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I took my nearly pristine 2002 330i to the dealer to have the driver's airbag replaced because of a recall that apparently applies to all e46s.

The old one was a glossy black that matched the rim and the rest of the steering column. The new one is a dull dark gray and I really hate the way it looks.

Has anyone else succeeded in getting a black one that matched the original?

I haven't talked to the service manager about it yet because I picked the car up last night after he'd gone home. I suspect he's going to claim it was the best they could do.
 

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I took my nearly pristine 2002 330i to the dealer to have the driver's airbag replaced because of a recall that apparently applies to all e46s.

The old one was a glossy black that matched the rim and the rest of the steering column. The new one is a dull dark gray and I really hate the way it looks.

Has anyone else succeeded in getting a black one that matched the original?

I haven't talked to the service manager about it yet because I picked the car up last night after he'd gone home. I suspect he's going to claim it was the best they could do.
Why TF would they fit a grey one on a black wheel? Are they dumb or something? Damn right man. Go back and tell them to change it to a black one. Imagine if you took your car in to replace a door card or the passenger seat and they stuck a grey one in when the rest of the interior was black. Would you accept that too? They recalled it because they f***ed up initially. That doesn't mean they get to mess up the aestehtics of your car putting it right. Craziest thing I ever heard.
 

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It's not THAT grey guys.. Come on.. Yes it's not deep dark black it's more of a dark grey black ..and yes I noticed the same thing.

Sometimes a pic helps :)
I got mine replaced Early on in the recall since Florida has crazy humid days.

I too noticed this small change on my tweeter grill I had to order due to my coupe's inner door handle breaking at the cable..this may be another thing you notice a small change on when buying a new part as a result of slight supplier change, OR we just don't remember what the old one was like new..

Sent from my XT1650 using E46Fanatics mobile app
 

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It's not THAT grey guys.. Come on.. Yes it's not deep dark black it's more of a dark grey black ..and yes I noticed the same thing.
^Yep. The glossiness is the main difference. As Quadcammer pointed out, hit it with some Armor-All (or your interior detailing spray of choice---I like 303) if you want to better match the finish of the rest of the wheel.

I'm alright with it. I don't like glossy interior surfaces anyway, so I kind of wish the rest of the interior matched the new airbag cover, lol...
 

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2003 M3 6MT Slicktop
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it’s just brand new and untouched with no greasy detailing spray on it. this is how it was new. if looking to match and get away from the matte finish do as others said.

sorry but BMW isn’t going to get you another one.
 

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I was the first person in Portland (OR) to have the Air Bag replaced (July 2016)...
And I was first because I sent an email to BMW NA and asked 'how long do I have to drive my BMW with this grenade of a steering wheel?'

They responded in less than 24 hours, had a replacement FedEx'ed overnight and I had it installed two days later as I recall.
 

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I took my nearly pristine 2002 330i to the dealer to have the driver's airbag replaced because of a recall that apparently applies to all e46s.

The old one was a glossy black that matched the rim and the rest of the steering column. The new one is a dull dark gray and I really hate the way it looks.

Has anyone else succeeded in getting a black one that matched the original?

I haven't talked to the service manager about it yet because I picked the car up last night after he'd gone home. I suspect he's going to claim it was the best they could do.
Mine was a damn close match. You can't match new parts with old. Perhaps your interior was not as pristine as you thought ?!
 

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As a solution, not for the faint of heart but definitely for the cosmetically demanding and DIY'er, consider painting it. Yep, I said that. I restore cars for fun and there is a company who's name I will run out the garage to confirm that makes a "vinyl dye" in aerosol cans. It's used in the restoration industry to completely change a vinyl interior color. Ah remembered - it's SEM that makes this. Designed to chemically bond with plastics and vinyl (not a paint), it can handle the wear of a seat. So the steering airbag pad should be no challenge.

I used it to paint a vinyl headliner white, rather than pull the headliner. That was 5 years ago and it still looks like the day I sprayed it. Fresh, clean look. It is a very well engineered product and I think they have a few black shades in addition to a lot more colors. So, if it bugs you and you have the skills to remove and mask it, the center pad will be whatever color you want 15 minutes later. Forever.
 
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