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Here we go again – another Takata airbag recall, this time for BMW. Specifically, 90,000 BMW models from 2000 to 2006. And despite these vehicles being over 20 years old, the latest BMW airbag recall includes a do not drive alert as the problem becomes more worrisome over time.

The E46 BMW M3, like this one in silver, is included in the latest airbag recall

BMW models included in the newest airbag recall

While BMW includes just 90,000 vehicles in the latest recall, there are several popular enthusiast and luxury models on the list. These include the E46 BMW 3 Series from 2000 to 2006, as well as the 2000-2003 BMW 5 Series lineup. In addition, the 2000 to 2004 BMW X5s SUVs include affected airbags and require repairs as soon as possible.

This isn’t the first time that these models have been under recall. But, because BMW considers this an escalating issue, it has upgraded the recall to a Do Not Drive order.

The latest BMW Takata airbag recall is a re-issue

Takata airbag deployed, part of a recall
Deployed airbag | Joe Readle, Getty Images

It’s rare for an automaker to reissue a recall for a known problem, but in this case the circumstances are extreme. According to a release from BMW, many vehicles haven’t gotten the necessary repairs to ensure driver and passenger safety. The release further states, “as the airbag inflators age further, the risk of serious injury or death increases.”

Furthermore, the latest airbag recall from BMW has escalated from a service recommendation to a Do Not Drive order. This means that any unrepaired BMW with an affected Takata airbag should be considered unsafe to drive until it is fixed.

The German automaker sent emails to the affected vehicle’s owners at the time of release, while physical letters will follow next month.

Why the Takata airbag recall is so serious

If you’re wondering why you’ve heard so much about the Takata airbag recall for the past several years, there ar several reasons. For one, airbags are critical safety systems designed to protect occupants in the event of a crash. But moreover, a faulty airbag is liable to become a hazard rather than a safety feature when activated.

Degrading chemicals inside the airbag inflator can cause the housing to rupture. Then, instead of properly inflating the airbag for protection, it can send metal shrapnel flying into the passenger compartment. As if crashing wasn’t already dangerous enough, BMW models affected by the Takata airbag recall can be deadly, even in a minor collision.

A quick repair can take care of the problem

BMW has been aggressive in its outreach to repair vehicles affected by faulty airbags. Escalating this to a Do Not Drive order is just another step in keeping drivers and occupants safe.

Said Claus Eberhart, VP of Aftersales in North America, “We cannot state strongly enough just how urgent it is for our customers to take this warning seriously. We know these airbags only become more dangerous over time, which is why we are taking yet another step to get these parts out of our vehicles.” He then added, “Repairing these vehicles is quick, easy to arrange, and is completely free of charge.”

Repairs for the Takata airbag recall in affected BMW models are readily available and free of charge. If you believe your BMW may be included in this or any recall, enter your VIN at for confirmation.

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