BMW Stops Sales Of i3 And Issues Voluntary Recall Of All Models

Over the weekend, reports surfaced that BMW had ordered a sales stop on all i3s models in the United States and the company was on the verge of recalling of every i3 sold in America since 2014.

The news was initially reported by InsideEVs which posted an image of a non-compliance recall document which suggested i3 vehicles from the 2014-2018 model years were going to be recalled due to their failure to meet frontal impact performance standards.

We reached out to BMW of North America and Product and Technology spokesperson Rebecca Kiehne said : “In a recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash test of the BMW i3 – specifically the unbelted small adult rigid barrier test (NHTSA’s 5th percentile female) – the driver seat occupant sustained loads marginally above the limit.”

Kiehne went on to say “While BMW’s compliance testing showed results well below the required limits, more recent testing has shown inconsistent results.”

Due to the conflicting results, BMW of North America has issued a recall of the i3 and is working with the NHTSA to understand the differences in their test results. Kiehne said the company recommends all occupants use their seatbelts and confirmed a “remedy is forthcoming.” In a follow up e-mail, Kiehne confirmed a stop-sale order has been issued in the United States.

While recalls are unfortunate, it’s important to remember the crash test involved an unbelted small adult in the 5th percentile female range. This effectively means the issue applies to unbelted women who are approximately five feet (1.52 meters) tall and weigh around 110 lbs (49.9 kg).

BMW of North America will likely provide more information about the recall in the future and initial reports suggested the company would be contacting i3 owners by mail in January.

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  • Dustin

    Someone should post the statistic of the number of vehicles on the road that fail to meet this precise standard. Hundreds of millions, easily.

    I’m driving a 1999 Civic. I’ll bet a 5-foot 110lb female driving my car without a seatbelt and smashing into a rigid barrier would sustain loads above the limit of the government’s current standard. Should it be recalled?

    (We do, after all, care about airbags on the older cars, which could hurt someone in the case of the accident – why do we not care about the crash standards of older cars, which has the greater capacity to cause harm [surely far beyond the 13 people killed by the airbags]?)

    Considering they raise the standards every few years, probably any car pre-2010 would fail this current standard. What should we take from all this, exactly?

  • Dennis James

    Well, while you’re at it, just redesign the damn ugly thing.

    • Can you be recalled and redesigned?

      • Dennis James

        Can you be recalled and your 50mph crash test resistance with a frontal pole be fixed ? And if not, can you be returned for a full refund ?

  • So if you’re not an idiot, want to live, put your seatbelt on, all this just stupid news right?

  • TheBelltower

    I’ll bet anyone $1 that the “fix” will be a decal on the visor.