Bankrupt air bag maker Takata is recalling about 1.4 million driver's side inflators in the U.S. because they could explode and hurl shrapnel. They also may not inflate properly to protect people in a crash.
BMW already has issued recalls, and the other automakers will follow.
Unlike previous recalls, the non-azide inflators do not use volatile ammonium nitrate to fill the air bags in a crash.
Takata says in government documents that it made about 4.5 million of the inflators worldwide but only a portion are still in use because the vehicles are so old.
BMW is telling owners of some older 3-Series cars not to drive them because of potentially dangerous Takata air bag inflators.
The German automaker recalled more than 116,000 of the cars in the U.S. as part of a larger recall of 1.4 million inflators by the bankrupt Takata.
The BMW recalls come after a BMW driver in Australia was killed by shrapnel hurled by a driver's air bag. BMW says in documents posted by the U.S. government Wednesday that another Australian and a driver in Cyprus were injured.
The BMW recall covers certain 3-Series cars in the U.S. from the 1999 through 2001 model years. The German automaker is recommending that people not drive their vehicles until repairs are made.
The inflators were made before March 15, 1999 and were not sealed properly, according to BMW documents posted by NHTSA.
BMW said in documents posted by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that the driver of a 1998 3-Series car was killed. The injured Australian driver was in a 2000 3-Series, while the injured driver in Cyprus was driving a 1998 3-Series vehicle.