We brought you news last year of a horrific accident, in which a woman was killed when her G-Wiz neighborhood electric vehicle, a model not sold in the United States, was struck by another vehicle.
An inquest into the accident has now ended and the verdict has been given as accidental death.
Last November the G-Wiz of scientist Judit Nadal was struck by a Skoda Octavia as she pulled out onto a main road. Mrs Nadal was thrown clear of the car as it split in two and died instantly.
Mrs Nadal's husband revealed at the inquest that his wife had been on the phone to him seconds before the impact, saying "I think I have made a mistake" as she pulled out in front of the other car, driven by Romanian Marcel Jorja. Mr Nadal also confirmed that his wife often didn't wear a seatbelt as she found it uncomfortable.
The inquest found that the G-Wiz provided no protection in the accident, and Mr Nadal believes that even had his wife been wearing her seatbelt the outcome would have been no different. "The G-Wiz is clearly a vehicle designed to be driven safely. It does not take much to cause it to disintegrate," he said. He felt no animosity towards Mr Jorja, who had done everything he could to avoid the accident.
The tragic accident highlights the importance of making use of a vehicle's seatbelt and the potential distraction of using a mobile phone when driving, but it's again a warning that Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs) such as the G-Wiz must be driven with even greater care than usual as they are not designed to the same safety regulations as normal vehicles.
In the United States there are heavier restrictions on their use than in the U.K, with NEVs limited to 25 miles per hour in suburbs with speed limits of less than 35 mph. Also in contrast to the U.K, NEVs are required to be crash tested at their 25 mph speed limit. As such, the risks for NEV users are lower than their counterparts in the U.K, where there are fewer restrictions on the cars being driven on faster roads.
A spokeswoman for U.K. G-Wiz importer GoinGreen said "It has an exemplary safety record", and claims the case is the first serious accident involving a G-Wiz.