BMW Australia has issued a recall notice for the 2000-2003 model-year 5 Series and X5 as part of the ongoing Takata airbag recall.
The Bavarian marque reports 'some' of the 3391 affected units may have received an affected Takata inflator as part of a "steering wheel conversion during the life of the vehicle".
As with all Takata-related recalls, the fault revolves around inflator propellant that could degrade over time due to high temperatures and humidity, which could cause the metal inflator housing to rupture when deployed in the event of an accident.
If the condition occurs, metal fragments could shoot through the airbag and into the cabin, posing a serious risk of injury, even death, to the vehicle's occupants.
The models affected by this latest recall were available for sale from 8 August 2000 through 30 September 2003 – a VIN list is accessible here.
Owners of the recalled 5 Series and X5 models will be contacted by BMW Australia or a BMW dealer, and are urged to arrange an appointment with their local dealer for a free inspection. If the vehicle is fitted with a faulty airbag, it will be replaced.
The Takata airbag recall affects more than 100 million vehicles and nearly 20 automotive brands around the world.
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. The ACCC earlier this year added some 1.1 million vehicles to the compulsory recall.
According to the Australian Government, the risk of a defective Takata airbag rupturing may arise between 6 and 25 years after it is installed in a vehicle. In areas of high heat and humidity, the risk of rupture may arise between 6 and 9 years.
Concerned owners can check if their vehicle needs a new inflator at www.IsMyAirbagSafe.com.au.