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BMW recalls over 350,000 cars with defective Takata air bags

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG will recall a combined approximately 356,920 vehicles sold in the U.S. with potentially deadly Takata Corp. air bags, according to separate notices from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA.

The German carmaker's U.S. arm, BMW of North America LLC, will conduct three series of recalls, beginning March 6, covering a range of models from years 2000-2015.

The first recall is for about 292,948 BMW cars of model years 2000-2006, including series 3 vehicles and the BMW M3. The second recall is for approximately 59,965 BMW series 1 and 3 vehicles, M3 models and BMW X vehicles of model years 2006-2015 and another recall covering about 4,007 units of BMW X5, X6 and X6 ActiveHybrid vehicles of model years 2007-2012.

According to separate recall notices from the NHTSA, these vehicles were equipped with Takata air bag inflators that may explode due to propellant degradation that happens when a vehicle is exposed to high temperatures. This issue may potentially cause sharp metal fragments to strike drivers or occupants, increasing the risk of serious injury or death.

The components in question were used as interim remedy parts for previous Takata recalls, according to the notices. An estimated 1% of cars involved in each batch of recalls are believed to possess the defect.

The company will have dealers replace the air bags of the affected cars, free of charge.

BMW's recalls are part of the mass recall of vehicles fitted with Takata air bags that have been linked to fatalities and injuries globally in previous years.