TOKYO – BMW Group said today it is recalling about 110,000 cars in Japan over potentially faulty airbag inflators made by Takata Corp., as part of the auto industry's largest ever global call back.
The automaker recalled 44 models including its 1-series 116i and 118i hatchbacks and the 3-series 320i sedan to replace passenger-side airbags made by the supplier, according to a filing to Japan's transport ministry.
Affected vehicles were produced between 2004 and 2012.
Defective Takata airbags have been linked to at least 14 deaths and 150 injuries worldwide as the ammonium nitrate-based propellant used in its inflators has a tendency to explode following prolonged exposure to hot, humid conditions, spraying metal shrapnel at the car's occupants.
Today's recall comes after Japan's transport ministry in May ordered automakers to recall an additional 7 million vehicles in Japan equipped with Takata airbag inflators which do not contain a drying agent, in phases by 2019, following an expanded recall by U.S. authorities.
Battered by the recalls, Takata is looking for a financial backer to help overhaul its business and carry ballooning costs as its stock price has crumbled almost 90 percent since early 2014 and it faces potentially billions of dollars of liabilities.