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Thread: Tail light BMW assistance... not!

  1. #1
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    Tail light BMW assistance... not!

    Hey,

    Just a heads up that I had emailed Bill at BMW about my tail light. I don't think this will come as a surprise to anyone, but he stated that BMW will NOT provide any assistance on this issue. So very disappointing. I cannot fault Bill, as he has been very helpful, but I assume the powers that be have stated this unequivocally. Oh well, no new BMWs in my future!

  2. #2
    It's unfortunate that they said the neon lights would lost the lifetime of the car, and then not standby the product. Unfortunately it will be BMW AG where these problems originate, so BMW NA and Bill have little they can do.

    In Europe there are currently two lawsuits against BMW AG over the lack of taillights, but our problem is not a lack of taillights as there seems to be a good inventory of the U.S. Spec ones, it's the absurd almost $10,000 price they want to charge for the them.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  3. #3
    in Coral Gables, Florida DirkZ8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by macfly View Post
    It's unfortunate that they said the neon lights would lost the lifetime of the car, and then not standby the product.
    ... and what is equally unfortunate is that they decided to stick to the outdated neon technology. According to Classic: "Es geht nicht anders"
    Dirk

    Alpina #142
    www.bmwccca.com

  4. #4
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Dogsbreath's Avatar
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    My wife and I just took a trip through BC wine country. En route the fast flashing left turn signal reverted to a normal rate. It is an intermittent problem which makes me think it is an electrical connection or the control unit, not a leaky light. Anyone with similar intermittent issues? Dave p

  5. #5
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Z8DinanS2's Avatar
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    $10,000?!?
    Lights are a mandatory safety component. Lights that fail to comply with DOT laws due to their manufacture I would think would be subject to administrative and possibly civil action. It's one thing if you need to replace a $20 bulb, but this is ridiculous.

    Any other attorneys on this forum who, like me, see this as a potential legal issue for BMW...one that should be brought to their attention as such?

  6. #6
    Z8 Madness Z-acht's Avatar
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    On the moment the expected price is about 2000-2500. Still very expensive but they always have been expensive from start on.
    Ton
    1 of the 71 original Dutch sold cars (jetblack/red)

  7. #7
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Z8DinanS2's Avatar
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    I think the problem is not that they are expensive (e.g., a vintage Ferrari's light may be expensive but you never need to replace it unless you break it) but that they are like brake pads....sooner or later everyone needs to replace them. I Something like the light assemblies on a car should never need to be replaced absent breakage. If there is a service issue than BMW should support an exchange program. Otherwise they are selling cars that in not a terribly long period of time will not be in compliance with DOT requirements and will require repairs far more costly than routine maintenance.

  8. #8
    Z8 Madness Z-acht's Avatar
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    BMW found a new supplier and a rear unit is developed without the problems we know. Let us wait and see :-)
    Ton
    1 of the 71 original Dutch sold cars (jetblack/red)

  9. #9
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Z8DinanS2's Avatar
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    Interesting! Then BMW inherently acknowledges a design flaw in the original components!

    Are these the lights BMW is now selling? How can you tell if you receive the new style or NOS?

    How do they differ from the original lights?

  10. #10
    Z8 Madness Z-acht's Avatar
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    In the BMW Classic shop they are still on backorder. Every plastic product has a date stamp so you can check it out there I suppose.
    Ton
    1 of the 71 original Dutch sold cars (jetblack/red)

  11. #11
    Team Z8
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    I think all of us would have been happier with better designed LED replacement...something that would probably last the lifetime of the car.

  12. #12
    Team Z8 dwz8's Avatar
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    I posted news related to the tail light story in the club section, please have a look.

    We worked very intensively with BMW on this issue, and it took a couple of years. Now we have a breakthrough as you can easily tell from the letter that I have posted.

    Some comments to things said above:
    the original manufacturer in Italy went out of business and the remnants have been acquired by a German company. All know-how related to the neon units got lost.
    So it is not the case that BMW acknowledges a design flaw by changing the manufacturer. The challenge was to find a manufacturer AT ALL for neon tubes used in a car. Remember, at that point in time it was futuristic technology, until the advent of LED technology. That was the end to its future.

    Regarding LED solution:
    We did everything we could to avoid a switch to LED. This would have meant a massive change to the original state of the car, and it would have required replacement of cable harnesses, control units, tail lights, brake light, turning lights. We definitely preferred the solution that came with the car, because it is one of the outstanding features of the Z8 that no other car has.

    About pricing:
    Never heard about 10k for a unit. The current price per unit here is about 1,600 . Defective tail lights will be exchanged during this new goodwill campaign.

    Hope this helps,
    Dieter
    Best regards, Dieter

    ....

  13. #13
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    Great news! Thanks so much for your efforts.

    Pat

  14. #14
    Hi Dave, I've had the same intermittent problem. It will be interesting to see what happens when we take the car in to the dealership for the courtesy replacement and the original light works ok. We know what dealerships normally do in situations like that. Ted

  15. #15
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Dogsbreath's Avatar
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    Hey Ted. Yes. I'd considered that. Keep your fingers crossed that it misbehaves on the day

  16. #16
    Well, they say timing is everything. Beautiful day here in New Jersey, so I took my wife Sue out for a ride in the Z8 to get some ice cream. On the way home, I noticed the left turn signal indicator light was flashing more quickly than normal, and sure enough, the left rear signal is out. I immediately fired off an email to the BMW Z8 Club in Germany as per the instructions from Dieter. Hopefully I will be covered under the recently announced goodwill replacement program. Has anyone gotten a reply at this point, or any instructions on how to proceed?

    Bill

  17. #17
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    I suppose this means I should try using my turn signals!

  18. #18
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    My left front neon signal functioned intermittently but now its rarely functioning at all. Seems that using the turn signal or using the lights will trigger failure. My local BMW dealer simply stated that I need to replace the neon bulb but I'm curious if any others have found that the issue was not in fact the bulb.

  19. #19
    in Coral Gables, Florida DirkZ8's Avatar
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    Hope this helps. That was 5 years / 4,000 miles ago. Haven't had a problem since.
     
    Dirk

    Alpina #142
    www.bmwccca.com

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirkZ8 View Post
    Hope this helps. That was 5 years / 4,000 miles ago. Haven't had a problem since.
    Yes, thanks!

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