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Thread: Dear Z8 Owners

  1. #1

    Dear Z8 Owners

    Dear Z8 Owners,

    In the past few months you may or may not have been following the Internet chatter concerning a perceived issue surrounding the structural frame of the BMW Z8. In order to address and allay your possible concerns, I wanted to provide the following comprehensive update.

    The Z8 structural foundation is an aluminum space frame. The advantages are plentiful.

    ? A space frame, with a central structural tunnel element, is especially suitable for an open-bodied car like the Z8 because it gives optimum structural rigidity.

    ? Aluminum construction saves significant weight compared to steel.

    ? Careful, targeted design of the space frame helped BMW engineers achieve not only high rigidity for precise handling and a quality driving feel, but also the energy management that promotes crash safety.

    During the development stage the BMW Z8 underwent the complete program of tests that accompany a new model. These included testing on the Nordschleife (North Loop) of the N?rburgring, as well as driving over bumps and obstacles. We are pleased to say the Z8 successfully passed everything without exception.

    Due to recent concerns from some of our customers, we once again have tested and inspected several Z8?s. Our investigation again has shown that the stiffness of the Z8 body fully meets the proven BMW Standards. Slight distortions that are being discussed have no effect on driving safety and drivability. If a customer feels uncertain about the condition of their Z8, we recommend a tracking alignment check that will establish if the car is still in line with specifications.

    Due to customer demand, a performance package is being developed should a customer desire to enhance their Z8 to increase the stiffness in the front end to counteract potential body deformation. The performance package is in the development phase and we expect to have it available as part of the accessory line up this summer. The package will not enhance the vehicle capability.

    Your local BMW center and Customer Relations are here to help if you should have any concerns with your Z8. If there are any questions please feel free to call us at (800) 831-1117.

    BMW has always taken customers requests and concerns to heart. We are always open to your feedback and ready to answer any questions you may have about this or any other issue with your BMW. Thank you for your patience and your confidence in BMW now and in the future.

    We wish you continued driving pleasure in your Z8!

    Nina Englert
    Manager, Customer Relations and Services

  2. #2

    Thanks for the info...

    and we are all happy that BMW AG reacted so quickly to our concerns and produced a shock tower strengthening Performance Upgrade to protect our investment.

    I know that everyone is most anxious to know more about the kit, and what is required in its fitment. Can you post some photos or drawings of it please.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  3. #3
    Z8 Madness
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    Thanks

    Over the years, I've been involved with a number of online car forums and this must be the first time that a manufacturer's representative has posted a message in what must be the most brutal and any-thing-goes environment (this site excluded, of course ).

    So, this shows BMW's commitment to customer satisfaction.

    I too would like to learn more details about the upgrade. It would be great if you could provide a breakdown of the cost of this upgrade, as for many of us the price appears to be excessive (figure 25% of a new Mini Cooper!).
    62050 - Z8

  4. #4
    Team Z8 jawz's Avatar
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    BMW NA Customer Relations - I know you're still here because I can see your little green light.

    Can you please read and respond to the thread entitled "Data needed for Performance Upgrade"? Many of us are starved for pertinent info regarding this "fix".

    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by blkz8

    I too would like to learn more details about the upgrade. It would be great if you could provide a breakdown of the cost of this upgrade, as for many of us the price appears to be excessive (figure 25% of a new Mini Cooper!).
    For the MSRP at the time of purchase one could have 5 MINI Coopers.

    This "upgrade" at list is about half the price of a Quaife Limited Slip Differential 3.64:1 plus an Eisenmann Race Exhaust, both Installed. "Upgrades" many of us deem essential to bring the car up to its potential.

    Just some perspective

  6. #6
    Z8 Madness
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    Quote Originally Posted by BMW NA Customer Relations
    Slight distortions that are being discussed have no effect on driving safety and drivability.
    Also, I'm having a hard time parsing the above statement. What is slight distortion?
    62050 - Z8

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    Please Interpret

    I for one am just plain having a hard time understanding this post and some that follow. So there is a performance package that will enhance the structural rigidity of the car so that the body panels stay in their place, but it doesn't enhance the performance capability of the car?
    Ok, nice work!
    Finally there may be some who feel that they like to add performance diff's and exhausts to improve their cars, but some of us believe the spatial relationship of original body panels shouldn't need after production parts at any cost. So somebody explain this letter to me ... PLEASE!
    Robbie, the guy that just fell off the turnip truck.

