Recall alert: 394K BMWs recalled; air bag inflator may explode

BMW is recalling more than a quarter million vehicles after the company said the cars’ air bag inflator may explode.

According to documentation released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the following BMWs are subject to recall:

2006-2011 3 Series Sedan

  • 324i
  • 325i
  • 325xi
  • 328i
  • 328xi
  • 330i
  • 330xi
  • 335i
  • 335xi

2006-2012 3 Series Sportswagon

  • 325xi
  • 328i
  • 328xi

2009-2011 3 Series Sedan

  • 335d

In all, 394,029 vehicles have been recalled.

The cars may have a replacement sport or M-sport steering wheel that has an inflator that can explode when it is deployed. The device is a Takata PSDI-5 inflator. It is not an approved or officially offered replacement part, the NHTSA reported.

The original-equipped inflator, which is not under recall, does not have ammonium nitrate, according to the federal agency.

“As noted in Section 4 of Takata’s Defect Information Report, 16E-005, the Takata PSDI-5 inflator propellant may experience an alteration over time, which could potentially lead to overly aggressive combustion in the event of air bag deployment,” the NHTSA said in the recall issued this week.

Tens of millions of cars that had Takata air bags have been recalled over the past decade after it was found that exposure to high heat and humidity can cause the air bags to explode when deployed. People have been hurt and killed by the explosions. The NHTSA has issued several “do not drive” warnings, which can be found here.

Other Takata airbags with non-azide driver inflators have also been recalled starting in 2019.

As for the most recent recall, dealers will inspect and replace the air bag module if necessary for free.

Drivers who own the recalled vehicles will receive letters after Aug. 23, but you can contact BMW directly at 800-525-7417.

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