China’s regulatory agency AQSIQ wrote on its website Monday that the airbags, when activated, could unexpectedly create debris harmful for passengers traveling in the German-designed vehicles.

Earlier, this month, BMW said the defective part, a gas generator, manufactured by Takata of Japan, would be replaced free of charge.

China’s intervention follows similar recalls ordered in the United States.

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Adminstration (NHTSA) said Takata air bags were installed in “tens of millions of U.S. vehicles.”

They were subject to recall because the inflators, when activated, exploded with too much force due to degradation of the chemicals used.

The NHTSA urged owners of affected cars or trucks to contact their dealers for the “appropriate repair.”

The defect had been linked to at least 15 deaths and more than 150 injuries worldwide.
China’s AQSIQ regulatory agency, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, said the latest recall included some 169,000 imported BMWs produced between December 2005 and December 2011.

Also included were nearly 25,000 vehicles assembled inside China between July 2005 and December 2011.

Earlier this month, BMW headquarters in Munich said its worldwide output this calendar year amounted to 2,152,393 vehicles, a 5.8 percent increase over the previous year.