This class action is brought on behalf of those who purchased or leased 2014-2016 model year BMW i3 vehicles with a Range Extender (hereafter “i3 REx” or “Class Vehicles”).
The i3 is part of BMW’s new line of electric and electric-hybrid vehicles. The i3 is offered with an additional feature called a Range Extender –a gasoline-powered, two-cylinder combustion engine with a small fuel tank that engages when the i3 electric battery level drops to a certain level. The Range Extender supposedly allows the vehicle to operate for many miles (double the mileage, according to BMW) after the electric battery in the i3 loses power and is a large selling point for BMW to prospective owners and lessees of the i3.
As alleged, BMW’s i3 vehicles were widely touted by BMW as being “ideal for everyday use.” The actual performance of the i3 REx, however, is far from ideal. Unfortunately for consumers like Plaintiff, model years 2014-2016 BMW i3 Rex vehicles suffer from a serious defect that manifests when the Class Vehicles transition from running on the electric battery to the fuel-powered Range Extender. Specifically, within minutes after this transition occurs, Class Vehicles experience a drastic loss of power and reduction in speed, referred to as “limp mode,” creating a serious safety risk for owners and lessees of Class Vehicles, as well as other drivers on the roads.
In addition to affirmatively touting the Class Vehicles as “ideal for everyday use,” BMW also fails to inform prospective owners and lessees of the i3 REx that the vehicle is plagued with this defect and that owners and lessees of the Class Vehicles will inevitably experience a significant power loss or deceleration in certain driving scenarios, including under conditions where the defect can pose a significant threat to safety.
Despite several complaints by consumers about this issue, BMW has done nothing to satisfactorily remedy the defect. The only action BMW appears to have taken is to provide a software update that results in a five-word electronic warning on Class Vehicle dashboards when the vehicle’s electric battery level is low that states “Low Batter: Power reduction possible.” This response is woefully inadequate and clearly does nothing to eliminate the clear safety concerns created by the deceleration defect in Class Vehicles, nor does it fix the actual deceleration problem itself.