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Fears Takata airbag killed second Aussie

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A warning for defective Takata airbags has been upgraded to 'critical' for 20,000 vehicles.

BMW E46 models, such as this 330i, are at the centre of a new Takata recall.Source:News Corp Australia

Deadly Takata airbags may have killed a second Australian driver.

Authorities are investigating the death of a BMW driver believed to have been killed by a faulty airbag, triggering fresh recalls.

Details surrounding the incident are slim – the ACCC, Department of Infrastructure and BMW have declined to say where or when the fatality occurred, or release any details relating to the driver.

But the ACCC has warned more than 12,000 owners of BMW E46 3 Series models built between 1997 and 2000 to stop driving immediately.

It said “two recent suspected misdeployments of these inflators” resulted in “a death and a serious injury” in Australia.

The development follows the death of Sydney man Huy Neng Ngo who died when the airbag in his Honda ruptured in July 2017, and a 21-year-old woman who suffered serious injuries when the airbag in her Toyota failed in the Northern Territory in April 2017.

Police are working with the ACCC and Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development to investigate more recent incidents.

The vehicles were not part of existing mandatory recalls.

BMW Australia spokeswoman Leanne Blanckenberg said a particular batch of Takata airbags “may not function entirely correctly due to a manufacturing defect”.

“We are currently checking this matter in more detail together with the Australian authorities,” she said.

“In addition, we are taking immediate steps to prevent the affected vehicles from being driven and implementing measures to minimise inconvenience to owners of those vehicles by providing alternative means of transportation.”

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They declined to confirm or deny whether their airbags had been involved in any incident resulting in a death.

Customers affected by the new recall, which surrounds 20-year-old cars, can receive a loan car or reimbursement for alternative transportation costs until airbag replacement parts are available.

Takata airbags are in millions of vehicles that are manufactured by BMW, Chrysler, Daimler Trucks, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota. Picture: Getty

Takata airbags are in millions of vehicles that are manufactured by BMW, Chrysler, Daimler Trucks, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota. Picture: GettySource:Supplied

ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said people should stop driving E46-generation BMW 3 Series models and contact BMW on its Takata hotline, 1800 243 675.

“Because of the critical level of risk, the ACCC urges people to stop driving their vehicle immediately and to contact BMW to arrange to have their vehicle inspected as soon as possible,” Ms Rickard said.

“BMW will arrange to tow your vehicle to repair facilities for inspection, or send a mobile technician out to your premises or vehicle’s location to inspect the vehicle.”

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BMW E46 models, such as this 330i, part of the Takata recall.

BMW E46 models, such as this 330i, part of the Takata recall.Source:News Corp Australia

“If your vehicle has been fitted with one of these dangerous airbags, BMW will arrange a loan or hire car or reimbursement for alternative transportation costs until airbag replacement parts are available or until other arrangements are made.

“You may also wish to discuss the vehicle being purchased back by BMW.”

The vehicles involved include the BMW 316i, 318i, 320i, 323i, 325i, 328i, 330i, 318Ci, 320Ci, 323Ci, 328Ci and 330Ci coupe and sedan.

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