NHTSA intensifies investigation into BMW 7-series rollawaysThu, 19 Apr 2012 00:00:00 -0700
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is widening an investigation into the rollaway crashes of the BMW 7-series that the agency opened in August. NHTSA received reports of 16 crashes involving the vehicle, covering model years 2002 to 2008, with five reports of injuries. NHTSA has a total of 50 complaints of rollaways.
BMW told the New York Times that there are procedures that could lead to the car being in neutral when it should be in park. BMW uses a column-mounted stalk for the gear selector with one “home” position. You push up to shift into reverse and pull back for drive. To put the vehicle in park you have to push the “P” button on the end of the stalk.
BMW says that if the transmission is in drive or reverse with the engine running, and the stop/start button is pressed two or three times in succession, the engine would stop but the car would remain in neutral. Additionally, if a driver selects “park” while the gear selector is in motion, it could either shift into neutral or remain there.
The vehicles affected are the:
-- 2003 BMW 730d
-- 2003 BMW 730i
-- 2002-03 BMW 735i
-- 2002 BMW 735Li
-- 2002-03, 2005 BMW 745i
-- 2002-05 BMW 745Li
-- 2007 BMW 750i
-- 2006-07 BMW 750Li
-- 2005 BMW 760i
-- 2005-07 BMW 760Li
At the same time, BMW is recalling a group of 5-, 6- and 7-series vehicles for problems with the water-pump circuit board. That problem, according to NHTSA, could lead to a fire. So don't park your big Bimmer indoors until you get that checked out. And when you do park the car, make sure that the car is in park before exiting the vehicle.
Concerned owners can go to www.safercar.gov or call (888) 327-4236 for more information.
By Jake Lingeman