German automaker BMW said on Wednesday it is recalling about 1.6 million cars worldwide to replace passenger-side front airbags made by Takata Corp because the inflators could break apart during deployment and injure passengers.
The recall affects 3-Series vehicles produced between May 1999 and August 2006.
While BMW is still taking part in a regional recall requested by U.S. safety regulators, BMW spokesman Dave Buchko said it decided to recall all of the model year 2000 through 2006 cars potentially affected by the issue. The recall is an extension of last year's recall of 240,000 cars globally for the same issue, he said.
"As a precaution, we just feel now that the right thing to do is just to bring them all in and replace the passenger-side air bag," Buchko said.
The air bags were supplied by Japan's Takata, which has seen more than 12 million vehicles recalled over the past five years for related air bag issues. Also affected by the regional recall were Honda Motor Co, Toyota Motor Corp, Nissan Motor Co, Mazda Motor Corp, Fuji Heavy Industries-owned Subaru, Mitsubishi, Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' Chrysler brand.
BMW is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to the issue in its cars, Buchko said. The cars previously recalled are not part of this campaign, BMW said.
In the latest recall, about 574,000 of the affected cars were sold in the United States, about 450,000 in Germany and about 189,000 in the United Kingdom. Last year, BMW recalled 42,000 cars in the United States for this issue.