Auto recall attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm report that the German manufacturer is recalling nearly 135,000 BMW 5-series due to issues with the rear lights. The defect is in the electrical resistance, which can damage connections to the rear tail, brake, turn-signal, or backup lights.
The recall affects BMW models: M5, 55oi, 535i, and 528i, years 2008 through 2010. The loss of rear lights significantly increases the risk of a rear-end collision, thereby increasing the risk of serious injury and death for everyone on the road. Fortunately, BMW has not yet reported any accidents or injuries from the light defects.
Should the rear lights in a vehicle fail, BMW spokespeople stated that audio and visual warnings will appear, and unaffected rear lights will display to warn drivers behind the cars. A similar problem occurred in BMW vehicles in 2011, prompting a recall of 241,000 3-Series cars.
Owners of the recalled 5-Serices vehicles will be notified in October, 2013, and can bring their cars to BMW dealerships to have the rear light connections replaced at no cost. Owners can also call BMW directly at 800.525.7417.
In 2010, BMW was fined $3 million for failing to report recalls to the federal government in a timely manner. Automakers are required to inform the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of any safety defects, noncompliances, and recalls within five business days. Civil penalties such as this are meant to deter automakers from withholding critical safety information about vehicles.
The 2010 fine stems from NHTSA’s examination of 16 BMW recalls, which found evidence that the automaker failed to report safety defects to the agency. In addition to the $3 million, the company also agreed to makes some internal changes, specifically in its recall decision-making process, to ensure full compliance with federal law.
In related news, the NHTSA recently launched an investigation into reports of ceiling fires in 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs. About 146,000 vehicles may be affected by the problems.
There have been at least three reports of serious crashes from ceiling fires, all of which started near the passenger-side sun visor while operating the vehicle. They first reported a burning smell, then smoke and flames, ultimately causing the collisions. All three drivers tried to open their windows to clear the smoke from the vehicles, however, this only intensified the flames.
Fires continued to burn after the Jeeps were shut off and had to be extinguished with personal extinguishers or by firefighters. In one case the heat caused the sun roof to shatter, and in another the flames burned and melted a sun visor, causing it to fall onto the passenger seat and further spread the fire. The Jeep investigation is still in its early stages and officials do not yet know whether it will cause a mass recall.
Other recent auto recalls include 342,000 Toyota Tacoma pickup trucks,
which may have defective seat belts. The affected models were manufactured
between 2004 and 2011, and are the Tacoma Access Cabs with rear-hinged
rear doors. Screws in the front seat belts can easily come loose in these
vehicles, causing the belts to malfunction.
Nissan also issued two recalls for its Versa Note compact hatchback due to problems with bolts installed in several areas of the vehicle. The first recall is for about 7,000 2014 models with faulty lower body sill bolts; the second is for about 7,000 Notes, also 2014 models, due to inadequate rear seat latch bolts. Toyota stated that these parts may have been manufactured incorrectly, having the potential to cause injury in the event of a crash.
Auto accident attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm will continue to report on significant American recalls and reports of serious vehicle defects. If you or a loved one was seriously injured in an accident caused by a defective or recalled vehicle, you may be entitled to significant compensation for any medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.