FRANKFURT, Germany - BMW has announced a recall of about 1.6-million cars, the most recent to react to problems with vehicles fitted with faulty airbagsmade by Takata Corporation.BMW said the recall would involve the replacement of each car's passenger-side front airbag because the inflator could break apart during deployment and injure the person it was designed to protect. The recall affects 3 Series vehicles produced from May 1999 to August 2006. SOUTH AFRICA AFFECTEDA spokesman for South Africa said about 47 000 of the affected cars were sold in South Africa.BMW explained: "Potential problems with gas generators that may rupture in vehicles produced by our competitors using similar systems from the same supplier have become evident in rare cases. "BMW is not aware of a case involving a BMW vehicle. The replacement campaign is a voluntary precautionary measure intended to minimise the risk of faulty air bag activation."BMW SA reports that the July 2014 recall is a voluntary extension of the 2013 recall campaign "during which the supplier stated a production period during which potentially faulty gas generators were installed in passenger air bags." BMW recalled 240 000 3 Series vehicles (E46) and reported that in July 2014 the supplier had "extended the production period"."BMW has decided to replace the passenger air bags in the vehicles from the suggested production period and additionally, as a voluntary precaution, the passenger air bags in all BMW 3 Series models (E46) of the pre-predecessor generation equipped with this airbag module."Customers affected will be informed by BMW. It goes without saying that the costs of the quality measure will be borne by BMW. The rectification of the problem will take about one hour."GLOBAL BMW RECALLWhile BMW is still taking part in a regional recall requested by US safety regulators, BMW spokesman Dave Buchko said it decided to recall all model year 2000 through 2006 cars potentially affected.Buchko said: "As a precaution, we just feel now that the right thing to do is just to bring them all in and replace the passenger-side air bag."In the latest recall, about 574 000 of the affected cars were sold in the USA, about 450 000 in Germany and about 189 000 in the UK.Buchko said BMW was not aware of any accidents or injuries related to the issue in its cars.SEVERAL AUTOMAKERS ISSUED RECALLSThe air bags were supplied by Takata, which has seen more than 12-million vehicles recalled through the past five years for related air-bag issues. Also affected by the recall were Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, Subaru, Mitsubishi, Ford and General Motors.