Major news outlets in the last 24 hours have been reporting on at least sixteen motor vehicle accidents and five injuries from BMW 7 Series manufactured between 2002 and 2008. MotorTrend, the Associated Press, CBS News and LA Times all state that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has elevated their investigation of these incidents to an engineering analysis which is just one short of a full recall.
The main thrust of the issue involves confusion about which gear the electronic push button transmission is in and resultant roll aways after being parked. Drivers think they are in park when in fact they are in neutral causing unexpected roll aways.
The 2002 – 2008 E65 7 Series, designed by Adrian Van Hooydonk under Chris Bangle’s direction, was a major design change in both form and function for BMW. It was the first BMW to introduce the iDrive as well as a push button gear shift lever. The fourth generation was available in four different variants: the standard-wheelbase E65 (2990 mm, 118 in), the extended-wheelbase E66 (3130 mm, 123 in), the High Security version E67 and the hydrogen powered version E68.
In America, only the 750i, 750Li and 760Li were available from BMW dealerships.