BMW cars are aspirational products to several around the globe and it was a prized possession to this Long Island woman as well. But her BMW 750Li turned into a nightmare when it nearly cut her thumb off - damaging it so badly she needed a reconstructive surgery. BMW's self-closing automatic door apparently needs more refinement. And to say the least, this is not the first time a BMW car has done that. Only about two months back, another similar case involving a BMW X5 surfaced in which the victim sued the German car manufacturer.
Alexis Fields was on her way to her daughter’s Halloween parade in 2016 when her right hand got crushed in the automatic door as she was getting out of her car. BMW cars are equipped with SCAD (Soft-Close Automatic Door) technology which senses if the door needs to be closed and kick-in an auto-close mechanism.
The 40-year-old stay-at-home mother, Fields said she was leaning over to grab her purse with right hand on the door frame when the wind pushed the door a bit, which triggered the SCAD motor.
According to an NYPost report, Fields said: “It happened so fast. It pulled shut on my finger and clamped down like a vice. My thumb was completely flat within seconds. Then it exploded. It blew up two, three or four times its size. It was awful. Initially, I felt no pain but then I started to panic and the pain came in.”
Besides a $10 million claim for breach of warranty, pain, suffering and other damages, she hopes that her lawsuit forces the car company to implement some kind of safety feature that detects an obstruction and stop the door from closing.
Even today, having been well over a year, Fields has numbness, limited mobility in the right hand and has a hard time packing lunch for her kids, folding laundry, writing and other such daily routine things.
The family has since gotten rid of their BMW 7-Series, but even without the automatic doors in their new car, they've been left traumatised and are afraid of such thing happening to their children.
Fields' case is being handled by Avi Cohen, who is also the lawyer to Godwin Boateng. Boateng had his thumb severed by the SCAD technology in his BMW X5. Unlike Fields, doctors couldn't save his thumb and now he sometime wears a fake thumb from a magician's kit.
Ever since Boateng's story got out, he has been receiving calls from across the country who say they have had similar injuries. “Customers spend lots of money to drive what BMW calls the ‘Ultimate Driving Machine.’ It should be called the ‘Ultimate Danger Machine’,” says Avi Cohen.
“BMW, like a petulant child, has been unwilling to take responsibility for its modern-day guillotine doors,” Cohen said.