Friday

BMW Airbags Investigated


Does a lit up air bag warning light mean anything? Well, it probably does if you're driving a BMW.

BMW has long been a brand that tried to communicate key concepts to its customers. Excellence, engineering quality, sporty --- these are just a few. And then there's safety. That's where the vehicle air bag system comes in.

Federal safety investigators have opened a "preliminary evaluation" investigation into several BMW models due to front passenger air bag malfunctions. The suspect models include the 2005 and 2006 5 Series, 2005 525I, 530I, 545I, 745I, 745LI, 760I, 760LI, and the X3, along with the 2006 & Series and 750LI.

Apparently some air bag malfunction renders the air bag inoperative. About 66,000 vehicles are being involved in the safety investigation.

A Preliminary Evaluation is the initial phase of a NHTSA safety or defect investigation and is almost always the result of numerous consumer complaints or manufacturer service bulletins that suggest a safety defect may exist. A service bulletin is often the formal notice a vehicle manufacturer sends to its dealers, telling them that they have found something going wrong in their cars and what the dealer should do about it.

The results of a PE determine whether the investigation will be upgraded to an Engineering Analysis or closed. The Engineering Analysis is the next step on the road to a recall. Most PEs are resolved within four months, but not always.

BMW has issued at least one technical service bulletin for the affected vehicles that related to improper illumination of the air bag warning light and the passenger air bag status lamp.

If your vehicle's air bag warning light is lit up, call your dealer right away. And don't take "could not duplicate" for an answer either. Air bag systems are mandatory in new cars sold in the US and there's a good reason for it. Make sure your's works right. It can be a deadly defect if your air bag system doesn't work just when you need it. And in Ohio, like many states, the manufacturer only gets one chance to fix a deadly defect. After that, your car's a lemon.

That means you complain once and if the dealer doesn't get it fixed on the first attempt, you've got a lemon and you may be entitled to a free new car or your money back. Your choice.

If you've got a lemon, don't go it alone. Call us, 888.331.6422 Toll Free from anywhere. Or email us today.

Making manufacturers take back badly built cars and trucks --- that's what we do every day.