Alexis Fields shows her thumb after receiving reconstructive surgery. Picture: Victor Alcorn
Alexis Fields shows her thumb after receiving reconstructive surgery. Picture: Victor Alcorn

Woman’s thumb ‘mutilated’ by her BMW

IT may be "the ultimate driving machine," but BMWs are proving to be hell on drivers' thumbs.

In yet another civil case filed against the German automaker over its luxury cars' automatically closing doors, a Long Island woman claims her BMW 750Li nearly cut her thumb off - crushing it to the point that she needed reconstructive surgery and two pins.

Alexis Fields, a stay-at-home mum, 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.

The BMW has SCAD (Soft-Close Automatic Door) technology which detects attempts to close the door and kicks in an auto-close mechanism.

Alexis Fields show how her right thumb curves and appears shorter than her left thumb after the incident with her BMW. Picture: Victor Alcorn
Alexis Fields show how her right thumb curves and appears shorter than her left thumb after the incident with her BMW. Picture: Victor Alcorn

Ms Fields, 40, says she was reaching in to grab her purse with her right hand leaning on the door frame when the wind nudged the door slightly and triggered the motor.

"It happened so fast. It pulled shut on my finger and clamped down like a vice. My thumb was completely flat within seconds," Fields said.

"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," she added.

Within two hours Ms Fields, whose thumb was "mauled and mutilated," went to a specialist who performed surgery. But "sadly, by that time, it was too late to restore her thumb to its former pre-injury condition," the claim for damages states.

Ms Fields has numbness, limited mobility and pain in her right hand to this day resulting from the incident on October 31, 2016.

She has a hard time making lunches for her kids, folding laundry, writing and, as an avid bowler, "has not picked up a bowling ball since," the claim alleged.

"They are not doing anything to fix it. They just make excuses for it. One of my kids could have lost their hand," said Ms Fields, a mother of two young children.

 

Her husband, Seth Fields, said they have since gotten rid of the car, but even without automatic doors the family was left "traumatised".

"Now we don't let the kids touch the doors. I'm constantly saying, 'watch your fingers,' " said Mr Fields.

"I didn't want to be near that car ever again," Ms Fields added, noting that her thumb was now "crooked".

"Customers spend lots of money to drive what BMW calls the 'Ultimate Driving Machine.' It should be called the 'Ultimate Danger Machine,' " said the Fields' lawyer, Avi Cohen.

The claim states that BMW should have warnings on the car about the dangers of SCAD and BMW should recall any cars that have the technology and install motion sensors that would stop the door from closing when obstructions are in the way.

In March, Godwin Boateng sued the carmaker after his right thumb was chopped off by the SCAD technology in his $70,000 BMW X5.

Mr Boateng, a 61-year-old who also lives on Long Island, is also represented by Mr Cohen.

Unlike Ms Fields, doctors were unable to save his thumb and he now wears a fake digit from a $US3 magician's kit.

Mr Cohen said since The Post earlier reported on Mr Boateng he has been flooded with dozens of calls from people from around the country who say they have similar injuries.

"BMW, like a petulant child, has been unwilling to take responsibility for its modern-day guillotine doors," Mr Cohen said.

A representative for BMW said, "We can't comment on any pending litigation."

This article originally appeared on The New York Post and has been republished here with permission.



Kayaker fends off aggressive shark in rough seas

premium_icon Kayaker fends off aggressive shark in rough seas

Donaldson forced to fend off shark during rough sea conditions.

Coffs pub makes state's most 'violent' list

premium_icon Coffs pub makes state's most 'violent' list

Coffs venue listed as fourth most 'violent'

Tommy Emmanuel's moving tribute to his late brother Phil

premium_icon Tommy Emmanuel's moving tribute to his late brother Phil

Remembering one of Australia's great guitarists.

Local Partners