According to the suit, which was filed in a District Court in Los Angeles last week, the extended-range i3, known as the i3 REx, can reduce power to unsafe levels without warning. Here’s what the suit, filed by MLG Automotive Law, has to say:
“If the car is under any kind of significant load (such as going up a hill, or loaded with passengers), the speed of the car will dramatically decrease as the battery charge diminishes.
M. Tsoar wants BMW to stop sales of the i3 until the issue is resolved. He also wants the manufacturer to engineer a solution so the car won’t lose power when the range extender comes on. Finally, he wants BMW to give him and everybody that owns an i3 financial compensation, because they were not made aware of this “problem.”
Like a lot of American lawsuits, this one is ridiculous. It’s pretty obvious that a 34-hp generator won’t have enough power to make the i3 run at full speed. As its name implies, its purpose is simply to extend the range of the EV.
After the software update on our i3, we found the change still didn’t address the possibility of a sudden power reduction, as BMW claimed it would.
The lawsuit seeks to have the vehicles redesigned and repaired at BMW’s expense, and to halt the sale of all i3 vehicles until repairs can be made. The claim also seeks compensation for all the owners of the vehicles, who were not told of the potentially serious safety issue.