BMW Recalls 622,000 SUVs Over Child Restraint Concerns

Image courtesy of Norm

As technology has improved, so has the way in which children are secured in vehicles, from car seats to child seat anchors. However, the safety of a child is only possible if these devices are working. And it turns out the anchor bars in hundreds of thousands of BMW SUVs might not work as intended. 

BMW announced recently that it would recall 622,000 model year 2011 to 2017 X3 and model year 2015 to 2017 X4 SUVs worldwide, including approximately 188,668 in the U.S., because the child seat anchors in the vehicle may fail to hold the seat properly.

According to a notice [PDF] posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration this week, the anchor bars in the vehicles can be damaged when people use a certain type of child seat.

“The affected vehicles have lower anchor bars for securing child restraint seats that may become damaged when using the European-ISOFIX-type, rigid-style connector, child restraint system,” the carmaker says in the notice.

If the lower anchor bars are damaged, it can increase the child’s risk of injury in the event of a crash.

BMW says in a chronology [PDF] provided to NHTSA that it became aware of the issue in March 2015 after receiving a field report on a 2011 X3 in Europe.

“The customer noticed that his unoccupied child restraint moved sideways when the vehicle travelled along a curve, and that one of the lower anchor bars was damaged,” the report states.

The carmaker requested the parts for evaluation including the lower anchor bars and cross-member of the vehicle body to which the bars were attached. That same month and the following, BMW says it became aware of two other damaged anchor bars.

Tests on the bars found an insufficient weld of the lower anchor bar to the bar’s mounting plate.

The company says it has not received any reports, and is not aware of any injuries or fatalities related to the issue.

BMW says it will notify owners, and dealers will weld a reinforcing bracket to the lower anchor bars and the vehicle body, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin on July 12, 2016.

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