BMW Initiated Notice Due to Seatbelt Concerns for a Targeted Group of Drivers
According to a national publication, last year automakers issued recall notices on more than 53 million vehicles, the highest number of recalls recorded for a single year. 2016 isn’t alone though; the automobile industry has had three consecutive years of record-breaking recalls. What’s different about this latest recall is that it involves only one type of vehicle and a specific target audience of drivers. The recall has to do with the BMW i3 electric car and female drivers who fall within a specific height and weight range. The issue, according to the authorities, involves the lack of seatbelt usage among the targeted female population.
BMW i3 Sales Halted Due to Potential Danger
The recall on the BMW i3 was launched by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and explicitly targets the 2014 – 2018 BMW i3 electric car. The recall is a bit unusual because it targets very specific drivers of the electric car – females who are more than 5 feet tall and weigh between 100 and 110 pounds and who don’t wear a seatbelt. Officials discovered that this type of driver has a marginally higher risk of sustaining neck injuries if involved in a frontal collision. BMW has noted that it has sold over 29,000 i3 electric vehicles in the U.S. and has more than 1100 other cars in its inventory. According to BMW, it’s working with the NHTSA to better understand and correct the problem.
In 2015, 22,441 people died in vehicle crashes. When authorities broke down age groups, they found that 13-19-year-olds and adults aged 20-44 were profoundly impacted. Authorities state that between 52-59 percent of those who fell into these two age groups was not wearing a seatbelt when involved in a crash and died. Those driving or riding in a vehicle unrestrained also continue to be a problem in Colorado. Of the more than 600 people killed on Colorado roads last year, 186 of those crash victims were not wearing a seatbelt. Taking the scant seconds to fasten your seatbelt could be the difference between life and death.
Car Owners Should Look Out for Recalls and Ratings
In 1993 NHTSA developed what is now known as a 5-Star Safety Ratings Program. This rating system was the culmination of years of work by the federal authority as a means of reducing the deaths, injuries and economic losses for those involved in auto accidents. In 2015, NHTSA updated the rating system to encourage automakers to make safer vehicles for increased passenger protection, advancing the production of more crash avoidance technology-enabled cars. However, manufacturers and safety officials can only do so much; consumers must do their homework before buying a vehicle and be ready in the case of vehicle recalls.
NHTSA’s rating page allows car buyers and owners to research make model, manufacturer, and safety features with ease. Contact the dealer directly for directions on the next steps if any recalls have been ordered, especially in the case of such a specific recall group as in the case of the BMW i3.