Judge rules the plaintiffs and their expert failed to prove the i3 cars were defective.

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BMW i3 Range Extender Lawsuit Dismissed
Judge rules the plaintiffs and their expert failed to prove the i3 cars were defective.

— A BMW i3 Range Extender lawsuit is over after the plaintiffs claimed the 2014-2016 i3 cars suddenly decelerate when the battery charge drops to certain levels.

The BMW i3 Range Extender (REx) class action lawsuit alleges the automaker hid the defects from consumers to sell or lease the i3 cars for more money than they are worth.

All 16 BMW i3 customers who sued allege their vehicles suddenly slowed down when the battery charge levels dropped.

The plaintiffs say the Range Extender is a generator that produces electricity to extend the range of the i3 from 81 miles to 150 miles per battery charge.

One i3 lessee says he was traveling uphill in traffic when the car lost power and slowed down without warning. The issue allegedly occurred multiple times when the battery charge level was around 5% with the Range Extender activated.

The BMW i3 Range Extender lawsuit was filed in 2016 alleging 40 claims related to warranties, consumer protection, fraud and other federal and state laws.

In 2020 the i3 Range Extender lawsuit included only California customers and only a few claims remained.

BMW i3 Class Action Lawsuit Dismissed

The plaintiffs hired an engineering expert who along with the 16 plaintiffs described how their i3 Range Extenders allegedly malfunctioned. But the judge found the evidence fell short of proving the cars contain design defects.

According to Judge Terry J. Hatter, Jr., the expert didn't say the design of the i3 was defective, but instead provided his opinion that the car was designed to function just as the plaintiffs said. Meaning, the i3 decelerates at a certain battery charge level and in certain driving conditions.

The expert didn't say the i3 Range Extender design was defective and even "stated that he was not opining as to whether the design was defective."

The judge ruled not much was left without an expert opinion because the plaintiffs only describe their own personal experiences with the i3 Range Extenders. According to Judge Hatter, whether a car is defectively designed is "beyond the common knowledge of the average layman."

The BMW i3 Range Extender lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California - Braverman, et al., v. BMW of North America, LLC, et al.

The plaintiffs are represented by Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, Chimicles & Tikellis LLP, MLG Automotive Law, and the Margarian Law Firm.


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