About 120,000 BMW 7-series sedans from model years 2002 through 2008 are under investigation in the U.S. over reports that the car may have a defect that prevents it from shifting into park and then rolls away.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened a preliminary probe of the BMW cars after it got a complaint that a 2006 model rolled away after it was parked and the consumer had exited the vehicle. The NHTSA Web site says that BMW has received reports of similarly equipped cars rolling away.
BMW says that it is cooperating with the NHTSA and does not know of reports of accidents or injuries that resulted from this matter. This preliminary investigation may lead to a recall if regulators find that a safety issue has to be resolved by the automaker.
The case that was filed with the NHTSA stated that the car featured BMW's electronic access and ignition system. It was also fitted with an electronic transmission shifter with a gear selector installed on the steering column.
The NHTSA said that the shifter is intended to automatically shift the vehicle to park under various conditions, including those instances when the driver turns off the engine. The NHTSA asserted that no cause was listed in these incidents.