BMW Issues Stop-Sale Order and Recall of i3 Electric Vehicles after Failing Crash Test
BMW has issued a stop-sale order and recall of all i3 electric vehicles in the United States as it resolves what it has said is “a compliance issue” with federal regulators. According to a report on Car and Driver, this affects about 30,542 cars across the 2014 through 2018 model years. The stop-sale order and recall come after the vehicle failed a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rigid-barrier crash test for fifth-percentile women in the driver’s seat and not wearing a seatbelt. Fifth-percentile women are those who are about 5 feet tall and weigh between 100 and 110 pounds.
Crash Test Failure
The NHTSA crash test is done with vehicles traveling at 20 to 25 mph. During such a test with the i3 electric vehicle, the crash test dummy suffered damage causing the vehicle to fail this particular type of test. BMW has said it has issued a recall and is working with NHTSA to understand the test results. The 2017 BMW i3 has received “Good” ratings in all of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s crashworthiness testing. The car’s head restraints and seat received a rating of “Acceptable.”
BMW has said that a remedy is forthcoming, although the German automaker has not made it clear as to how it’s going to fix the problem. BMW i3 owners will be notified about the recall by mail beginning in December. BMW officials say they view this as a minor compliance issue. They have also said that it is safe for i3 owners to continue using their vehicles and that all vehicle occupants wear their seatbelts.
What is Crashworthiness?
Crashworthiness refers to the ability of a car or another vehicle to withstand a collision or crash with minimal bodily injury to its occupants. There are federal tests that vehicles must undergo and pass under different scenarios in order to prove their crashworthiness. This finding about the BMW i3 electric vehicle is disturbing. What it essentially means is that petite women who are driving the car are at risk of suffering serious injuries if they are not buckled up.
Automakers have a duty and a responsibility to manufacture vehicles that are safe for consumers. However, as auto defect lawyers, we know how common it is for vehicle manufacturers to cut corners when it comes to safety. We know how often automakers put profits over safety. And it’s the consumer who often pays the price for such negligence and greed.