German automaker BMW has announced it is recalling 220,000 of its 3 Series vehicles over an air bag problem that already has affected more than one million cars in the United States and over three million world wide.
According to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, affected models — which include 3-Series models from 2002 and 2003, BMW M3 Coupe and M3 Convertible — may be equipped with faulty airbag inflators that may deploy with too much force, causing the inflator to rupture.
The initial recall was announced last month in Japan, but BMW said it needed more time to determine which vehicles were affected.
Though BMW was not aware of any injuries or accidents related to the issue nor of any improper deployments of the airbags in its vehicles, company spokesman Dave Buchko said the defect presented a “risk of fires starting or of passengers being injured by metal fragments shooting up toward the windshield or down into the passenger foot well.”
In the United States, the NHTSA said 42,080 BMW vehicles will be recalled.
BMW is replacing the air bags free of charge for each customer in a service that takes about an hour.
Per the recall notice, the airbags were built by Japanese giant Takata Corporation, the same company that provides automotive parts for several automakers.
Reuters notes that during all this time, there appeared to be only six reported incidents on the road – four in the United States and two in Japan – and another six at Japanese salvage yards dismantling cars. There were no reported injuries.
KTLA has more on the airbag recall that has affected more than three million cars in the video below: