The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has begun investigating reports of rollaways in BMW 7-series vehicles. The rollaway problem could result in a serious auto accident, especially if the rolling vehicle collides with a person, a building, or another vehicle.
The NHTSA has received a total of 50 complaints about rollaways in BMW 7-series vehicles, including 16 complaints since the agency began investigating the claims in August 2011 and 5 reports of injuries. The complaints cover vehicles in every model year from 2002 to 2008.
BMW reports that the design of the 7-series transmission controls could play a role in the rollaway accidents. The vehicle is started and stopped with a button, and the transmission is controlled with a lever that has a button on it that one presses to put the vehicle in park. If the “park” button is not pressed or the vehicle’s ignition button is pressed in certain ways during or after parking, the transmission may switch into neutral, even though the driver thinks it is parked. A vehicle in neutral will roll if placed on a slanted surface like a hill, or if it is hit or pushed.
The NHTSA and BMW recommend double-checking that the vehicle is in park before getting out, and parking on flat surfaces whenever possible. The NHTSA says a recall may be forthcoming, but one has not currently been issued.
Driver negligence isn’t the only cause of auto accidents. Defective vehicle parts, badly-done repairs, or ignored maintenance problems can all cause vehicle steering or braking issues that can cause an accident and serious injuries. At Lipton Law, our knowledgeable Southfield product liability lawyers can help you get to the bottom of your accident when it has been caused by a vehicle defect and seek compensation from any parties who may have caused your crash. For a free and confidential consultation, call our office today at (248) 557-1688.