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BMW Recall for 2021 Cars - Seatbelt issue

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Over 21,000 vehicles from multiple BMW-owned brands are being recalled to fix faulty passenger seat belt retractors that could pose an issue for anyone trying to install a child car seat.

The recalled vehicles are all from the 2021 model year and include models from BMW, Mini, Rolls-Royce, and Toyota. (Mini and Rolls-Royce are part of the BMW Group, and the Toyota Supra is based on a BMW design.) On the majority of these vehicles, only the front passenger seat belts are affected, and it is not recommended to install a child seat in the front passenger seat. 

However, the 2021 BMW 2 Series convertible and M2 Competition Coupe, 3 Series and M3 sedans, and 5 Series sedan may have faulty automatic locking retractors (ALR) in the rear seats. Because the ALR locks a seat belt tight for a snug car seat installation, a faulty ALR would make it difficult to securely install car seats using a seat belt.

BMW says that the emergency locking retractor (ELR)—which activates during a crash—should still work properly even on the recalled vehicles, so even a belt with a faulty ALR will still restrain a car seat during a crash. However, a belt with a faulty ALR may not allow for a tight enough car seat installation in the first place, which would allow for more movement of the car seat, says Emily Thomas, Ph.D., automotive safety engineer at Consumer Reports.

“When installing a car seat with a seat belt on one of these vehicles, you won’t be able to keep slack out of the seat belt system during an installation to get a secure fit,” she says. 

A fix—which a BMW spokesperson tells CR takes about an hour to complete—is currently available, so owners should contact their dealership as soon as possible to check to see if their car needs a new retractor and have it installed if necessary. In the meantime, BMW says that lower LATCH anchors are not affected by the recall. So Thomas recommends using those anchors to install car seats in the affected vehicles if possible.

“Check the LATCH limits on your car seat. If your child is under the weight limit, install the seat with the lower anchors. If that’s not an option, make sure the top tether is attached for all forward-facing car seats,” she says. “And most importantly, make sure the child is properly harnessed inside the car seat.” A BMW spokesperson told CR the company is not aware of any crashes or injuries related to this recall.

The Details

Vehicles recalled: 

Certain 2021 model year vehicles from four different brands are being recalled, including some of the following:

• BMW 2 Series coupes and convertibles  

• BMW 3 Series and M3 sedans 

• BMW 4 Series and M4 coupes 

• BMW 5 Series sedans

• BMW X1 and X2 SUVs

• BMW Z4 convertibles

 Mini Cooper hatchbacks and convertibles

 Mini Clubman hatchbacks

• Mini Countryman SUVs

• Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUVs

• Rolls-Royce Ghost and Phantom sedans

 Toyota Supra coupes. 

Only a small percentage of these vehicles actually have the faulty retractor.

The problem: Part of the seat belt mechanism called the automatic locking retractor (ALR) may not engage properly, which could prevent the proper installation of a car seat.

The fix: Dealerships will inspect and, if necessary, replace the retractors, free of charge. The fix is currently available.





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I originally saw it on a UK site, but could not find the details. This was the only article i could find which explained everything.


As per usual, best to enter your VIN in the BMW website to check. 

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