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Thread: A Brief Phone Conversation w/Bill

  1. #1
    Z8 Madness
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    A Brief Phone Conversation w/Bill

    I spoke with Bill S. today on the phone and he assured me that BMW NA will stand behind its product 100%.

    Bill indicated that I can, at any point, take my car in to the dealer and ask for a complete evaluation and that he would authorize the service.

    He also indicated that if he, for any reason (and I hope it be a promotion), is no longer in his current position, he would pass my file on to the next person in charge.

    We did not discuss many details, but I got the impression that BMW NA will do whatever possible to keep me (us) happy.

    For now, that's good enough for me and I, without hesitation, will put my trust in BMW NA.
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  2. #2
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    I had an identical call with Bill. I sure hope he stays around!

  3. #3

    Indeed.......

    we all owe a great deal to Bill on this.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  4. #4
    Team Z8 jawz's Avatar
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    I had basically the same conversation with Bill 2 days ago. He responded on behalf of Alan ??? who was out of town till next week. He also said he would start a file in my name to address issues as they come up.

    I asked him to check into the applicability to the Alpina too. I don't believe he knew the answer but said he'd give me a call next week. So far, Bill seems to be the one who is (assigned to?) heading up this issue with the owners. I welcome his comments.

  5. #5
    DSC Off ZbobZ's Avatar
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    A short call...

    I had a similar call, friendly and polite. However, it was made clear to me that BMW does not acknowledge a problem with the chassis, and frame damage is not unexpected when driving rough roads with pot holes (paraphrase). I would like to be optimistic that BMW is going to do the right thing, but I'm still in the "wait and see" camp.

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    Yes, I should have also mentioned that Bill went out of his way, in the sense that it was not in the flow of the conversation, to state that BMW does not think there is any "problem" with the shock towers/frame, so he has clearly been coached/told to "get that in there". I politely disagreed, and said that imho there is evidence that a single pothole can and has caused tower doming. He replied that bmw will "stand by its products" and "take care of its customers."


    Quote Originally Posted by ZbobZ
    I had a similar call, friendly and polite. However, it was made clear to me that BMW does not acknowledge a problem with the chassis, and frame damage is not unexpected when driving rough roads with pot holes (paraphrase). I would like to be optimistic that BMW is going to do the right thing, but I'm still in the "wait and see" camp.

  7. #7
    Team Z8 dwz8's Avatar
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    Bill is certainly a great guy...

    and he acts now as he has been told.
    And apparently this means: divide and conquer.
    Talk to individual owners, to those shouting the most, and calm them down. Give them everything for free, so that they will influence others.

    And of course, the facts never change: it's all our fault, there is nothing, not the tiniest little fault on BMW's side...and if there is any further problem in the future, there won't be any fault on BMW's side...

    I am still not aware of anybody who has been contacted by BMW here in Germany, not a single letter, not a single call, dealers have no idea.
    Best regards, Dieter

    ....

  8. #8
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Robert Linton's Avatar
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    As to refusing to admit error, several interesting points:

    First, as to the refusal to call the "performance upgrade" what it is, a fix for a structural defect/engineering error, it is interesting that for the car to "perform" as per its advertised ability and at the level upon which we as ownes relied in purchasing same, it seems to require the "performance upgrade", i.e., I can find no prohibition or even a reference to "ambitious sporty driving on bad road surfaces" in the owner handbook.

    Second, in the past two weeks, I have repeatedly asked officials of BMW NA to define "ambitious sport driving" in writing or verbally and they have not. So, too, have I asked for a definition of "bad road surfaces" and/or to provide to me a CD containing bad road surfaces in my area, let alone in the U.S., and this is not available -- verbally or in writing.

    Third, if BMW will not define ambitious sport driving or bad road surfaces, how do we know what to avoid (even though there was no such avoidance requirement when the cars were purchased)?

    Fourth, admittedly rhetorically, will BMW provide us with trucks to carry our cars across bad road surfaces?

    To be sure, as we all know, this is ridiculous -- particularly as BMW driving experiences, some of which were attended through the use of gift certificates delivered to us because of the "limited slip issue", sometimes included Z8's and I do not believe any owners were cautioned by BMW officials about ambitious sport driving, on or off "bad road surfaces".

    Attempt to hide as they might, attempt to buy our good will through offers of various forms of consideration as they might, the fact remains that there is clearly an issue and it would be easier to resolve if:

    1. BMW notifies all owners -- not just participants on this board or members of the Z8 Club -- this is only fair (and, I would opine, BMW's best strategy to protect itself).

