London: BMW has been accused of covering up the potentially lethal electrical fault of over 300,000 of its cars since 2011.Yesterday, BMW announced that it would be recalling 312,000 cars sold in the UK over an electrical fault.
The fault causes the vehicle to stall without warning while driving and causes the hazard and brake lights to fail.
Cars included in the recall are the BMW 1 Series, 3 Series, the Z4 and its X1 made between March 2007 and August 2011.
The German car manufacturer has, however, now been accused of covering up the potentially lethal fault since 2011.
Last week, an inquest hear that the fault was to blame for the death of a man who crashed into a BMW that suddenly stopped in the road.
It was also uncovered at the hearing at Woking Coroner’s Court in Surrey, that BMW were first alerted to the fault in 2011.
Despite this, the first recall of vehicles with this fault only took place in 2017, involving just 36,000 cars.
Recalls are issued when a vehicle fault is deemed to be able to use significant injury or even death.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency accused the firm of keeping its knowledge of the electrical failure in some of its cars between 2011 and 2014.
It also claimed that the car maker provided “incorrect information” about the fault.
“BMW did not make DVSA aware of electrical failure in its cars between 2011 and 2014, as it is required to do.
“It [BMW] 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.
“At present we are handling 417 recalls involving more than 2.9 million vehicles under the code of practice agreed with industry.
“We keep our approach to safety recalls constantly under review to ensure we are able to respond, more quickly, to emerging issues and prioritise activities where they are most needed.”
BMW said: “We have neither provided incorrect information to the DVSA nor have we been silent on faults.
“The initial decision on the extent of the recall was made in agreement with the DVSA.
“We now recognise that there may have been some cases of similar power supply issues in vehicles not covered by the original recall.
“To reassure customers, we are voluntarily extending the recall.”
The Department of Transport, which oversees the DVSA, said: “We are working with the DVSA at ways to strengthen its enforcement powers so it can… protect drivers from unsafe vehicles.”