According to documents provided to BMW dealers, the recall affects i3s sold in the U.S. from model years 2014 through 2018 (that's all of them), a total of about 30,542 units. The test it failed is a front rigid barrier crash, specifically with a 5-foot-tall, 110-pound female in the driver's seat who is not wearing a seat belt. Such a situation produces a "marginally" higher risk of neck injury according to NHTSA tests.
Owners will receive a letter in January advising them of the recall. The automaker says customers can continue driving their i3 EVs in the meantime, and are confident of the car's safety when the driver wears a seat belt. In all, the recall doesn't seem like such a big deal except that it affects an entire nameplate.
"While BMW's compliance testing showed results well below the required limits, more recent testing has shown inconsistent results," BMW said in a statement. "Consequently, BMW has issued a recall and is working with the agency to understand the differences in the test results. A remedy is forthcoming."
But, yeah, wear your seat belt.