BMW has been hit with a lawsuit over a 'sudden loss of power' in a futuristic car

BMW i3Matthew DeBord/Business InsiderThe i3 on a BI road trip in 2015.

An owner has filed a lawsuit against BMW, arguing that the car maker’s i3 electric vehicle.

“A U.S. owner of a BMW i3 has filed a lawsuit claiming that the German automaker’s electric vehicle can experience a sudden loss of power when a feature designed to nearly double its driving range is deployed,” Reuters’ Jonathan Stempel reported.

“The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday in Los Angeles federal court, seeks damages for i3 drivers nationwide and in California alone, or to force BMW to buy the vehicles back.”

The case concerns the range-extended version of the i3. When the battery is depleted, a small gas motor kicks in to generate more electricity, raising the range limitation to around 150 miles, beyond 80 on electric power alone.

“We cannot comment on the matter now that it’s in active litigation,” said BMW in a statement emailed to Business Insider.

We checked out the range-extender i3 last year and subjected it to conditions similar to those described in the lawsuit. We ran all the juice out of the battery and switched over to the gas motor twice on a trip of about 300 miles. There were two adults and two children in the car, along with a couple of large duffle bags.

Our results are hardly scientific, but we detected no power loss when the range-extender was in operation.

The i3 is part of a lineup of BMW vehicles that are intended to chart a path toward the future of mobility for the German automaker.

At one point, it was even rumoured that Apple was kicking the tires on the i3 as a possible Apple Car platform.

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