    2. BMW admits that a problem exists -- no one, not even BMW, is perfect and people are generally quite forgiving when one admits fault and takes responsibility.

    3. BMW offers the fix to all free of charge and fixes any cars that have been damaged other than those that have been clearly abused beyond fair and reasonable standards (subjective term but, no doubt, BMW will, once it determines to be fair, be fair to all).

    Finally, the last time I suggested that all owners should be treated equally, it was suggested that that thought was "mere drivel". I do not believe fairness is drivel nor the concept that we should insist that all be treated in this manner drivel and I would seriously question the integrity and motives of anyone who thinks some should get the fix for free and others not, that some should be notified and others not. Perhaps "do onto others..." is drivel too, but I, for one, think not.

  9. #9
    Team Z8 jawz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwz8
    and he acts now as he has been told.
    And apparently this means: divide and conquer.
    Talk to individual owners, to those shouting the most, and calm them down. Give them everything for free, so that they will influence others.

    And of course, the facts never change: it's all our fault, there is nothing, not the tiniest little fault on BMW's side...and if there is any further problem in the future, there won't be any fault on BMW's side...
    Agreed! I still don't fully understand BMWs position. Actually, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.

    Our only fault here was to purchase (in good faith I might add) a high end vehicle from a company that maintains a world class reputation. Hard to believe the owners are the ones who are to blame according to BMW.

  10. #10
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    Agree with you, but ...

    Quote Originally Posted by dwz8
    And of course, the facts never change: it's all our fault, there is nothing, not the tiniest little fault on BMW's side...and if there is any further problem in the future, there won't be any fault on BMW's side...
    The problem for us owners is that we lack hard facts. What can we possibly demand from BMW NA?

    If the Club had moved forward with their test, perhaps we would be in better position to do the next thing, whatever that might be. I am a bit dissapointed at their decision to cancel the tests.
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  11. #11
    Z8 Novice Zzzz8's Avatar
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    Interesting phone call

    Just got off the phone with Bill and a few things were said that I haven't seen written here as yet:

    (1) That letters were not initially sent to all Z8 owners, just the more vocal members, but that BMW has reconsidered this action and that ALL Z8 owners will now be contacted by letter starting later this week, apprising them of this issue. He stated that BMW does not believe there is or was a problem, and that it wasn't necessary to upset the other (read: "unenlightened") owners here-to-fore. (2) That this was just a "performance upgrade" and NOT "THE FIX". He didn't elaborate on this point.

    He did say for me to have my car evaluated at Advantage BMW in Houston, and that if there were any questions or problems that I could contact him and that he would intervene if necessary. I had informed him that I was not certain whether I have sustained any damage to my 9,500 mile 2003 Z8. But given the state of Houston's highways and byways, I'd consider myself quite fortunate if I've somehow escaped!!

    Frank
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  12. #12
    Team Z8 dwz8's Avatar
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    So this confirms what we have heard so far from BMW:

    "Dear owner,

    we want to inform you that we will bring out a performance kit for those drivers who want to take their cars to bad roads and run them fast.

    Rest assured, nothing is wrong with your car, and installing the performance kit does nothing good to your car unless you drive like those ... ."

    How many of these "well-informed" owners are going to pay 3,900 bucks for the (non-)fix?
    How many years will the owners have to deal with bent cars because of this short-sightedness?
    Well done, Bill, well done indeed.

    BTW, where are all those who have been shouting so loud on this board over the past couple of months? Are you all getting your car privately examined, and did BMW NA "intervene"?
    Best regards, Dieter

    ....

  13. #13
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Still in waiting mode - for now...

    My conversation with Bill was less than a week ago, and I also received the letter last week. In another thread I pointed out that besides the issue of who "pays the bill", I am concerned with the details of the fix and how/where it will be installed. Bill took my concerns as a point to follow up with "those in the know" and communicate back what he can, when he can. Pretty loose, really.

    It's interesting to see them discuss a full notification campaign. I know this has been key for some of us. Maybe they're in the listening mood these days...

    For now, I'll wait a week or so to hear from Bill. Then I'll start calling again.
    thegunguy

  14. #14
    Team Z8 dwz8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thegunguy
    It's interesting to see them discuss a full notification campaign.
    The letter they have sent to the "more vocal people" on this board has been posted. What did it say?

