BMW Issues Stop-Sale Order and Recall of All i3 EVs in U.S. ""

By | November 21, 2017

2017 BMW i3 EV

BMW has issued a stop-sale order and recall of all of its i3 electric vehicles in the United States as it resolves what it said is “a compliance issue” with federal regulators. The move affects 30,542 cars across the 2014 through 2018 model years. It comes after the BMW i3 failed a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rigid-barrier crash test for 5th-percentile women who are in the driver’s seat and not wearing a seatbelt. Fifth-percentile women are generally defined as weighing between 100 and 110 pounds and standing about five feet tall.

The crash test happens at 20 to 25 mph. In a statement, BMW said that in NHTSA’s test, “the driver seat occupant sustained loads marginally above the limit,” meaning the crash test dummy’s injuries caused the i3 to fail. “While BMW’s compliance testing showed results well below the required limits, more recent testing has shown inconsistent results,” the company’s statement reads. “Consequently, BMW has issued a recall and is working with the agency to understand the differences in the test results.”


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Full NHTSA crash-test ratings for the BMW i3 were not immediately available, but Car and Driver has reached out to NHTSA for more information. The 2017 BMW i3 has received Good ratings in all of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s crashworthiness testing, with the exception of the car’s head restraints & seat, which received an Acceptable rating.

For the NHTSA test and recall, BMW said a remedy is forthcoming, although the automaker hasn’t said how it will fix the issue. BMW i3 owners will be notified of the recall by mail beginning in December. The stop-sale order was issued to dealers last week. “We see this as a minor compliance issue,” BMW spokesman Alexander Schmuck said. He said the company is confident the BMW i3 will be back on sale in the first quarter of 2018. In the meantime, he said, it is safe for BMW i3 owners to continue using their cars. “We just ask that they please wear their seatbelt,” he said.

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