Here are details on the recall. Good luck with the mat replacement. It can be done. You have to disassemble the seat, remove upholstery to get to the mat.
If anything BMW Canada should provide the part, and you can request a goodwill repair at the dealer so you only have to pay for labor.
Again - only way they are going to confirm the issue is with your mat and not positive power source is by running the tests.
RECALL: 2004-2006 BMW 5-Series
NHTSA Campaign Number: 08V384000
Manufacturer BMW OF NORTH AMERICA, LLC
Recall Date: JUL 18, 2008
Potential Number Of Units Affected: 200000
Description AIR BAGS:FRONTAL
Summary BMW IS RECALLING 200,000 MY 2006 3 SERIES SPORT SEAT, MY 2004-2006 5 SERIES STANDARD AND SPORT SEAT, AND MY 2004-2006 X3 PASSENGER VEHICLES. DEPENDING ON THE MANNER AND FREQUENCY OF THE FRONT PASSENGER'S ENTRY AND EXIT, SMALL CRACKS HAVE DEVELOPED IN THE MAT. IF THIS OCCURS, THE FRONT PASSENGER AIR BAGS, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE HEAD PROTECTION SYSTEM, WILL BE DEACTIVATED AND THE AIR BAG WARNING LAMP AS WELL AS THE PASSENGER AIR BAG "ON-OFF" LAMP WILL BE ILLUMINATED.
Consequence IN THIS SITUATION THE FRONT PASSENGER AIR BAGS WILL NOT DEPLOY EVEN IF A SUFFICIENTLY SEVERE ACCIDENT WOULD OCCUR AND OCCUPANT PROTECTION PROVIDED BY THE SYSTEM WOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE.
Remedy DEALERS WILL REWORK THE FRONT PASSENGER SEAT SENSOR MAT SO THAT EXTERNAL FORCE APPLICATION TO THE SEAT DOES NOT CAUSE A CRACK TO THE MAT. THE RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING LATE SEPTEMBER 2008. BMW WILL ALSO EXTEND THE WARRANTY ON THESE VEHICLES TO 10 YEARS FROM FIRST REGISTRATION WITHOUT ANY MILEAGE LIMIT.
HERE IS THE SIB:
SI B 65 75 06
Audio, Navigation, Monitors, Alarms, SRS
This Service Information bulletin supersedes SI B65 75 06 dated February 2009.
[NEW] designates changes to this revision
Airbag Warning Lamp for OC3 Seat Mat Fault
E53 (X5) vehicles produced up to 11/2005
E60, E61 (5 Series) vehicles produced up to 11/2005
E63, E64 (6 Series) vehicles produced up to 11/2005
E65, E66 (7 Series) vehicles produced [NEW] up to 11/2005
E83 (X3) vehicles produced up to 07/2006
E85 (Z4) vehicles produced up to 11/2005
E90, E91 (3 Series) vehicles produced up to 11/2005
Only vehicles where the OC3 mat has not been replaced with the later version
The customer complains that the Airbag Warning Lamp (AWL) is illuminated, together with the Passenger Airbag Status Lamp (POL). The problem may be intermittent.
Depending on the vehicle concerned, one of the following OC3 seat mat faults is stored in the SRS Control Module/Satellite 95B8, 71, 93C3, 97E0.
In the interest of customer satisfaction, the warranty coverage of the vehicle for this specific airbag warning lamp issue has been extended to 10 years without mileage limit. The letter has been sent to the owners of all affected vehicles to advise of this change. Eligible vehicles will be shown in the DCS Warranty Vehicle Enquiry (see attachment).
[NEW] Note that on E65 and E66 vehicles, the OC3 mat was introduced from 03/2004. Earlier vehicles had an SBE seat occupancy detection system. However, letters were mistakenly sent to owners of all vehicles up to 11/2005. Therefore BMW will honor this extended warranty for seat mat defects on the
passenger SBE mat.
Microcracks in the OC3 seat mat.
On a customer complaint basis only:
Follow DIS test plan.
If no other faults are found, replace the OC3 seat mat.
Note that replacement parts for some vehicles are supplied without the cover material (foam pad with integrated OC3 mat). In this case, remove the cover from the faulty seat and reinstall on the replacement
part per RA 52 13 400.
NOTE : To avoid the possibility of a preload condition on the assembled part, be sure to follow the repair instructions. The OC3 mat will not enable if there is preload.
[NEW] For E65 and E66 with the SBE mat, refer to Repair Instruction REP 65 77 598 to replace the SBE seat mat. No programming is required.