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Discussion Starter #1
So apparently a lot of airbags have been recalled.

Takata Prepares To Take $440 Million Hit From Airbag Recalls

So far, it doesn't look like the E39 is affected by the recall, but I was wondering if we have the same brand of airbag in our cars. Considering that they were manufactured around the same time as the recalled 3-series, I would assume so.

Normally I wouldn't be overly concerned if there are no outstanding recalls, but my next door neighbour happened to get in a front end collision by a drunk driver last year in his E39 540i, and the airbag went off. He received a number of lacerations on his face, and for one reason or another he is under the impression that they are from the airbag. After more than a year, and 3 surgeries, his vision in one eye is still not good.

Now, I haven't talked with him extensively about the accident (he's a pretty private person), but I wonder if our cars may soon be involved in this recall, and more importantly, if they are safe.

Anyone know what brand of airbags the E39's have?
 

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Interested to know as well, my wife told me about this last night.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
According to Reuters (BMW to recall 1.6 million cars on concerns over Takata air bags | Reuters), the recall affects 1.6 million 3 series with manufacture dates between May 1999 and August 2006 - 574,000 of which went to the US market
I saw this as well, but just because the E39 isn't included in the recall yet, doesn't mean it shouldn't, or won't be in the future. According to the Jalopnik article, there could be more recalls coming. I guess my question is whether the E39 has a similar system to those that have been recalled, or if this kind of defect could have been responsible for my neighbours injuries...
 

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I share your worry on this one as well. Didn't the 'new' multi-function steering wheel share components with the E46, which was included in this recent recall? or was it just the wheel itself?

I found another recall for the E39 related to the airbag control module released back in 2003: http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchDetails
 

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I share your worry on this one as well. Didn't the 'new' multi-function steering wheel share components with the E46, which was included in this recent recall? or was it just the wheel itself?

I found another recall for the E39 related to the airbag control module released back in 2003: http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchDetails
ok my link didn't work, but here is the text:

SUMMARY:
ON CERTAIN PASSENGER VEHICLES, A MICROPROCESSOR IN THE AIR BAG CONTROL MODULE, WHICH ACTIVATES THE FRONT AIR BAGS, THE SIDE AIR BAGS, THE FRONT SEAT SAFETY BELT PRETENSIONERS, AND THE BATTERY SAFETY TERMINAL, MAY HAVE A MALFUNCTION THAT COULD LEAD TO AN UNINTENDED ACTIVATION OF ONE OR MORE OF THESE COMPONENTS.
CONSEQUENCE:
UNEXPECTED DEPLOYMENT OF THE AIR BAG(S) COULD CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY IF AN OCCUPANT IS TOO CLOSE TO THE DEPLOYING AIR BAG(S). IN ADDITION, THE BATTERY SAFETY TERMINAL MAY ALSO BE ACTIVATED. IF THAT HAPPENS, THE STARTER CABLE WOULD BECOME DISCONNECTED FROM THE BATTERY, AND THE ENGINE COULD NOT BE RESTARTED.
REMEDY:
DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE AIR BAG CONTROL MODULE. OWNER NOTIFICATION BEGAN NOVEMBER10, 2003. OWNERS SHOULD CONTACT BMW AT 1-800-831-1117.
NOTES:
CUSTOMERS CAN ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S AUTO SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).
 

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just because the E39 and E46 were built by BMW and during the same years is irrelevant when it comes to parts suppliers. having worked with Auto OEMs and tier ones each platform gets bid on by suppliers so one model may use a part from supplier x and another y. this could be very well the case here and why the E39 is not listed on the recall.
 

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I share your worry on this one as well. Didn't the 'new' multi-function steering wheel share components with the E46, which was included in this recent recall? or was it just the wheel itself?

I found another recall for the E39 related to the airbag control module released back in 2003: http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchDetails
the recall is for the passenger airbag not the drivers side.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
just because the E39 and E46 were built by BMW and during the same years is irrelevant when it comes to parts suppliers. having worked with Auto OEMs and tier ones each platform gets bid on by suppliers so one model may use a part from supplier x and another y. this could be very well the case here and why the E39 is not listed on the recall.
That's what I was kind of hoping to find out, but I can't seem to ascertain who manufactured the airbags on the E39...
 

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Any airbag can cause scratches on the face or etc as you describe. That is normal and not what the recall is about. I have no doubts that the cuts on your neighbors face are from the airbag, but I think he should be thankful hes alive as without an airbag he may not be so lucky.

The recall from what I can tell is also about passengar airbags in the BMWs affected, it sounds like your neighbor was driving so this would not affect him. I see nothing indicating BMW is replacing anything other than the passengar dash airbag on affected cars.
 

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Normally I wouldn't be overly concerned if there are no outstanding recalls, but my next door neighbour happened to get in a front end collision by a drunk driver last year in his E39 540i, and the airbag went off. He received a number of lacerations on his face, and for one reason or another he is under the impression that they are from the airbag. After more than a year, and 3 surgeries, his vision in one eye is still not good.
Sorry to hear about your neighbor, although I'm glad his injuries don't sound to have been life threatening. Blackxs is absolutely right about airbags possibly causing lacerations, and ours are especially bad for that in particular. Have you ever taken a close look at the roundel on the airbag? It's not a sticker, and it's not plastic. It's actually a metal disc with prongs around the edges that fit through little slots cut in the plastic of the airbag cover and are folded over from the inside to hold it in place. When the airbag is deployed the force of it opening basically tears it into little shards of metal that are either thrown at your face at several hundred feet per second or maybe the pieces stay clamped to the shreds of the cover that your face will still slam into as it's slowed by the bag. Either way, I'd expect that little badge to add a little more damage than just the burns/abrasions from the bag material.
 

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To revive a old thread, the E39's are recalled now. However, there are no parts available to replace them at this time.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I saw this as well. So I guess, just don't get in an accident until AFTER they get the parts in and find the time to perform the recall. Sounds simple enough.
 

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Given the amount of E39's involved in crashes where airbags have been deployed and occupants not excessively hurt beyond the normal scope of an airbag I'd say worry about more likely things, like dying of a bee sting or being struck by lightning.


Between 1990 and 2006, 262 people died as a result of airbags. At least 146 of those killed were either not wearing a seat belt or improperly restrained. OK, another 9 years passed since those stats after a brief look, but extremely unlikely that your 15 year old E39 is about to kill you on impact
 

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I've also just got one for the E46 driver's side. Recall 15V-318. It includes 5 series and X5s as well. I had the passenger one done 2 months ago.
 

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I received a letter from BMW concerning this recall, as I hope most of you have. According to BMW the only airbag needing a recall is the driver's side steering wheel bag. The notice proclaimed that they are not yet able to perform the repairs, which they say will be done at your local BMW dealer, because they do not have parts available. They say they will send out another note in the mail as soon as parts become available. Anyhow, the recall campaign # is: 15V-318. All of this is from a July 2015 notice.

Hope this may help if help is needed.

Z
 
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