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BMW reviewing whether to replace driver-side Takata air bags

A BMW logo is seen on a car displayed on media day at the Paris Mondial de l'Automobile, October 3, 2014. The Paris auto show opens its doors to the public from October 4 to October 19. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - BMW (BMWG.DE) is reviewing whether to expand its recall to check whether possibly fatal air bags were installed on both the driver and passenger side of older generation 3-series models, the carmaker said on Wednesday.

Japanese supplier Takata (7312.T) and carmakers including BMW have been recalling vehicles on concern their air bags could rupture upon activation. Five deaths, including four in the United States, have been linked to the air bags.

BMW said the recall and the review were precautionary measures. BMW said they are not aware of any of its cars experiencing an air bag inflator malfunction in the field.

On Tuesday, the U.S. auto safety regulator, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), told Takata and the carmakers to broaden the recall.

"We will work together with the NHTSA regarding the new request to extend the driver-side airbag campaign. If required, we will take the appropriate action, and implement it as quickly as possible," BMW said in a statement.

BMW has been checking 1.6 million cars since July to change the passenger-side air bag of a previous generation 3-series sedan.

It said it was already exchanging 12,000 driver-side air bags installed in older 3-series models, which are referred to as the E46 model generation.

Germany's federal vehicle authority, the Kraftfahrt Bundesamt, said on Wednesday it was monitoring the implementation of the global recall in Germany, and that it was unaware of any faulty air bag deployments in Europe.

(Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Mark Heinrich)