BMW i3 with Range Extender Gets Class Action Lawsuit

BMW i3 3 photos
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BMW i3BMW i3 Range Extender operation mode
BMW’s i3 is in the middle of a class action lawsuit in the USA. Only the range extender version, or i3 REx, has upset consumers enough to send them to court. So they formed a “class,” and started the legal procedures against BMW.
Apparently, some i3 owners are dissatisfied with the fact that BMW did not properly inform the customers of this version that the power level of the vehicle becomes restricted once the battery is drained, and is followed by a significant decrease in speed.

The class action legal initiative also claims that it is unsafe for a company to sell a car that can experience such a rapid speed drop. According to BMW, the i3’s Range Extender version only has power restrictions and reduced speed when its battery goes below 1.9%.

In response to the class action, BMW said that they were open from the beginning on the behavior of the i3 REX, but believe that not all dealers shared this information with clients.

As explained by customers, BMW’s i3 REx’s insufficient power claims became dangerous on the highway, when the vehicle’s top speed was limited to a reported 45 MPH (72 km/h), as well as in situations where strong acceleration was required, such as going up a hill.

Along with owner compensation, the class action lawsuit wants BMW to fix every i3 REx to enter its reduced power mode in a safer manner. Currently, drivers consider that the switch happens “unexpectedly and catches the driver off-guard.” As an infographic from BMW shows, the car only goes into full power reduction mode when its battery goes below 0.5%, while power restrictions start at 1.9% and become definitive once the accumulator reaches 1.5%.

As some of you already know, BMW’s i3 REx has a 34-HP two-cylinder gasoline engine as a range extending Internal Combustion Engine (ICE). Instead of leaving owners stranded by the side of the road when the electric powertrain runs out of “juice,” the total rage is extended by using the ICE as a generator.

According to Inside EVs, this situation only appears on U.S. vehicles, which have been set up from the factory to operate differently from those in other markets. The latter have a “hold power” function, which turns on the internal combustion unit sooner to keep battery power high. Some owners have coded the cars themselves and got rid of the problem.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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