Recall: BMW 7-Series may roll away when parked
Automaker blames a software problem that causes certain 2005-2008 models to remain in neutral.
On 2005-2008 models with the Comfort Access keyless start option, the transmission may select neutral instead of park when the driver presses the start/stop button. Like other BMW models, the 7-Series is designed to engage park automatically upon shutoff, and the "P" button does not need to be pressed. However, several instances -- unknown to the driver -- can prevent this from occurring.
There is a service mode, which is not published in the owner's manual, that keeps the transmission in neutral if the start/stop button is pressed multiple times. This can easily happen, since the car's stereo and other accessories remain on even when the engine is shut off and the driver's door is opened (the driver has to press the button twice to turn them off fully).
Also, if the driver selects neutral and shuts off the car with the key fob inside the slot, the transmission enters "Carwash" mode and remains in neutral. If the driver presses the "P" button while moving the stalk-mounted gear selector, the car will remain in neutral.
In total, 45,500 cars are affected. On Friday, BMW recalled 7,485 7-Series models from 2005-2007 equipped with the Comfort Access system for power-closing doors that could open suddenly.
BMW said it received 52 reports of roll-aways between 2002 and July 2012, including 14 crashes and five injuries. NHTSA also said it had reports of three related roll-away incidents, two of which involved crashes. BMW said it attributes only eight incidents to drivers pressing the start/stop button in "rapid succession."
Dealers will not update the software until a fix is released, which BMW says could be as late as March 2013. Affected owners can call BMW at 1-800-525-7417. In the meantime, always make sure to set the parking brake.
Cars from other automakers have had roll-away problems, too. Earlier this month, NHTSA opened an investigation into Honda Pilot and Odyssey models that may roll away when parked. In September, General Motors recalled 426,240 Chevrolet, Pontiac and Saturn sedans for faulty transmission shifter cables that could also cause the cars to roll away when parked.
"They all do the same thing, get you from point A to point B."
That really depends on your frame of mind. The enthusiast will disagree with you as, to us, driving is more than just to get us from A to B. It is an engaging, thrilling and joyful experience between man and machine.
If all driving was to me is a simple method of getting from A to B, I'd happily join the multitudes and ride the bus. Heck, my employer supplies me with a free bus pass but I still drive to work as I truly love the thrill of driving and it isn't in an econobox (granted these are getting sportier with every new model).
That is it, just keep on putting more and more electronics and software which can fail into cars. Very smart, a stroke of genius.
If that BMW had a manual transmission, it could not roll away, especially if it were diesel with its high compression, but OH WAIT, it is neither! Pure genius must have designed this electronics-overloaded "blandbox".
"The ultimate driving machine". Yeah right. More like "the ultimate laundry machine on wheels. Please press a program button to begin the wash cycle."
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