BMW X3 xDrive20d, Frankfurt
German automaker concerned some passenger airbags fitted in its X3 model may not inflate in the event of a crash.Reuters

BMW is recalling more than 85,000 sports utility vehicles (SUVs) in the US over concerns some of the airbags fitted in the vehicles may not inflate.

The German automaker said on Friday (13 October) that the airbags fitted in its X3 model sold stateside might not inflate in a crash because a mat that detects front-seat passengers can fail.

The recall covers X3 model sold from 2006 through 2010.

BMW said in government documents that the mat can wear and develop cracks that can interrupt electrical signals.

That can in turn cause the front airbag to switch off, activating a warning light. The mats are part of the system that changes how airbags inflate if children are in the seat.

BMW says it does not know of any injuries from the problem. It's the third recall for the issue since 2013.

The company will notify owners and dealers will replace the mat. The recall is expected to start on 20 November.

With Associated Press.