BMW issues warning, Ford recalls thousands of older vehicles over airbags

Ford and BMW have become the latest automakers to announce warnings or recalls related to problems with airbags made by now-defunct Takata.

BMW this week issued a “Do not drive” warning for 90,000 vehicles built from 2000 to 2006 and already covered by the Takata recall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration urged consumers to check whether their vehicles were covered, stressing that there was a “horrendous” risk for drivers of the BMWs.

It came on the heels of an announcement last week by the agency about another recall of more than 230,000 Ford Rangers built from 2004 to 2006. Those vehicles may have replacement airbags that were improperly installed during the original Ranger recall, NHTSA said.

Owners can enter their vehicle identification number on NHTSA’s website to see if their vehicles fall under the warning.

“If you have a 2000-2006 BMW with a recalled Takata airbag, get it repaired immediately — free of charge,” NHTSA Assistant Administrator Sophie Shulman said in a statement. “These inflators are two decades old now and with each passing day they become even more dangerous as they can burst even in a minor crash.”

The airbags have defective inflators that can explode or fail to inflate properly when deployed, NHTSA said.

In November, Dodge and Chrysler announced “Do Not Drive” orders due to the problem of exploding airbags.

Individually, tens of millions of vehicles are covered by an ongoing recall involving the risk of exploding Takata airbags, but additional problems with the airbags continue to be discovered. Takata was forced into bankruptcy in 2017 due to all the scandals, problems and subsequent lawsuits, and pleaded guilty to criminal wrongdoing. NHTSA has forced the recall of at least 67 million Takata airbags since 2013. Takata in 2018 agreed to pay $650 million to settle lawsuits brought by dozens of states over the airbags.

Joyson Safety Systems, which bought most of Takata’s assets in 2018, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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