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BMW Airbag Explosion Lawsuit

BMW Airbag Explosion Lawsuit

BMW is warning thousands of owners not to drive their vehicles because the airbags can explode and shoot out pieces of metal that cause severe injuries or death.

What You Can Do & How We Can Help

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting BMW airbag induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know was injured or died when a BMW airbag exploded, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Airbag Injury Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

Safety Officials Demand Recall for ARC Airbag Inflators

Safety officials with the U.S. government are warning drivers that 52 million airbag inflators manufacutred by ARC Automotive and Delphi Automotive between 2000 and January 2018 are dangerously defective because they can explode and shoot out deadly pieces of metal shrapnel.

At least 2 deaths and 7 injuries have been reported. These airbag inflators were installed in vehicles sold by BMW and 11 other auto-makers in the U.S., according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

2017 BMW X5 Air Bag Recall

In March 2017, BMW recalled certain X5 vehicles because the ARC airbag inflators could rupture and shoot out metal fragments:

“If the inflator cannot vent properly, the inflator may rupture, resulting in metal fragments striking the vehicle occupants and causing serious injury or death.”

The recall involves airbags on certain 2017 X5 sDrive35i, X5 xDrive35i, X5 xDrive50i, X5 xDrive35d, and X5 xDrive40e vehicles. According to BMW, the airbag inflators “may not vent properly in the event of a crash necessitating deployment of the passenger frontal air bag.”

BMW Says ‘Do Not Drive’ 90,000 Vehicles With Recalled Airbags

In May 2023, BMW warned that 90,000 vehicles from 2000-2006 were too dangerous to drive because the airbags can shoot out deadly pieces of metal. The heightened warning involves the following vehicles:

  • 2000-2006 BMW 3 Series (E46) including M3
  • 2000-2003 5 Series (E39) including M5
  • 2000-2004 X5 (E53)

What is the Problem?

The airbags on these older-model vehicles have a 50% chance of exploding, even after minor fender-benders. The vehicles were previously recalled along with thousands of newer-model BMWs, but so few were repaired (and the risk is so high) that BMW decided to issue a stronger warning.

Deadly Risk Increases As Time Goes On

As time goes on, there is a higher risk that the BMW airbags will explode and shoot out metal at a driver’s head or neck. The “risk to vehicle occupants is dire” because the airbags “have an extremely high probability of failure during a crash,” according to a Consumer Alert issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

According to NHTSA Acting Administrator Ann Carlson:

“These inflators are two decades old now, and they pose a 50% chance of rupturing in even a minor crash. Don’t gamble with your life or the life of someone you love – schedule your free repair today before it’s too late.”

Full List of BMWs Under Recall for Takata Airbags

BMW has recalled vehicles from the 2000-2015 model-years to replace driver and passenger airbag inflators made by Takata.

Airbags in older vehicles that are currently (or were previously) located in hot and humid climates pose the highest risk, but if any of these vehicles are not fixed, the airbags can explode and cause serious injury or death.

The following BMWs are affected by the recall:

  • 2008-2013 1 Series
  • 2000-2013 3 Series
  • 2000-2003 5 Series
  • 2013-2015 X1
  • 2007-2010 X3
  • 2000-2004 X5
  • 2007-2013 X5
  • 2008-2014 X6

How Many People Have Died?

Exploding airbags made by Takata have killed at least 33 people and caused more than 400 injuries worldwide since 2009, with most of the victims located in the United States.

How Many Airbag Inflators Were Recalled?

Takata Corp., a Japanese auto parts manufacturer, declared bankruptcy after recalling more than 67 million airbag inflators worldwide, covering vehicles manufactured by 19 auto-makers.

What Causes Takata Airbag Inflators to Explode?

Long-term exposure to high heat and humidity can cause Takata airbags to explode and shoot out metal shrapnel when they deploy. This problem is linked to Takata’s decision to use a cheap but highly-explosive chemical called ammonium nitrate to inflate the airbag.

Design Flaws & Explosive Chemicals

Takata failed to mix the ammonium nitrate with a moisture-reducing material. After years of exposure to moisture in the air and temperature changes, ammonium nitrate can explode all at once.

Poor design was another factor. Takata airbag inflators are housed in a metal canister. If the canister ruptures, it can eject metal fragments through the airbag at a high speed. The injuries caused by these metal fragments often resemble gunshots or stab wounds to the neck.

What is the Risk?

Drivers and passengers are at risk of being hit in the face, head, or neck by sharp pieces of metal from an exploding airbag. They can bleed to death, suffer blindness, permanent scarring or other injuries.

Even more frightening, many severe injuries and deaths from Takata airbags occur after minor collisions, fender-benders, bumping a curb, or rear-end collisions that would not have normally ended in tragedy.

These horrific accidents continue to occur on a routine basis. This is because so many vehicles were recalled, so few were repaired, and auto-makers have been unable to contact the new owners of vehicles that have been re-sold.

Safety Risks of BMW Airbag Explosions

  • Bleeding to death
  • Injuries resembling gunshot or stab wounds
  • Blindness or vision loss
  • Lacerations
  • Scarring or disfigurement
  • Brain bleeding
  • Skull fracture
  • Chest wounds
  • Death

BMW Joins $553 Million Airbag Lawsuit Settlement

BMW has already been hit by multiple class action lawsuits involving defective Takata airbag inflators. In 2017, BMW and three other auto-makers agreed to pay a $553 million settlement to exit a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) where these lawsuits were centralized. This settlement only involved economic losses, NOT personal injuries or property damage. For more information, visit the settlement website at

Do I have a BMW Airbag Explosion Lawsuit?

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting BMW airbag induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know was injured or died when a BMW airbag exploded, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Airbag Injury Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

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