By Jeff Gilbert

WASHINGTON, DC — (WWJ) Highway safety investigators are upgrading their investigation into BMW’s top-of-the- line sedan amid concerns that the electronic transmissions may not always keep the vehicle securely in park.

The probe of 122,000 7-Series luxury cars has now been upgraded to an “engineering analysis,” moving one step closer to a recall.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been investigating the vehicles since last August, after consumers complained that vehicles they believed were in park were actually in neutral, raising the risk that the car could roll away and cause a crash.

There have been 16 reports of crashes, with five injuries. NHTSA has received a total of 50 complaints.

The vehicles involved have push button starts, and electronic transmission controls. Documents from the government describe several scenarios where drivers may assume a vehicle is in park, when it’s actually in neutral.

The heightened investigation will determine if there is a pattern that needs to be corrected by a recall.


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