GM and BMW Vehicles Affected by Massive Airbag Recall


  • 2003 Pontiac Vibe Picture

    2003 Pontiac Vibe Picture

    GM and BMW are also part of the wide-ranging recall of defective airbags, according to auto supplier Takata. | April 15, 2013

Just the Facts:
  • General Motors and BMW vehicles are also affected by the massive global recall of airbags supplied by Takata Corp., according to documentation filed by the auto supplier with NHTSA.
  • GM told Edmunds on Monday that an estimated 48,000 2003 Pontiac Vibes are part of the recall of 3.4 million vehicles sold around the world with defective airbags.
  • BMW told Edmunds on Monday that it only found out late last week that some of its vehicles may be affected by the recall and that it is working to identify which ones may be involved.

WASHINGTON — General Motors and BMW vehicles are also affected by the massive global recall of airbags supplied by Takata Corp., according to documentation filed by the auto supplier with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

GM told Edmunds on Monday that an estimated 48,000 2003 Pontiac Vibes are part of the recall of 3.4 million vehicles sold around the world with defective airbags. When the recall was announced last week, only four Japanese automakers were thought to be involved.

BMW told Edmunds on Monday that it only found out late last week that some of its vehicles may be affected by the recall and that it is working to identify which ones may be involved.

BMW spokesman Dave Buchko said in a phone conversation that no BMW vehicles have been recalled at this point.

"We only found out late last week," Buchko said. "We're looking into it."

Alan Adler, a GM spokesman, said in response to an e-mailed query that the 2003 Pontiac Vibe will be part of the Toyota recall of the defective airbags because Toyota engineered and designed the Vibe. The car was jointly manufactured at a Fremont, California plant GM previously ran in a joint venture with Toyota.

"GM will handle the Pontiac customer notification and repairs with parts provided by Toyota," Adler wrote. "Takata listed GM as a customer in its filing because they shipped service parts to GM directly. This airbag module was not used in any other GM vehicles. We show an estimated 48,000 MY2003 Vibes in the U.S.; the number will be confirmed later."

Takata said in its April 11 filing with NHTSA that the airbags for the front passenger seat may not inflate properly because of a manufacturing defect in the propellant used in the airbag inflator. As a result, there is a risk of passengers being injured by metal fragments.

The recall involves such popular models as the Honda Civic, Nissan Maxima and Toyota Camry.

Takata's filing said the defective parts were installed as original equipment on BMW, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Nissan and Toyota vehicles.

"Although Takata knows the number of subject airbag inflators it supplied to each vehicle manufacturer, Takata does not know how many of the subject inflators were installed in vehicles sold in the United States," the filing said.

The document says Takata first learned of the problem from an unidentified automaker in October 2011 after an airbag deployment in Japan. In November 2011, Takata said it was made aware of an incident in which an airbag inflator ruptured in an unidentified vehicle in Puerto Rico. Takata said it is aware of only six incidents where an inflator ruptured in vehicles in the field: four in the U.S. and two in Japan. In addition, there were six incidents that occurred in salvage yards in Japan.

Edmunds says: At this point, the biggest question mark is which BMW vehicles are part of this recall. More information should be forthcoming later this week.

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