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    Sport Button On - DSC Off mollyshark's Avatar
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    It comes down to: There is nothing wrong with your car. Bending and twisting is normal. If it bothers you, you can pay 5K and have the "ambitious drivers" package installed to prevent it from happening or prevent it from going further if you are already bent or twisted. Thank you. Don't cry for me Argentina.
    ___________________
    MollyShark
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  9. #9
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Unified strategy

    Thanks for sharing Ms. Englert. In this day of hyper-available information, I think it is a wise thing for all companies to interact in anyway possible with its most enthusiastic and loyal customers. While I don't expect you to join in the normal banter, to know that you are more than lurking in the shadows shows that BMW does recognize some level of value in our ethusiastic little band.

    As many have mentioned here and in other places. Any details that can be shared about the fix would be likely be well received. Most of us are wondering:
    1. Technical details (parts, weight, color, drawings, etc.)
    2. Location where the "upgrade" will be performed
    3. Level of training of those performing the "upgrade"

    I also received your latest letter today (assumed to be sent to all Z8 owners). One thing that puzzles me is that you do not mention the Performance Upgrade in the latest letter, but it is noted in your post. Is there a reason for this omission in the letter?
    thegunguy

  10. #10
    Team Z8 dwz8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BMW NA Customer Relations
    Dear Z8 Owners,

    During the development stage the BMW Z8 underwent the complete program of tests that accompany a new model.
    The test program for cars at the time the Z8 was tested, or the test program that is used for cars now?
    Quote Originally Posted by BMW NA Customer Relations
    These included testing on the Nordschleife (North Loop) of the N?rburgring, as well as driving over bumps and obstacles. We are pleased to say the Z8 successfully passed everything without exception.
    "...without exception" sounds good, but can we assume that it was without any damage?
    Quote Originally Posted by BMW NA Customer Relations
    Due to recent concerns from some of our customers, we once again have tested and inspected several Z8?s. Our investigation again has shown that the stiffness of the Z8 body fully meets the proven BMW Standards.
    again, today's standards, or the earlier ones in use at the time the Z8 was developed?
    Quote Originally Posted by BMW NA Customer Relations
    Slight distortions that are being discussed have no effect on driving safety and drivability. If a customer feels uncertain about the condition of their Z8, we recommend a tracking alignment check that will establish if the car is still in line with specifications.
    Please define "slight distortions". Please disclose the cited specifications.
    Quote Originally Posted by BMW NA Customer Relations
    Due to customer demand, a performance package is being developed should a customer desire to enhance their Z8 to increase the stiffness in the front end to counteract potential body deformation. The performance package is in the development phase and we expect to have it available as part of the accessory line up this summer.The package will not enhance the vehicle's capability.
    How can a "performance package" "not enhance the vehicle's capability"? Please explain.
    How does "potential body deformation" work with the intangible stiffness of the frame mentioned above? Please explain.
    Quote Originally Posted by BMW NA Customer Relations
    Your local BMW center and Customer Relations are here to help if you should have any concerns with your Z8. If there are any questions please feel free to call us at (800) 831-1117.
    I don't want to be unfair, however, it seems that nobody in Germany has been informed about this, and no official communication between BMW and its Z8 customers has happened at all.
    Quote Originally Posted by BMW NA Customer Relations
    BMW has always taken customers requests and concerns to heart. We are always open to your feedback and ready to answer any questions you may have about this or any other issue with your BMW. Thank you for your patience and your confidence in BMW now and in the future.
    ok, some questions:
    • How do you ensure the integrity of all Z8's in the future?
    • Can you testify/confirm/proove that driving through a normal pothole will not distort the frame, as some of us here (including myself) have experienced?
    • Knowing that several owners have seen this happening, and having had access to several damaged cars, and having developed an unrelated "performance package" that doesn't enhance performance but enhances the rigidity of a flawless space frame, how do you feel when explicitely recommending to Z8 drivers that the kit will not be of use unless they do "ambitious sporty driving" on "bad road surfaces"?
    • Can you explain why a single incident like a pothole at moderate speed distorts the strut tower, and why not the rim, the strut, or any other weak parts that should protect the frame from any damage?

