Japan’s Takata Corp has also been a supplier of airbags for a number of BMW Group cars, and part of the extensive investigation conducted jointly by the parts maker and automakers, the German company has started probing some of its cars.
The review includes an analysis of a limited amount of autos that are located in Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, according to the largest premium cars maker in the world.
“It is not a safety recall, it is a special technical campaign,” said a company spokesperson.
According to BMW, the potential problematic airbags have been installed in the E46 3-Series built between June 2000 and August 2006 and are only similar – not the same – with the airbags from Takata that have already been identified as faulty.
The investigation comes after a request made by America’s federal safety watchdog, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which is conducting now an extensive probe seeking to find if Takata airbags – which have been found that the inflators are exposed to the risk of explosion, thus sending shrapnel into the cabin – are also prone to failure in regions that have high humidity.
The problem with Takata’s inflators is that its inflators – which need to save passengers by inflating the airbag in fractions of a second – were equipped with explosives that were mishandled or had a broken calibration.