Detroit | Another potentially deadly problem has surfaced with Takata air bags, this one forcing BMW to recall over 4,000 SUVs in the US and Canada.
The new problem was traced to improper welds, and it’s separate from the trouble that has caused the largest automotive recall in US history.
The latest recall, unveiled today in documents posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, affects certain BMW X3 and X4 SUVs from the 2015 model year, and X5s from 2014 and 2015. The driver’s front air bag inflator can separate from a plate, shooting out metal and other debris.
“This may result in injury or death to vehicle occupants,” BMW said in the documents.
No injuries have been reported, and NHTSA says the problem inflators from this manufacturing lot were not installed in any other vehicles made by BMW or other automakers.
The agency says the inflators will be tested as a precaution to make sure there are no other problems. BMW says the inflators were not part of any earlier Takata recalls.
It’s a new problem for Takata in addition to the one that brought the recall of 69 million vehicles in the US and about 100 million worldwide.
In those vehicles, the ammonium nitrate used by Takata to inflate air bags can deteriorate when exposed to high heat and humidity.
That can cause it to burn faster than designed, blowing apart a metal inflator canister and sending shrapnel into drivers and passengers. As many as 15 people, including 10 in the US, have been killed by exploding Takata inflators, and more than 100 have been hurt.