Airbag recall extended to thousands of BMWs

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Airbag recall extended to thousands of BMWs

Thousands of BMWs equipped with the problematic Takata airbags will be recalled.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said Thursday that it will recall a total of 3,296 BMWs, including the popular 3 Series compact sedan, manufactured between Jan. 4, 2002, and Jan. 31, 2006. These vehicles included airbags made by the Japanese company Takata, which had a problematic inflation unit that could send metal fragments like shrapnel flying in the event of a crash.

BMW Group has been recalling vehicles equipped with the airbags worldwide, including a recall of some 840,000 in the United States last month. The ministry said the exact schedule for the recall has not been decided, as BMW Korea needs to secure sufficient quantities of replacement parts first. BMW Korea has said it will notify consumers when it is ready.

But the ministry has expressed concerns that few Korean customers will follow through with the recall. It has already called for a recall of other foreign cars that use Takata airbags since 2013, including the Lexus SC430 and Chrysler 300C, but fewer than half the vehicles have been taken in for the repair.

The ministry previously recalled 5,672 Chrysler 300C units, which were imported by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Korea, last year. Only 22.1 percent, or 1,253 vehicles, were returned to be fixed. The ministry said it will ask automakers to resend the recall notifications to encourage owners to replace the parts.

“Consumers generally react to issues directly related to brakes or axel pedals that they use all the time, but it looks like they aren’t sensitive about airbags,” a Transport Ministry spokesman said.

BMW isn’t the only foreign automaker whose cars are being recalled for technical defects. The ministry said Forza Motors Korea will recall a total of 2,403 Maserati Quattroporte and Ghibli luxury sedans manufactured between March 15, 2013, and Dec. 16, 2015, over problems with the floor mat anchor on the driver’s side.


BY KWON SANG-SOO [kwon.sangsoo@joongang.co.kr]


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