BMW A.G. has recalled 200,000 vehicles due to the fact that they are concerned that the front passenger airbags may not deploy in a crash. The German automaker noted that the recall involves a 2006 3-Series, the 2004-2006 5-Series and 2004-2006 X3 sport utility vehicle in the U.S. The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration stated in a posting on its website that small cracks could develop in the seat detection mat and deactivate the front passenger airbags. It is further advised that the airbag warning lamp and the passenger airbag “on-off lamp" would remain on. BMW advised that there were no accidents or injuries reported due to this alleged recall defect.
NHTSA opened an investigation into the issue in September 2007 and upgraded its probe in January. In addition to the vehicle under the above recall, the ongoing investigation also includes the 2004-2006 Z4, 2006 X5, 2006-6 Series and some 2004-2006 7-Series vehicles. NHTSA has stated that BMW received 23,739 RT claims over the airbag system by early January. To respond to this problem, BMW said it will extend its warranty to 10 years without any mileage limit for the following vehicles: 2006 6-Series, 2006 3-Series with standard seats, 2004-2005 Z4, 2004-2006 7-Series, 2006 X5, and 2004-2006 5-Series with comfort seats. BMW stated that under the extended warranty program, the detection mat in the vehicle with the airbag system problems would be replaced at no charge to the customer. For more information, owners are asked to contact the manufacturer at 1-800-525-7417 or NHTSA at 1-888-327-4236.
The Pennsylvania airbag defect and SUV rollover law firm of Reiff & Bily has been representing victims (in Pennsylvania and throughout the United States) who have been injured as a result of a defective airbag deployment or non-deployment. Airbags when properly designed prevent death and catastrophic injury. Unfortunately, many airbag systems were designed poorly, resulting in thousands of injuries and fatalities. An individual should assume that an airbag will provide an extra level of protection for drivers and passengers of motor vehicles. Many times defective airbags fail to deploy all together or deploy with too much force, causing injuries such as paralysis, severed brain stems, broken necks, blinding, brain hemorrhages, temporomandibular joint syndrome, facial bone fractures, disfigurement, burst hearts, and other serious injuries or fatalities. Surprisingly, even a low impact or low speed collision can cause an overly aggressive airbags to deploy with too much force, causing an injury that would not have occurred had this defectively designed airbag not been involved.
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