BMW should be investigated for corporate manslaughter according to the country`s leading motoring lawyer after the company was linked to a fatal accident involving a broken down model of the car.
Nick Freeman – known as Mr Loophole for his ability to secure acquittals on the basis of legal technicalities – believes those who made the decision not to recall the cars after being put on notice back in 2011 about an electrical fault, should face the full force of the law.
“BMW were aware of this problem around seven years ago and there has since been a tragic fatality. I don’t know why there hasn’t been an investigation for corporate manslaughter. Clearly, someone made the decision to bury it or ignore it. Either way, a faulty BMW was implicated in an unnecessary loss of life and someone needs to be held responsible. Otherwise, large corporations have scope to act with impunity – at a potentially catastrophic cost.”
Last week, an inquest heard that Narayan Gurung, a 66-year-old former serviceman, was killed on Christmas Day, 2016 because he was forced to swerve his Ford Fiesta into a tree to avoid a broken-down BMW that had no lights on in the dark since it was without power.
The inquest revealed that BMW had received complaints of this electrical issue as early as 2011. Around 370,000 cars were thought to be involved at that time, but the manufacturer fixed only around five under warranty.
The DVSA asked BMW to ensure its cars were safe in February 2016, with the government body’s lead engineer, Andrew Tudor, stating that “we do not want a fatality”.
BMW supplier quality engineer Mark Hill said back then that the company believed the issue was not “critical” because it didn’t prevent the car’s steering or brakes from working.
Yes, it did, according to Nick Freeman who was discussing the matter this morning on Talk Radio, prevent the power steering from working.
Now the Manchester based lawyer, whose clients include David Beckham and Paddy McGuiness. is also warning owners of BMW not to use their cars since they risk criminal liability.
“If you use the car, either because you haven`t yet received a letter of recall or you`ve had one and ignored it, and you are then involved in a fatal accident because your car cuts out, you could be investigated for causing death by dangerous driving, fatal due care or causing serious injury whilst driving dangerously. All of which can lead to a prison sentence.
“That’s why my advice is that BMW drivers must be proactive: phone their dealers straight away and ask them to investigate whether their car has a fault. If they can’t fit you in immediately, advise your dealer you are hiring a car until they do and send them the bill for the rental.
“You know that your car could potentially cut out, what are you going to do? Take a chance for the next two weeks until someone can look at it? You could be driving an accident just waiting to happen. And the consequences, as we know, can be tragic.”
About Freeman & Co.
Freeman & Co. are a specialist firm of road traffic and criminal defence solicitors based in Manchester but with nationwide coverage.
Freeman & Co. specialise in a wide variety of road traffic cases, ranging from drink driving, speeding and mobile phone offences, to name but a few.
The firm was created by Nick Freeman, who has been dubbed “Mr Loophole” by the press for his technical legal ability and robustly challenging the prosecution.
Nick is well regarded as an expert road traffic lawyer and has successfully represented many high profile clients for a variety of motoring offences as well as criminal offences.
The firm of Freeman & Co. embodies the way Nick works, with minute attention to detail and challenging the prosecution at every turn.
If you are facing a road traffic matter or criminal offence and need the services of Freeman & Co. please call on 0161 236 7007.
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Freeman & Co Solicitors
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Tel. 0161 236 7007