BMW is to recall 20,500 3-series models in the US to repair passenger-side airbags that could deploy without a crash — the second time BMW has issued a recall for the problem, Reuters said.

The recall covers 323i and 328i models built between April and August 1999 while the previous recall covered 34,701 3-series built between June 1998 and March 1999, Reuters reported.

According to Reuters BMW dealers will re-programme control modules to stop the possibility the affected airbag systems could go off if the cars hit a curb or a pothole at a high enough speed, even if the impact causes no damage to the vehicle.

BMW spokesman Dave Buchko told Reuters that, after the first recall, the company continued to receive complaints about airbags deploying unexpectedly, prompting the second recall.

There were a small number of minor injuries reported before the first recall, Reuters said, but Buchko added he was unaware of any injury reports since.

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