BMW electrical fault causes scrutiny

According to the BBC, BMW neglected to tell The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) about an electrical fault in one of its vehicles involved in a fatal accident.

In 2016, Narayan Gurung and his wife crashed their Ford Fiesta into a tree to avoid a BMW saloon that suffered an electrical fault, causing its break lights to fail and the engine to stall. Narayan died at the scene and his was extremely injured.

The DVSA told the BBC, ‘BMW did not make DVSA aware of electrical failure in its cars between 2011 and 2014, as it is required to do. It then provided us with incorrect information about the faults, so we were not able to make an informed decision. However, after examining the growing evidence, DVSA contacted BMW in December 2016 to ask it to conduct a full safety recall of the affected vehicles.’

Recent inquires have shown that BMW received multiple complaints regarding electrical issues leading to power failure since 2011.

In attempts to solve the problem, in 2013, BMW recalled 500,000 vehicles in the United States. Again in 2014, DVSA issued BMW more vehicle safety defect reports.

Regardless, in February 2016, BMW told DVSA that the faults were no longer a concern and no UK vehicles needed to be recalled. BMW believed the issue to not be critical as the drivers could still steer and brake when power was lost.

The fault was due to a vehicle’s battery cable connectors and fuse box terminal wearing down, which could lead to a shortage in the connection between the battery and fuse box.

BMW issued a recall of 36,000 UK vehicles after the death of Narayan.

BMW said, ‘We are deeply saddened by this tragic incident and we extend our heartfelt sympathies to the family of Mr Gurung. As this matter is still the subject of court proceedings, we are unable to comment specifically on it.’