Ronen Kleiman was the first owner of a BMW i3 in Ontario, Canada. He made the reservation in January 2014 and received his leasing unit in June of that same year. However, after a month of acquiring the car, he realized that he was not able to reach the 200 km range announced at the time by the manufacturer.
Kleiman relates that he once made a trip 159 km from his house, with an outdoor temperature of 25ºC, without air conditioning and in Eco Pro + mode. Upon arrival, he had 1 km of remaining range. That is where Kleiman’s dispute with BMW began since on the manufacturer’s website it was announced that in Comfort mode, the autonomy was 160 km, in Eco Pro mode of 180 km, and Eco Pro + mode of 200 km.
However, at the end of 2014, BMW changed the data on its page, going on to announce a range of 130 km in Comfort mode, 160 km in Eco Pro mode, and 156 km in Eco Pro + mode (20% more than in mode Comfort). BMW did not address this consumer’s complaints until the website was changed, then showing the modified data as if it were initially on the page.
This confused Kleiman, who thought he had been wrong and spent several more years using his i3, which did not meet his autonomy needs (on occasion he was left stranded since in winter his range was significantly reduced). However, after a while, a friend of his recommended him to use the Wayback Machine page to see if BMW had changed the range announced on its website. When consulting the files, Kleiman verified that BMW had initially announced its i3 with a variety of 200 km on its page.
From there, the user tried to get BMW to offer him the rest of his leasing contract or the new version of the i3 (at that time the new i3 94 Ah had just been launched, with a battery 50% more capable than the from the original i3 60 Ah) or a thermal model to suit their needs, requests that BMW rejected.
Neither was he able to change the battery in his unit for a pack from the new version, and he only managed to be offered a credit of $5,000 for the purchase or leasing of a BMW vehicle. Also, the brand stated that it could not demonstrate that the car with 200 km of autonomy was advertised at the time, something that, however, it could do thanks to Internet files. Given this, he began his litigation against BMW.
“My lease was over in June 2018, and I returned the car with 16,000 km under the mileage I was allowed. This is because the car was parked for extended periods of time. I couldn’t drive it in the winter as I needed to go 100 km to reach the only charging station on my way to a 178 km destination on a weekly basis.”
Luckily, that does not mean he gave up on EVs.
“I purchased a Tesla Model 3 in September 2018. I can’t say enough about it, and, in the winter, it has an approximate 5 to 10 percent reduction in range.”