BMW cars recalled in Australia after faulty airbag claims a life

Some 12,000 BMW vehicles are being urgently recalled as authorities investigate two suspected Takata airbag misdeployments in Australia, which killed one person and seriously injured another.

The ACCC and the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development announced on Thursday they were working with police and other authorities to understand the facts surrounding the two incidents.

BMW in Australia on Thursday began a voluntary recall of its E46 3 Series cars produced between November 1997 and June 2000.

BMW in Australia began a voluntary recall of BMW E46 3 Series cars, produced between November 1997 and June 2000. Source: File/Getty Images

The ACCC said it came after safety authorities identified a pattern of abnormal airbag deployments involving BMW cars in Australia, Japan and the United States.

If a vehicle with an affected airbag crashes, the airbag inflator could rupture, causing sharp metal fragments to enter the vehicle cabin at high speed, the ACCC said.

Owners of the vehicles are advised to stop driving them immediately and contact their local BMW dealership or BMW Australia's Takata hotline on 1800 243 675 for a free inspection.

"BMW will arrange to tow your vehicle to repair facilities for inspection, or send a mobile technician out to your premises or vehicle's location to inspect the vehicle," ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said in a statement on Thursday.

A deployed airbag pictured, the same deemed faulty in recalled BMW cars. Source: File/Getty Images

"If your vehicle has been fitted with one of these dangerous airbags, BMW will arrange a loan or hire car or reimbursement for alternative transportation costs until airbag replacement parts are available or until other arrangements are made. 

"You may also wish to discuss the vehicle being purchased back by BMW."

The airbags are Takata NADI-type 5AT airbags and are not part of the current Takata airbag compulsory recall.

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