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BMW is recalling 200,000 units of its 3 Series, 5 Series and X3 SUVs to repair potentially faulty air bag sensors. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website says the recall campaign covers 2004-2006 5 Series, 2004-2006 X3 and 2006 3 Series vehicles, though only those equipped with sport seats.

Apparently the problem is with the front passenger sport seat that, over time, develops cracks in its covering. An air bag sensor beneath the area can then be damaged so that the car no longer senses the weight of a passenger. That means, of course, the passenger airbag might not be deployed in an accident.

BMW is doing the right thing by quickly addressing the issue even though no accidents or incidents have been reported in relation to the problem. Also, according to NHTSA, the company will extend the warranties of several of BMW models to cover the issue for 10 years with no mileage restriction. A summary of the recall No. 08V384000 is available here from NHTSA.

[Source: Associated Press via CNN]


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  • 19 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Yet again I ask why the frack don't the German luxury brands allow for us to choose cloth seats as an option. They are more comfortable, more resilient, and they don't crack.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Sorry correction 2000! Not 2003
      • 7 Years Ago
      I had a m3 2003 coupe and I had a lemon law on that issue. I think it goes back ALOT more then 2004. I hate BMW. Freaken horrible Service techs there. Thats why they have the longer warranty. So after the warranty runs out they figure most would trade in there car for a new one. And they fix the problem like it was nothing and resell it. Thats how BMW makes there kick back money. F-ERS! DOWN WITH THE GERMAN CARS!!!!!
        • 7 Years Ago
        Hey Matt,
        It was the waterpump at one time, then it was an exhaust, turbo and vanos issue that did her in. I had several "Engine Malfunction, Reduced Power" warnings. Not to mention a few random problems like the right head light pointing skyward, HVAC freaking out, iDrive failure and an incessant squeak from the rear brakes.
        No transmission problems, it was a 6MT :D
        • 7 Years Ago
        Mike, was it the water pump, overheating transmission, or neither?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Turbo?

        Maybe your problems were due to a crappy install, or maybe those particular motors aren't too boost-friendly?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Wow... seems like you had more of a problem with a crappy dealership then with the car. I had a lemon 335i and have never experienced a better, more attentive customer service center. Both my sales rep and my service rep were extremely attentive and concerned to the point where they initiated the Lemon Law process (of course after a few attempts at repairing the car). All the service techs at my dealership are BMW Master Technicians, so maybe that helped.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If this was Ford, GM or Chrysler it would be front page of every newspaper "Possible deaths due to faulty airbag" the american media does everything possible to hack our own and makes people believe what everybody else makes is better, sad.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Man you said it alright! Everyone wants the domestic manufacturers to die, can you imagine what would happen to this country's economy if one, let alone all three collapsed. I hope everyone on here understands the magnatude of their wish.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is the 2nd recall this year that the vendor of these sensors is involved in. Not good for a relatively small company.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Paul34- lets just say that engineering practices at the sensor vendor may not be enough to cover all variances in certain models. These sensors came on-line in the last 7 years (required starting 06) and there is still some adjustment. Seat designs have to be locked in much earlier with this type of sensor, and any material change requires more testing to ensure the sensor will function properly. Other sensing methods are more robust to trim changes, but have drawbacks in their sensing ability. Of course, if people could just manage to stick their offspring in the back seat, we wouldn't have this problem.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I don't see what that has to do with anything. The flaw is in the seat material design, not the sensors themselves.

        Obviously when the sensor gets exposed to extreme conditions beyond its design (like direct, uneven, and full body force in a non-squishy enviornment) it is going to react unpredictably, probably in a destructive manner.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Cars these days are just so jam packed with technology that it seems almost like a miracle if a new car isn't recalled for a fault at some stage or another.
      ----
      This post has been listed on http://www.DriveCritic.com/
      • 7 Years Ago
      i still think the overheating issue is the worst - German engieered, I guess they really meassed this one up
      • 7 Years Ago
      Nothing seems to be going right for owners of the '06 3xx. First BMW stiffed them with the 328 and 335 in '07 and now this.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Here is some more accurate info on this from:
        AUTOTECH DAILY
        is a publication of
        Hampton AutoBeat LLC
        Box 33068
        Bloomfield Hills, MI
        48303-3068
        Bill Hampton, Publisher
        (248) 540-2530
        bill@autotechdaily.com

        BMW AG is recalling 200,000 vehicles due to a faulty seat position sensor that could
        crack, causing the front passenger airbag to be disabled when it shouldn’t.
        BMW had maintained the situation
        didn’t warrant a recall
        because a warning light notifies
        motorists when the airbag is disabled.
        But it has now agreed to
        notify owners and plans to reconfigure
        the mat on affected models
        and extend the warranty on
        another 120,000 vehicles to 10
        years to cover potential problems
        with the system.
        The campaign includes the 2006 3 Series, 2004-2006 5 Series and the 2004-2006
        X3 compact SUV. No related accidents or injuries have been reported.
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