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‘Don’t drive it’: BMW warns owners of 12,000 cars to stop driving immediately after serious fault discovered

BMW has taken the drastic measure of asking owners of 12,663 cars to stop driving them immediately, after a serious airbag fault was discovered.

The vehicles affected are 3 Series models manufactured between 1997 and 2000.

The faulty airbags in the vehicles have been linked to a fatality and a serious injury in two crashes in Australia, as well as other incidents in Japan and the US.

ACCC Deputy Chair, Delia Rickard, said it’s a “serious concern”.

“If it’s affected, stop driving it,” she told 3AW’s Ross and John.

The recall is not part of the widespread Takata airbag recall, but the affected airbags are also produced by Takata.

“These are Takata airbags, but they’re different sorts of airbags to the ones that we’ve all heard about from the Takata recall over the last couple of years,” Ms Rickard said.

“The problem is that the end result, in terms of how they mis-deploy, spraying shrapnel through the car, is very similar.”

Car owners are being urged to go to or call 1800 243 675 to check if their vehicle is affected.

BMW is providing loan cars, replacement cars, or purchasing faulty vehicles from affected owners.

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Image: Bloomberg