March 2020 recall check: Airbag safety fault forces BMW to recall 67,548 cars

Published 10 March 2020

A serious airbag problem has forced BMW to recall tens of thousands of cars in the UK.

The DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) recall safety notice affects older versions of the BMW 3 Series built between October 1997 and July 2000. However, despite the fact some vehicles in the recall notice are over 20-years old, BMW estimates that as many as 67,548 cars could be affected.

BMW says the airbag may not deploy correctly in event of an accident and owners will be contacted and asked to visit their local BMW dealer or approved workshop to have the air bag inflators replaced.

>>> What is a vehicle recall and how can you check your car?

BMW has also issued a separate safety bulletin for the X6 SUV after it emerged the ISOFIX child restraint U-Loop may break off the carrier plate, resulting in the child seat no longer being secure. Owners of X6 models built between March 2014 and April 2019 will be asked to return to their BMW dealer so an additional metal angle bracket can be welded to each ISOFIX U-Loop.

Ford is also recalling the new Puma crossover after it admitted the driver’s airbag retention springs may not lock the module to the steering wheel. The issue affects 24,249 cars and each one will need to be recalled to the supplying dealer so a replacement airbag retention spring can be installed.

Honda has issued a recall bulletin for the Civic, CR-V and HR-V after it emerged that some 50,000 cars may not meet regulatory requirements for emission levels. The issue affects cars built between February 2015 and May 2018 and owners will be asked to book their car for an engine software update to improve the performance of the emissions control system.

Recall number Make Model Problem Build start Build end
R/2019/403 BMW  3 Series  Drivers airbag may deploy incorrectly.  Oct 1997 Jul 2000
R/2019/397 BMW   X6, X6M The ISOFIX child restraint U-Loop may break off the carrier plate resulting in the child seat no longer being secure.

Mar 2014

Apr 2019


Puma Passenger airbag may deploy incorrectly if activated. Nov 2019 Jan 2020
R/2019/421 Ford Focus A defect on the Power Distribution Box (PDB) pins may potentially cause an intermittent poor connection on a number of terminals. Oct 2019 Oct 2019
R/2020/028 Jeep Wrangler

Insufficient clearance for the transmission wiring harness from catalytic converter.

Oct 2017 Mar 2019
R/2020/016 Hyundai i30 In the event of an impact on the lower part of the vehicle body the airbag may prematurely deploy. May 2007 May 2012
R/2019/455 Kia Sorento GT-Line S The Forward Collision Avoidance Assist system may have problems identifying pedestrians. Jan 2019 Nov 2019 
R/2020/043 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque The Telematics Service Delivery Platform has incorrectly configured the in-vehicle eCall phone number. Jul  2018 Jan 2020
R/2020/010 Mazda Mazda3 The engine may stall or fail to restart in some driving situations. Nov 2018 Sept 2019
R/2020/009 Mazda Mazda3, CX-30 Passenger air bag may deploy incorrectly if activated. April 2019 Oct 2019
R/2019/341 Mercedes-Benz GLE, GLS The fixation of the trim bar at the rear door windows might not meet specification. Oct 2018 Sep 2019
R/2020/034 Skoda Superb Failure of the front turn signal my not always be detected in certain circumstances. May 2013 Apr 2015
R/2019/450 Vauxhall Corsa Seat belts might stick when pulled out and retracted. May 2019 Jun 2019



yokohamapete    on 12 March 2020

I was told by BMW that I was the first to take my car in re this recall. I was naturally very surprised as my 1998 318i was in its 22nd year. The outcome was that BMW have offered to buy back the car for a price a little over the market price. They also provided a hire car for 10 days while I found another car, and they have given my new car a health check which was very useful. As far as I understand it, the first cars to suffer from the problem were the facelift models introduced at the end of 1998. Ours was the first of these in the area being manufactured in November 1998. I understood the problem was that the airbag was liable to go off for little or no reason - but I might be wrong on this.
Altogether BMW have been pretty fair regarding this. The car was pretty old, but being the last car my parents owned was quite an heirloom. P Jackson Huddersfield

NickNike    on 13 March 2020

Perhaps they should have engineered this properly in the first place. German cars are way overpriced, and a masterclass of image over quality. I see BMW also came bottom of a UK reliability review by JD Power recently. I look at a BMW driver, and think 'mug'.

expertad    on 23 August 2020

It is a Japanese airbag part.BMW pre 2000 were by far the best cars on the road,which is why my garage contains a 19 98 740 i and 528i from the same vintage.The 'JD power' survey is probably the result of ustomer expectations being so high, VW have the same problem. I imagine Skoda or Kia are probably quite high on it.Having processed BMW warranty claims for twenty years,they did get more frequent as time went on.........

yokohamapete    on 15 March 2020

I understand that the faulty items were provided by Takata of Japan. This problem affects a number of brands - particularly Honda, Mazda and Ford - millions of cars all together. In this case, BMW have at least stepped up and taken responsibility.

expertad    on 23 August 2020

What is the market price for a 98 318i? 500 quid?

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