BMW warns about passenger airbags in recall

by: Jim Strickland Updated:

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ATLANTA - It's an expensive car but riding in the passenger seat is so risky the automaker is now warning against it.
 

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Consumer investigator Jim Strickland found tens of thousands of BMW drivers are getting the warning. The company is conducting its second recall in six years because passenger airbags can shut down even when someone is in the seat.
 
Certain 2006-2007 3 Series, 5 Series, 7 Series and X5s are affected.      
 
Liz Lambert, of Marietta, knows all too well how important airbags are. Someone ran a red light and hit her old BMW 10 years ago. Lambert's daughter was driving.
 
“It was the deployment of the airbags that saved her from being seriously injured so straightaway we said we want the safety of BMW," said Lambert.
 
Strickland drove slowly through her neighborhood in her 328i Thursday. During the interview, photographer Chuck Rakestraw sat in the passenger seat against the car company's advice.
 
"When I go anywhere, I do not take a passenger  They've advised me against it. That's a pain sometimes," said Lambert.
 
Strickland and Rakestraw saw the warning lamps in the dash and overhead. The seat sensor is on the fritz and the lamps indicate the airbag is deactivated even when occupied. 
 
Lambert got her recall notice letter in January. The recall actually came out in November. 
 
"What they're telling me now is they don't have a part to replace it,” Lambert said.
 
Drivers of 76,000 recalled cars are warned if the lamps are lit,  it isn't safe to have company in the front seat.
 
Strickland received an email from BMW blaming a delay in receiving parts. The company expects parts to become available later this month. 



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