How A Lawsuit Made BMW Change Its Policy

How A Lawsuit Made BMW Change Its Policy
lawsuit

Sometimes the rage of one person or community can end up benefitting everyone. When these people fight for their rights, they also inspire others to do the same. They make sure that there is equality in the world. And it is because of their struggles that we see the world becoming a better place for all of us. We need more people to fight for what’s right in today’s world where diversity is at its highest level but so is discrimination and racism. People are suffering because of the color of their skin or the languages they speak. The modern world ridicule those who cannot speak English. The most spoken tongue in the world is Mandarin but even that gets sidelined sometimes because of English.

BMW Driver’s Manual:

Even the people not interested in cars know of BMW. It is one of the most famous motor company in the whole world. Although a lot of names have gotten famous recently and they offer more facilities to their customers than old companies, BMW continues to be one of the favorite car makers of many people. A very interesting thing about buying a new vehicle is that you get a manual with it. Some people might think it is a foolish thing to provide a manual because they know how to drive. But the purpose of this document is to familiarize a person with their vehicle and its various controls.

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It is true that the basic way of driving is the same in every car but new features get added to vehicles every year and it is only with the help of manuals that people get to make the most of their cars. BMW also offers a vehicle-specific driver’s manual to its clients each time they buy a new car. The manual helps people get to know their vehicle better and use it properly. But recently, this document has been in the news for all the wrong reasons.

Language of the Manual and Diversity:

Did you know that in the state of Indiana, people can take the driving license written test in 14 different languages? Well, now you do. This is a way to make sure immigrants have no problem getting their license even if they are not fluent in English. A lot of people need to drive to work, take their children to school, and do grocery regularly. But if they move to a new country and don’t get a license soon, they will have to face a lot of problems in their daily life. However, thanks to this lenient policy of DMV, people can take the written test in their language and get the driving license issued pretty quickly.

Unfortunately, BMW did not think of diversity when they made their manuals and ended up offering them in only English and Spanish. This was a problem for all the immigrants who were unfamiliar with these two vernaculars but bought a BMW vehicle for personal use.

The Lawsuit:

Neighbor to Neighbor Inc., a non-profit organization that works for refugees and immigrants, filed a lawsuit stating that the policy of BMW is pretty discriminatory and makes things difficult for people who are not familiar with English and Spanish. It was also pointed out that the DMV lets people take the written test in 14 different tongues then why is it that such a huge company did not think of being more inclusive.

The lawsuit ended with a settlement in which BMW agreed to translate the manual in Arabic, Mandarin, Burmese, and Chin. The company denied liability in the case as a part of their settlement. They stated that if 500 people take the written test in a language for three consecutive years, they will offer the translation of their manual in that vernacular. They also agreed to review previous years’ tests to figure out which other vernacular must be added to the list of languages in which their manuals will be translated.

What Does This Prove?

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The lawsuit and its result proved a lot of things for us but the biggest takeaway should be to not accept discrimination in any walk of life. As long as we are ready to rise against the discrimination, we will be able to get companies see things from our perspective. Even if they don’t think of it as their fault, they will rectify their mistakes and try to do the right thing to keep their clients happy.

Organizations like Neighbor to Neighbor Inc. are doing everything in their power to help make the lives of immigrants and refugees easier. These people had to start their life again in a foreign land. They shouldn’t have to go through so many issues to figure things out. It is up to corporations to think of the people they are serving and be more inclusive in their policies. If they do that, not only will they be benefitting their customers but also their business by winning the approval of their target audience.

The lawsuit should make every company reevaluate the way they deal with diversity. There are many cultures and languages in the world and the sooner everybody accepts that, the better it will be for all of us. And if companies decide to make changes in their policy before any lawsuits are filed against them, it will save them from bad publicity too and people will respect them for making the right call.

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