    - the Z8 is great
    - there is no damage
    - the Z8 is great
    - there is a performance kit
    - the Z8 is great
    - it's just for those nerds...

    They can send out 100 letters to each owner. If they keep the communication like this, they might as well save the expense.
    Best regards, Dieter

    ....

  15. #15
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    Last Thursday I kissed my sister

    Well, after being told to bring my Z8 to the only dealer around on Thursday I got NOTHING. I was told by Bill Green to bring it in and an engineer from "back east" would examine it. I brought it in waited for a bit over an hour and then left the car. The next day on my return I was told they opened the hood and took pictures. I had 3 complaints. The concern about the shock towers and chassis, the new top replaced in October 2005 and lowered once was separating from the plastic window in the usual place, and there was a shimmy at low speeds. 5400 miles. The car was not placed on the alignment rack and no measurements were made, although I don't think I have any damage. I was called in the afternoon to pick her up. The engineer turned out to be a tech instructor from So Cal!
    I have not been contacted by BMW nor has the dealer regarding any of theses issues plus an intermittent difficulty with opening the trunk. Although I would like to think things are improving, so far just a Public Relations Campaign seems to be underway. I'm disgusted with it all and feel BMW is treading water with no obvious plan. It's a great "pick-up" sand lot ball game far below what I would have expected at this late date.
    Shame shame!

  16. #16

    Patience....

    I honestly believe that BMW are walking the walk. I feel that we should allow them to take the careful steps they need to in what they know could be a minefield. They have made enormous strides in the right direction, and I would hate for them to get gun shy and run away at this point. Now that they have indicated both concern and commitment to us I really think that we should give them the benefit of the doubt. We know that they have created the Performance Package for us, they given us a distribution time line, and promised to stand by their product and us ? that is a very long way in a relatively short time, so let?s play ball with them.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  17. #17

    Dieter, in answer here is the letter....

    as you can see it says exactly what you would expect it to say. The great news is that we have a fix, and BMW's commitment to stand by us. The price may seem a little harsh, but if it is 35 hours of labor to install it that accounts for the cost at most SoCal dealers where ~$150 per hour seems to be the norm.
     
    Andrew Macpherson

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  18. #18
    Z8 Madness
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    Not Good Enough

    A free inspection and this letter doesn't really address the issues.

    1) BMW: What exactly is enthusiastic driving? Also, give an example of a bad section of the road.

    2) Suppose a car passes the free inspection. The owner decides that he/she is not going to install the upgrade. Subsequently, the car is deformed (on a public road and under legal driving conditions). Who is responsible for the repairs?

    3) This letter and all other communications/deals should apply equally to ALL z8 owners. (I have not received my letter yet.)

    While I had a positive chat with Bill, the fact of the matters have not changed. I still have a car in the garage that I'm afraid of driving and the performance upgrade is priced beyond what I'm willing to pay.
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  19. #19
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    I agree with ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Linton
    1. BMW notifies all owners -- not just participants on this board or members of the Z8 Club -- this is only fair (and, I would opine, BMW's best strategy to protect itself).

    2. BMW admits that a problem exists -- no one, not even BMW, is perfect and people are generally quite forgiving when one admits fault and takes responsibility.

    3. BMW offers the fix to all free of charge and fixes any cars that have been damaged other than those that have been clearly abused beyond fair and reasonable standards (subjective term but, no doubt, BMW will, once it determines to be fair, be fair to all).
    ... the above.
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  20. #20
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Inspection is a waste at this point (for most)

    Frankly, I don't believe there is currently anyone at BMW NA or within the NA dealer network that is qualified to inspect the cars. Well, maybe the ARC.

    Furthermore, the inspection accomplishes nothing other than confirming damage on those cars that have it. If you feel your car is undamaged, merely confirming your "feelings" does nothing to ease your fear that damage might occur at anytime.

    Personally, I think this is just something that BMW is offering in order to buy time while the plan to release the fix is completed. Feel free to have your car inspected if you like, but for me, it's just a hastle without benefit.
    thegunguy

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by thegunguy
    Frankly, I don't believe there is currently anyone at BMW NA or within the NA dealer network that is qualified to inspect the cars. Well, maybe the ARC.
    True, odds are that other than wheel alignment and visual inspection, nothing else can be done. However, this might be a good way to get a paper-trail started with BMW.
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    Our German Z8 may not have Bill to improve their PR , but I hope they will soon. We all need to be treated the same and prove to us that our Z8 will have a fix, otherwise the Z8 will be known as the car with "possible frame damage that will not effect its safety."

