BMW is recalling certain 7 Series cars from the 2005 to 2008 model years because of a potential problem in their electronic transmission control systems that could lead to the cars rolling away after being parked. The company last week recalled 7 Series cars from 2005 to 2007 to fix problems with self-opening doors, so it's possible that owners could escape their errant vehicles easily, at least.
In a document filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the car maker said it built the affected cars from Aug. 23, 2004, through July 24, 2008.
The recall includes 45,500 cars that are equipped with an electronic key and an electronic connection between the gear shifter and the transmission (also called shift-by-wire) that automatically shifts the transmission to “park” when the driver turns off the engine.
If the driver presses the engine start/stop button two or three times within a short time the transmission may shift into neutral instead of park. If the driver is using the electronic key, which does not have to be inserted into the ignition lock, the driver could exit the car carrying the key and assuming the car is properly parked.
If the driver leaves the car with the transmission in neutral and does not set the parking brake, the car could roll away. NHTSA said unattended roll-away incidents often result in crashes or injuries to bystanders as well as pedestrians who may attempt to stop the vehicle.
Under the recall, BMW will notify owners beginning next month but will not have the planned software fix until March of 2013. Owners may call BMW at 800-525-7417 or email the company at CustomerRelations@bmwusa.com ––Paul DucheneBack to News