(Adds NHTSA comment)
By Ben Klayman
DETROIT, July 16 German automaker BMW
said on Wednesday it is recalling about 1.6 million cars
worldwide to replace passenger-side front air bags made by
Takata Corp because the inflators could break apart
during deployment and injure passengers.
The recall affects 3 Series vehicles produced between May
1999 and August 2006.
While BMW is still taking part in a regional recall
requested by U.S. safety regulators, BMW spokesman Dave Buchko
said it decided to recall all of the model year 2000 through
2006 cars potentially affected by the issue. The regional recall
requested in June by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration covered both passenger- and driver-side front air
The recall is an extension of last year's recall of 240,000
cars globally for the same issue. However, it overlaps with the
"As a precaution, we just feel now that the right thing to
do is just to bring them all in and replace the passenger-side
air bag," Buchko said.
The air bags were supplied by Japan's Takata, which has seen
more than 12 million vehicles recalled over the past five years
for related issues.
Also affected by the regional recall were Honda Motor Co
, Toyota Motor Corp, Nissan Motor Co,
Mazda Motor Corp, Fuji Heavy Industries -owned
Subaru, Mitsubishi Motors Corp, Ford Motor Co and
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' Chrysler brand.
Subaru's recall of almost 9,000 cars was national from the
start, while Honda's regional recall hit more states than NHTSA
requested. Honda said there was no change to its position and
its investigation was ongoing.
Nissan said a decision for a broader recall has not been
made yet and the number of cars affected in the designated
regions was still being determined. Mitsubishi said there was no
change in status as the issue was still being investigated.
Mazda said it would decide whether to expand the regional
campaign after its engineers evaluated the air bag inflators
already recalled. A Toyota spokeswoman said the company has not
expanded the recall.
A Chrysler spokesman said the automaker is still
investigating the issue, which potentially affects about 298,000
older vehicles in the four regions NHTSA designated.
Ford said its position has not changed and it is cooperating
with safety officials. It previously said the regional recall
affected 58,669 vehicles.
NHTSA said it was aware of BMW's decision to expand its
recall, but that was different from the regional recalls.
BMW is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to the
issue. The cars previously recalled are not part of this
In the latest recall, about 574,000 of the cars were sold in
the United States, 450,000 in Germany and 189,000 in the United
Kingdom. Last year, BMW recalled 42,000 cars in the United
States for this issue.
In addition, BMW said it has also recalled 26 Mini cars and
one BMW i3 from model year 2014 to replace Takata passenger-side
air bags. These are not part of the larger recall.
(Additional reporting by Bernie Woodall in Detroit and Thomas
Atkins in Frankfurt; editing by Maria Sheahan, Nick Zieminski
and Matthew Lewis)