  23. #23
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Robert Linton's Avatar
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    So far I only see the acts of a person not wanting the truth to be demonstrably shown without any shadow of a doubt. As such, talk the talk (not walk the walk) such as sending a tech instructor who can opine on nothing and provides only short lived eye candy instead of a structural engineer who might tell the truth -- mercifully Sunnslo's eye was not fooled by form without substance.

    As to the Performance Package, why continue the myth in calling it that - other than if one admits that the car cannot perform as promised without it?

    With respect to standing by the product, has anyone received any written promise of this? Also, has anyone received any written assurance that there is no problem with the structural integrity of the rear of the car, or that the fix (the "performance package") will not exacerbate any issues with the rear?

    Finally, has anyone received any definition, written or oral, of "ambitious sporty driving" or of "bad road surfaces" -- or a map of the "bad road surfaces" that one must avoid without the fix (allright, the "performance package") -- does, e.g., potholed New York City or Tulsa have any such surfaces?

    Surely, it is time for substance rather than pabulum. As to BMW running away, that would prove beyond any doubt the case and the press would have a field day -- all of whom will easily see beyond the myth of "performance package". No, BMW's only hope of escape is if we let them by inaction or by direct or tacit acceptance of fairy stories.

  24. #24
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    BMW tech to inspect my car...

    Quote Originally Posted by sunnslo
    Well, after being told to bring my Z8 to the only dealer around on Thursday I got NOTHING. I was told by Bill Green to bring it in and an engineer from "back east" would examine it. I brought it in waited for a bit over an hour and then left the car. The next day on my return I was told they opened the hood and took pictures. I had 3 complaints. The concern about the shock towers and chassis, the new top replaced in October 2005 and lowered once was separating from the plastic window in the usual place, and there was a shimmy at low speeds. 5400 miles. The car was not placed on the alignment rack and no measurements were made, although I don't think I have any damage. I was called in the afternoon to pick her up. The engineer turned out to be a tech instructor from So Cal!
    I have not been contacted by BMW nor has the dealer regarding any of theses issues plus an intermittent difficulty with opening the trunk. Although I would like to think things are improving, so far just a Public Relations Campaign seems to be underway. I'm disgusted with it all and feel BMW is treading water with no obvious plan. It's a great "pick-up" sand lot ball game far below what I would have expected at this late date.
    Shame shame!
    Sending a tech out next Thursday, June 22. I've already had the hood realigned once and have some deformation of the shock tower. Probably get an full alignment before he comes out so we have some numbers in hand.

  25. #25
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    No repsonse from BMW

    After I received my "letter" from BMW, I called them at the number provided. The customer service person new NOTHING about the issue of the letter, even after I read it to her! She referred me to another customer service rep, who I left a voice mail with. He tried back once after I tried him three times and we never hooked up.

    We have the car "on blocks" until we know what the F is going on for sure.

    Karl

  26. #26
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    Fairy stories is what is being seen right now....

    as not much seems to be happening. I too am being contacted to have a field service representative come and inspect my car. I have not made this arrangement yet as I have been unable to actually speak with Mr. Stuart personally as we have been playing telephone tag for over a week. Before that will happen, I have to have some assurances as to what is going to be inspected and by whom and what that persons qualifications are AND what they are to be looking for.... exactly.

    Whether this "fix" is actually the real deal and whether this will truly offer any protection for the car's frame long term remains to be seen as BMW's rhetoric to date states nothing about what the fix / upgrade is actually supposed to correct or prevent. Maybe (?) when this is actually released (coming Summer 2006 to a dealer near you Hollywood could say), BMW will make some definitive statements about it, but given their profile to date, I am not holding my breath.
    Best Regards,

    Jeff
    61995 Silver /// Rot - Original Owner
    Z8 Club of Germany e.V. #102

  27. #27
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    No response from BMW

    I called the number on the letter about 2 weeks ago and spoke with a customer rep, who told me that someone will be contacting me in a few days. So far I have not received a reply. I am disappointed by the response, and this for a owner of one of BMW's most expensive cars!

    That 550 Maranello is starting to look better for a trade-in....

  28. #28
    Sport Button On - DSC Off mollyshark's Avatar
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    I'll be at BMW headquarters in Munich next month. I'll ask around and see if there are any responses to our issue.
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