BMW is recalling all i3 electric vehicles in the U.S. due to a risk of neck injuries to smaller people in the driver’s seat who aren’t wearing seat belts, according to recall documents the automaker released this month. Europe and BMW’s other global markets are not affected by the recall, a company spokesman told Automotive News Europe.
A crash test conducted by the automaker showed small adults – at or about 1.5 metres (5 feet tall) and 50 kg (110 pounds) – had an increased chance of sustaining neck damage in a frontal impact crash, according to a service information notice published by Electrek.
U.S. dealers have reportedly been notified to stop selling the vehicles until repairs can be made on the 30 542 affected vehicles – 29,383 of which BMW said it has sold in the U.S., leaving 1 159 in dealer inventory.
BMW said its own testing did not reveal the issue, but more recent tests conducted on the vehicles had different results.
A remedy is forthcoming, BMW said in a statement. “The BMW passive safety systems are optimised for safety belt use,” the statement said. “BMW i3 owners should feel confident that their vehicle will perform well in a real world crash when the safety belt is used. BMW recommends that all vehicle occupants fasten their safety belts before driving, and keep them fastened for the duration of travel.”