NHTSA Investigation of BMW Parking Defect May End in Recall

Posted on April 16, 2012

Investigators are inching closer and closer to a potential recall of a series of BMW vehicles that endangered consumers.

In August of last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration initiated an investigation into 122,000 BMW 7-series vehicles of model years between 2002 and 2008.  This came about following 50 instances in which people reported their vehicle rolling away after it was supposed to be in the parked position, thus posing a serious crash hazard.

The NHTSA has now said that they are upgrading the investigation to an engineering analysis, which shows that there are further concerns that need to be dealt with.  Five total injuries were had among those 50 complaints mentioned above, and 16 different incidents have been shown to be a result of the problem.

That problem comes about when the owner of a vehicle places the BMW in park.  The automobile, which has a push button ignition and electron transmission control, is supposed to automatically shift into park when the ignition switch is pushed and the car is turned off.  BMW, who is cooperating with the NHTSA probe, has yet to be able to figure out why the cars may suddenly shift into neutral and roll away.

I’m sorry to see this safety defect as a car accident lawyer in Long Beach.  One would hope that people could at least avoid disaster when their car is parked, but this story shows that a defect could remove even that safety net.  I hope as a Long Beach personal injury lawyer that investigators can quickly get to the bottom of this and initiate a recall if necessary.

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