BMW Faces Growing Californian Legal Wildfire Over Dangerous Comfort Access System
In August of 2015, Kieva Meyers purchased a pre-owned 2013 BMW X5 in San Francisco. Like many, she needed reliable transportation for her job and family. The 2013 X5 Meyers purchased was equipped with BMW’s Comfort Access System, a convenience feature that uses sensors to detect where the owner is in proximity to the vehicle. The system allows the driver to access the vehicle virtually hands-free within about a five-foot radius.
For example, once a driver walks up to the vehicle and puts their hand on the door, it will unlock automatically.
However, this convenience feature caused a scare for Meyers just two months later in October of 2015. This incident has become the catalyst for the Comfort Class settlement, a class action lawsuit filed against BMW for an alleged manufacturing defect in the Comfort Access System. All BMW X5 models from 2007 until 2013 are affected.
What Is The Comfort Class Settlement?
The settlement states that the Comfort Access System is defective because the doors can be locked from the outside even with the key fob still inside the vehicle. If small children, the elderly, or animals are left inside unintentionally with the key fob, they may become locked inside the vehicle. This can pose hazards that force the owner to take action, including but not limited to breaking into the vehicle and calling emergency personnel. This will likely result in out of pocket costs for the driver.
Recent data shows that children are at risk of death from vehicular heatstroke or hypothermia if they are locked inside.
Statement From Legal Counsel
“When manufacturers get notified about major issues involving serious injury or in some cases death, it is the duty of the manufacturer to right the wrong they have committed and to make sure it is not repeated,” reads a statement from the Law Offices of Stephen M. Harris, P.C. and Robert L. Starr, APC in Woodland Hills and Calabasas, California respectively.
Harris and Starr are representing the plaintiffs in the Comfort Class settlement. The settlement guarantees that Class Members who have documented out-of-pocket expenses will be able to receive compensation from BMW.
“BMW was told multiple times about the Comfort Access System malfunction and denied the claim until the argument was too insurmountable to avoid,” the statement further reads.
If you own a BMW X5 in question, model years 2007 through 2013, you can find out more information about how to file a claim on the Comfort Class Settlement homepage. “Class Vehicles” include any BMW NA E70 vehicle made for sale and/or lease in the U.S. market, with a production date between October 1st, 2006 through June 30th, 2013, equipped with the optional Comfort Access System. The vehicles were sold or leased to Class Members in the United States or Puerto Rico.