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BMW Pondering About Replacing Driver-Side Takata Air Bags as Well

It seems like the Takata air bag recall saga is nowhere near an end. Over the course of 2014, the NHTSA has been busy investigating the inflators the company used for over $16 million cars worldwide. 1.6 million of those are BMW E46 3 Series models.
bmw roundel 1 photo
Basically, the German company had to recall nearly all of its 3 Series cars built between 2001 and 2007 and replace their passenger side air bags. The recall was voluntary and was declared as a ‘precaution’ from the Munich-based manufacturer that claimed it never had an issue with them.

Even so, they apparently decided to rather be safe than sorry and started replacing the Takata parts on their own will. It seemed shady at first and later reports apparently claim that there is actually a problem on BMWs as well but the company decided to keep it hidden.

Furthermore, according to recent reports, it would seem like they are pondering whether to replace the driver’s side air bags as well. It’s all coming in as the NHTSA is looking even further into the problem.

According to Autonews Europe, the US safety regulators are now asking manufacturers to recall the cars for this particular issue as well, despite the Japanese manufacturer having a hard time keeping up with the production of new parts.

Takata insiders said that the plant they have is only capable of manufacturing 200 inflators an hour on one production line. Since there are only two of them in use, it could take up to five months to make just 1 million new inflators. The car companies need 32 million of them.

Now, auto safety advocates and lawmakers are looking for solutions to this problem. Owners of E46 3 Series cars are still waiting for the replacement parts in various regions of the world and things aren’t looking great.

It would seem like rival suppliers have been asked to produce replacement inflators and their management apparently confirmed that they’d be willing to chip in to help out if the situation demands it.

In the meantime, not only BMW is considering a new recall but also Honda and other companies as well such as Ford:

We just learned about this new request from NHTSA and are quickly evaluating it. We will continue to cooperate with NHTSA, as we have been, and will take the appropriate action as expeditiously as we can,” Ford said in a statement.

BMW also issued a statement claiming that they will also work closely with the NHTSA to see if a new campaign is needed. If that’s the conclusion they reach, it will be implemented as soon as possible.


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