U.S. safety regulators have upgraded their investigation into 122,000 BMW 7-series cars to an engineering analysis -- a step closer to a recall -- after receiving 50 complaints of unattended vehicle movement or rollaway, including 16 crashes and five injuries.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the 2002-08 vehicles have push buttons to turn on and off the engine. Drivers had thought they had put the cars in park when they pressed the push button to turn off the engine, but the vehicles had shifted to neutral, the agency said.
“We are cooperating and helping with the investigation,” a BMW spokesman said. He declined further comment.
In August 2011 NHTSA opened an investigation after receiving reports of BMW 7-series cars rolling away after drivers had thought the vehicles were shifted into park.