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VOL. 44 | NO. 3 | Friday, January 17, 2020

BMW recalls about 357K vehicles for Takata air bag inflators

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DETROIT (AP) — BMW is recalling nearly 357,000 older vehicles in the U.S. to replace dangerous Takata front air bag inflators.

The inflators are among 10 million sold to 14 automakers that Takata is recalling. It's the last recall that the bankrupt Takata agreed to in a 2015 settlement with U.S. safety regulators.

The U.S. government released details of three BMW recalls on Friday. All have inflators that were used to replace older ones until permanent replacements were ready.

The first recall covers about 293,000 3-Series cars from 2000 through 2006. The second covers nearly 60,000 3 Series and 1 Series cars from 2006 through 2012. Also included are X1, X3, X5 and X6 SUVs from as early as 2007 to as late as 2015. The third recall includes just over 4,000 X5 and X6 SUVs from 2007 to 2012.

Takata used ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion to inflate air bags. The chemical can deteriorate over time when exposed to high heat and humidity and burn too fast, blowing apart a metal canister and hurling shrapnel. Permanent replacements don't use ammonium nitrate.

The BMW inflators are part of a recall that Takata announced earlier this month. They were sold to 14 different automakers, who will conduct their own recalls. Nissan, Ford, Fiat Chrysler, Honda, Subaru, Ferrari, General Motors and Mazda already have made recall announcements.

Takata was to recall about 70 million inflators in the U.S. that as part of the agreement with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

At least 25 people have been killed worldwide and hundreds injured by Takata inflators. About 100 million inflators are being recalled across the globe.

All of the Takata recalls are being phased in by the age of the vehicle and location. Vehicles registered farther south, where conditions are hot and humid, get first priority.

Takata could face additional recalls, though. NHTSA must decide if it has to recall inflators that use ammonium nitrate but have a moisture-absorbing chemical.

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