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BMW recalls 5,000 compact cars for knee airbag problems

The recalled vehicles include multiple variants of the 2, 3 and 4 Series.

2019 BMW M2 Competition
In the meantime, y'know, just don't hit stuff.
Nick Miotke/Roadshow

Automakers rely on a vast network of suppliers, and if something goes wrong somewhere in the chain, it almost always lands on the automaker itself to initiate a recall. That's what's happening in BMW's latest recall.

BMW has issued a recall for 5,079 examples of its vehicles. The recalled vehicles are spread across three vehicle lines, each with multiple variants under recall, and each with its own separate spread of build dates. Here are the vehicles in question:

  • 2019-2020 2 Series: 230i and 230i xDrive coupe and convertible, M240i and M240i coupe and convertible, M2 Competition.
  • 2019 3 Series: 330i xDrive Sportswagon.
  • 2019-2020 4 Series: 430i and 430i xDrive coupe and convertible, 440i and 440i xDrive coupe and convertible, M4 coupe and convertible
  • 2020 4 Series Grand Coupe: 430i and 430i xDrive, 440i and 440i xDrive

The problem stems from the knee airbag modules for both driver and passenger. The modules, which come from the supplier Joyson Safety Systems, may have airbags that were improperly folded and assembled into the housing. This might cause the airbags to become damaged during inflation, preventing the full safety benefit and increasing the risk of injury in an accident.

BMW learned of the problem in April, when the supplier's in-house testing determined that some airbags were damaged in deployment. After narrowing the parts down to a specific batch, BMW decided to initiate a voluntary recall. Thankfully, the company is not aware of any injuries or accidents linked to the defect.

The fix is pretty straightforward. Upon receiving the recalled vehicles, dealership technicians will replace one or both knee airbag modules with improved versions that are folded correctly. Reimbursement shouldn't be an issue, because all the vehicles subject to this recall are still covered under new-car warranties. BMW expects owners to receive recall notifications by mail in early July. 

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