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BMW recalls older vehicles with airbag inflator issue

The airbag inflators in the sports steering wheels may explode

Photo (c) ibreakstock - Fotolia
BMW of North America is recalling 170,148 model year 2000-2003 525i Sedans, 530i Sedans, 540i Sedans, 525i Sports Wagons & 540i Sports Wagons, and model year 2000-2004 X5 SAV 3.0i, X5 SAV 4.4i, and X5 SAV 4.6is vehicles.

The recall applies to vehicles where the original steering wheel has been replaced with the optional sports steering wheel.

The sports steering wheel has a front airbag inflator that may explode due to propellant degradation occurring after long-term exposure to high absolute humidity, temperature and temperature cycling.

An inflator explosion may result in sharp metal fragments striking the driver or other occupants resulting in serious injury or death.

What to do

BMW will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the vehicle for an optional sports steering wheel with an affected inflator. Dealers will replace the airbag module as necessary, free of charge.

The recall is expected to begin March 4, 2019.

Owners may contact BMW customer service at 1-800-525-7417.

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