fire without warning:

  • 2021 BMW M340i xDrive
  • 2021 BMW M440i xDrive Coupe
  • 2021 BMW 530i
  • 2021 BMW 530i xDrive
  • 2021 BMW 540i
  • 2021 BMW 540i xDrive
  • 2021 BMW 740Li
  • 2021 BMW 740Li xDrive
  • 2021 BMW 840i Gran Coupe
  • 2021 BMW 840i xDrive Gran Coupe
  • 2021 BMW
  • 2021 BMW sDrive40i
  • 2021 BMW xDrive40i
  • 2021 BMW X6 sDrive40i
  • 2021 BMW X6 xDrive40i
  • 2021 BMW X7 xDrive40i

The connection between the 48-volt battery and the starter generator on the above vehicles may not have been assembled properly, which can cause increased electrical resistance at the connections, NHTSA said. Increased electrical resistance can increase the risk of a fire.

BMW xDrive Recalled for Crash Hazard

NHTSA on Dec. 18, 2020, announced a recall for the following BMW xDrive vehicles which were sold with axle welds that may separate during use:

  • 2020 BMW sDrive40i
  • 2020 BMW xDrive40i
  • 2020 BMW M50i
  • 2020 BMW X5M
  • 2020 BMW X7
  • 2020 BMW xDrive40i
  • 2020 BMW X7 M50i
  • 2020 BMW X6 xDrive40i
  • 2020 BMW X6 M50i
  • 2020 BMW X6M
  • 2021 BMW X5 xDrive45e v

The weld between the front axle support and the right front control arm bearing bracket on affected BMWs may separate, NHTSA said. If this occurs, vehicle handling and control may be affected, increasing the risk of a crash.

Owners may contact BMW customer service at 1-800-525-7417.

Related Article: xDrive Driving Shaft Recall

BMW Recalls xDrive Vehicles for Defective Headlamps

BMW is recalling 2020-2021 X5 sDrive40i, xDrive40i, xDrive50i, X5 M50i, X5M, X6 sDrive40i, xDrive40i, X6 M50i, X6M, X7 M50i, and 2021 X5 xDrive45e vehicles equipped with headlamps which may allow blue light to illuminate, according to the NHTSA. Oncoming drivers may be confused by the blue light of approaching vehicles, which could potentially increase the risk of a crash. This recall began on October 30, 2020.

Related Articles: BMW M4 Fuel Leak Lawsuit

BMW Mini Cooper Recalls

BMW of North America, LLC, is recalling certain Mini Cooper SAVs and xDrive all-wheel drive vehicles to repair a defective airbag roll-over sensor which could cause the head airbag, seat belt pre-tensioners, and other safety systems to not activate during a roll-over crash.

If the safety systems do not deploy as intended in a crash, it may increase the risk of injury, NHTSA said. This recall began on July 13, 2020.

Also ReadBMW Mini Cooper Airbag Recall Lawsuit

Is There a Class Action Lawsuit Against BMW?

A recent class action lawsuit filed in New Jersey alleged that BMW knowingly manufactured and sold vehicles equipped with defective engines and included 20 causes of action, including:

  • Alleged breach of warranty under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, 15 U.S.C. 2301
  • Breach of the implied warranty of merchantability
  • Violations of state consumer fraud and deceptive trade practice statutes
  • Unjust enrichment

The parties reached a class action settlement of $27 million to reimburse class members for expenses incurred and provide them with extended warranties. BMW stipulated that it would not object to Class Action Settlement Class Counsel’s application for an award of attorneys’ fees of up to $1,500,000 in the aggregate.

The parties agreed that Counsel could apply for an award of attorneys’ fees not to exceed $3,700,000 in the aggregate. Class counsel sought $3.7 million.

Applying the lodestar approach, the district court adopted Class Counsel’s requested lodestar amount of $1,934,000, then applied a requested multiplier of 1.9 to reach a total fee award of $3.7 million.

The Third Circuit vacated, as the lodestar was based on an insufficient record. The charts provided by Counsel do not establish whether certain hours are duplicative or whether the total hours billed were reasonable for the work performed.

The class action lawsuit is: Gelis v. Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) of North America LLC, No. 21-2093 (3d Cir. 2022 of New Jersey).

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Do I Have a BMW Recall Lawsuit?

The Product Liability Litigation Group at Schmidt & Clark, LLP law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in BMW Recall Class Action Lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new personal injury cases in all 50 states.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a recalled BMW, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing class actions and we can help.

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