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December 23, 2019

New Takata airbag defect leads to 1.4 million vehicle recall

A newly discovered defect has prompted a recall of 1.4 million older model BMW, Audi, Honda, Toyota and Mitsubishi vehicles in the U.S. due to potentially faulty Takata airbags.

Vehicle owners are encouraged to enter their vehicle’s VIN http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/recalls periodically in coming weeks to check for updates on whether their vehicle has been affected. 

Separate from Takata’s exploding airbag recall that affected 100 million vehicles and has been linked to at least 25 deaths worldwide, the latest defect affects front driver inflators that have insufficient seals and may deteriorate over time when exposed to moisture. As a result, the inflators may explode too quickly causing airbags to rupture, possibly striking vehicle occupants with metal fragments. The airbags could also underinflate, failing to protect motorists. At least one person is believed to have died due to the defect.

According to news reports, Takata claims to have produced 4.5 million of the inflators worldwide in the late 1990s, but the manufacturer believes the majority of the devices are installed in older vehicles that are no longer in use.

Investigations are still ongoing to determine which vehicles are affected. BMW has announced recalls of certain vehicles from model years 1999 to 2001. Certain Audi, Honda, Toyota and Mitsubishi vehicles from model years 1995 to 2000 are also being reviewed.

So far, the following has been reported:  

BMW

More than 116,000 BMW 3-Series cars from model years 1999 to 2001 are included in the recall, 8,000 of which are 323i and 328i sedans made from the 1999 model year that BMW says are sure to be affected and should be parked.

BMW has also recalled 74,000 of the following sedans from model years 1999 to 2001:

  • 323i
  • 325i
  • 328i
  • 330i

34,000 of the following sedans from model years 1999-2000 have also been recalled

  • 323i
  • 328i 

The following coupes from the 2000 model year have been recalled

  • 323Ci
  • 328Ci

Mitsubishi

Montero vehicles from model years 1998 through 2000 are included in the recall.

Audi

Audi is investigating whether any of the following vehicles from 1997 to 1999 model years are affected in the U.S.

  • A4
  • A6
  • A8
  • TT

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated that Takata will work with automakers to determine which vehicles are affected. Vehicle recalls will continue to be announced as the investigation continues.