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March 29, 1999

NHTSA 20-99
Contact: Tim Hurd
Tel. No. (202) 366-9550

Bayerische Motoren Werke

BMW 323i Year: 1999
BMW 328i Year: 1999
Number Involved: 32,500
Dates of Manufacture: June 1998 - March 1999
Defect: These vehicles are built with a side air bag system consisting of door-mounted thorax air bags (rear door air bags are optional), a head protection system (HPS) for front occupants, a central electronic sensor and diagnostic system, left and right satellite impact sensors, and associated wiring. This system is unduly sensitive to certain non-crash impacts, such as contacting large potholes or curbs at substantial speed. This could cause the side air bag and HPS to deploy without an actual side crash.

Remedy: Dealers will reprogram the central computer control module that regulates the performance of all of the vehicle's occupant protection systems. Owner notification was to begin during April 1999. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact BMW at 1-800-831-1117.

[NHTSA Recall No. 99V063]