In the papers filed by BMW with the NHTSA on March 24, 2016, the company said that the airbag control module was not produced to specification.
The automaker specified that their recall only targets specific units manufactured between July 1, 2015, and December 11, 2015, which are believed to be affected by the issue.
As it turns out, only the 740Li, 750Li, and 750Lxi versions of the MY2016 7 Series will be recalled. BMW said that these were equipped with an airbag control model that “could contain metallic stamping particle residue.” Unlike the Takata situation, the airbag control modules that BMW wants to call back might cause a short circuit.
In extreme circumstances, the short circuit of the airbag control module could briefly make the unit inoperable. As BMW’s papers filed with the NHTSA explain, if the entire situation happened during or before an accident of “sufficient severity,” the airbags might not deploy during the period in which the module is inoperative.
BMW was informed by Continental AG about the issue on December 4, 2015. The supplier provided the German automaker with preliminary information concerning a possible manufacturing error, along with an analysis involving potential consequences.
BMW initiated an internal investigation on February 11, 2015, to verify Continental’s assessment, and it also started an on-field review. Following two warranty claims that might be associated, but have not been conclusively confirmed as such, the German carmaker decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall.
Customers will be notified starting May 16, 2016, while dealers were notified on March 24, 2016. All affected airbag modules will be replaced without any cost to the customer. BMW has not received any reports and is not aware of any injuries or fatalities related to this potential issue.