    Quote Originally Posted by BMW NA Customer Relations
    We wish you continued driving pleasure in your Z8!
    Nina Englert, Manager, Customer Relations and Services
    Thanks a lot, I appreciate your wish and also your statement here. I feel sorry for all the guys that do not dare to drive out there, especially on the backroads in America, where one single pothole can make a big difference. I clearly understand that BMW is concerned about its customers. Right now it looks like this means the customers only that make enough noise.
    Best regards, Dieter

    ....

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    dwz8

    Exquisitly said.

    Robbie

  12. #12
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    Thank you Mrs. Englert for the response but as usual...

    this has just created additional questions from everyone. I do think this is the first time I have seen an individual response from a car company on a website. Thank you for that and feel free to post as often as you like to give us all additional information.

    Hey Andrew, maybe we need a specific heading where BMW can just post information without commentary, just for informational purposes if they choose to use it?

    IMHO, I still do not see what the "collective" Z8 ownership wants to do -- are we all going to negotiate individual deals or are we all going to stick together on this one and get the fix for all Z8 owners?
    Best Regards,

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

  13. #13
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Robert Linton's Avatar
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    The only fair thing is that the fix should be given free to all owners.

  14. #14
    Bob, firstly let me say that ethically I believe you are right.

    However the 'fix' will only be available as a purchased 'upgrade' in Europe, BMW AG will not entertain it being anything but that. They have very different laws in Europe, and they tend to favor the mighty and the powerful, not the common man, so BMW AG can be very confident in the strength of it's position. It has supplied a 'performance upgrade' at the request of the Z8 Club, and in doing so has honored it's part of the deal. I believe that the frame issue will also be less prevalent in the EU over the long term because the roads are so much better maintained.

    When it comes to consumer rights in the US I think it is pretty clear that the law favors the common man over the powerful and mighty, especially if the common man has a powerful and mighty law firm in his corner. However should BMW NA really be responsible for each and every car, no matter how many owners, leasers or dealers hands it has passed through? I would suggest that perhaps the owners who purchased the car directly from BMW NA, thus entered into a legal contract of sale directly with them, are the ones that BMW's primary responsibility lies with. Once in the used marketplace I feel it is more difficult to justify making BMW ?upgrade? and possibly repair the cars when damage could be caused by any manner of mishaps.

    To answer Jeff's question, do we settle this with BMW NA on a case by case basis, privately, or do we campaign for the 90% of owners who have never been to this board, nor would care to?

    What is right, and what is wrong? What is black and what is white? I find myself looking for the answer and the solution in the shades of grey.

    Have I sold out you ask?
    No, because I have been made no offer myself for anything. However I know that the community here that I have campaigned for is going to be looked after by BMW in a suitable, respectful and responsible manner. This situation has been tiring, distracting, and sometimes very upsetting. I have been criticized and insulted for even undertaking this fight by many within our small 10% of online owners, so myself I have no inclination to fight for the other 90% who don't know or likely don't care about what I've been through in the last six months. If they are not enthusiastic enough to be here and be paying attention then they need to fight their own fight.


    This is a quick review of my thoughts.......
    *We wanted a fix, and in Feb-Mar we said we would be happy to buy it as a ?Performance Upgrade?.
    *BMW AG responded very quickly and gave us what we wanted.
    *We won our battle, but at a price, and BMW AG set the price of our victory.
    *BMW NA then reached out to us, the community of enthusiasts who love our cars enough to be online here chatting about them.
    *This is beyond what I had expected.
    *Could we now get into a knock-down drag out fight to force them up upgrade, repair or buy back every Z8? Maybe, but at what cost, and over what timeframe?
    *What would the hidden cost of such a victory be when we need parts, support etc over the next 50 years? Would they respect and fear us because we beat them, or would they hate and scorn us for costing them a fortune, and dragging them into ill repute?
    *I just don?t have the wisdom to know, but I?m also not really interested to find out.
    *I simply want to get my car fixed so I can drive it in happiness and joy knowing that a simple pothole isn?t going to destroy it anymore.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  15. #15
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    I Completely Agree With Andrew!

  16. #16
    Team Z8 dwz8's Avatar
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    Andrew,

    I agree with almost everything you said. There is one additional issue only, that I see:

    Now, and only now is the opportunity to put this entire discussion to rest. If only a few Z8's get the non-improving kit now, all others will stay unprotected.
    The knowledge that this is the case will lead to a fifty year long discussion whether the Z8 in front of you is a "straight" one, one "with the fix", or a "bent one". You simply don't know.

