1539 SUVs fitted with faulty driver's side inflators
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BMW Australia has issued a recall for the first-generation X3 SUV sold from 2004 to 2007 as part of the ever-expanding Takata airbag recall.

According to the manufacturer, faulty Takata airbags may have been used as replacement units for the original Petri inflators "during the service history of some vehicles" – specifically models fitted with the 'SA0255' sports steering wheel. These airbags wear a less-dangerous, though still potentially deadly 'beta' rating.

As with previous Takata-related recalls, affected vehicles could be fitted with inflators that degrade over time due to high temperatures and humidity.

Should the propellant degrade, the housing may explode or rupture when deployed in the event of a collision, sending metal fragments into the cabin. This poses a significant risk of injury, even death, to the vehicle's occupants.

A total of 1539 units are affected by this notice – a VIN list can be viewed here.

Owners of the recalled X3 models will be contacted by BMW Australia, and are encouraged to arrange an appointment with their local dealer to have a replacement airbag installed free of charge.

For more information, contact 1800 243 675.

The Takata airbag recall affects more than 100 million vehicles and nearly 20 automotive brands around the world. Among those are more than five million vehicles in Australia, the equivalent of four years of nationwide sales.

Globally, there have been 20 deaths linked to the scandal, and 230 serious injuries. One Australian motorist lost their life to a faulty Takata airbag in July 2017, one month after another Australian driver was seriously injured.

In February 2018, the recall of vehicles affected by the faulty Takata airbags was made compulsory under law, with affected manufacturers required to replace all defective airbags by the end of 2020. Last month the ACCC added some 1.1 million vehicles to the compulsory recall.