    Sales recommendations will be out for used cars soon, recommending to to an alignment and strut tower check, a check whether the "kit" is installed or not, and possibly more. This is inevitable.

    So the Z8's image will be damaged forever because of this half-hearted cure.
    Also, if BMW ever decides to offer a Z10 or similar, how would they like the question of a journalist "Is this really a sportscar, or will it need another performance kit first?"

    For me, this is not a discussion about the cost. If this is supposed to be my contribution to keeping the Z8's image shiny, so be it.
    What upsets me is that BMW explicitely tells drivers that this kit won't do anything for them, that everything is fine with the frame etc etc. So the unique chance to eradicate this problem once and forever is going away.

    At the end, we will have the "fun" with this, answering all the questions over the next years, trying to help new Z8 owners to make the right purchase decision, trying to detect bent cars that are tried to be sold as intact cars etc etc.
    This all will have an impact on the value of the car, of course.
    Best regards, Dieter

    ....

  17. #17
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    All good points.

    Here's my take on the recent posts.
    1. Bob is right.
    2. Andrew is practical.
    3. Dieter is insightful.

    By insightful, I referring to the fact that all future BMW flagship sports cars will be in question as to their true abilities to be used as advertised.

    While like Bob, I believe that BMW should install the fix in the entire fleet of cars, it does sound like the fix will be easily detected upon visual inspection of the car. So, future values will probably two tier - fix/non-fix.
    thegunguy

  18. #18
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Robert Linton's Avatar
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    Zolla was right as was Pastor Martin Niem?ller.

  19. #19
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Robert Linton's Avatar
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    Zolla was right as was Pastor Martin Niem?ller. And if what Andrew says above is true, what does it say about BMW doing what is right?

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    For me solution is simple.

    I will buy the upgrade in order to drive safely without having to be afraid to damage the car. Agree that people who will not buy this upgrade will in long run face lower values for their cars as the market will know about this.

    Having said this I will also have to conclude that if I am asked to pay for it myself I will never again buy a BMW (or other car from BMW Group). Simpe as that!

    However I no doubt will remain the owner of my Z8 and will enjoy the car as it will mature in years to come as a "classic".

    Z8-NL
    See you on the Ring in September 06 during the Club event!

  21. #21
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Robert Linton's Avatar
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    Yes, no doubt, if BMW does not do the right thing without a class action forcing them to (and cauising them to pay millions in additional damages), many will never purchase from them again as they will be seen as dishonorable -- and not even our own Doctor Faustus can change this.

  22. #22
    Z8 Madness
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    Andrew I agree with you for the most part, but wanted to clarify a couple of things. I think in the past, we may have agreed to pay for a fix, but I think many of us are outraged by the terms of the deal:

    (1) BMW is trying to sell us a "performance package" that does not improve the performance of the vehicle

    (2) BMW refuses to define how and when the "performance package" will perform ints intended function

    (3) BMW refuses to break down the cost of the "performance package" to justify it's 4,999 price tag.

    So, we are being asked to shut-up, pay a fee, smile, and bend-over. We are being screwed!
    62050 - Z8

  23. #23
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Robert Linton's Avatar
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    And all those with any semblance of integrity should at least admit this. We bought a car, it was flawed, BMW, staring at a multi hundred million dollar class action suit (reimbursement for the cost of the car plus millions more in damages - triple damages under certain conditions), does not want to admit it so we are asked to pay for a fault that is clearly not ours!

  24. #24

    indeed....

    (1) BMW is trying to sell us a "performance package" that does not improve the performance of the vehicle.
    Yes, but it is also the "performance package" that we requested earlier in the year, and agreed to it being called such as long as it protected our cars.

    (2) BMW refuses to define how and when the "performance package" will perform ints intended function.
    They haven't refused, they just haven't got it together yet - they certainly have no reason to hide it.

    (3) BMW refuses to break down the cost of the "performance package" to justify it's 4,999 price tag.
    I'm sure that this is only a matter of time.

    So, we are being asked to shut-up, pay a fee, smile, and bend-over. We are being screwed!
    We should all be calling Bill Stewart and discussing our situation with him.

    and finally.....
    And all those with any semblance of integrity should at least admit this. We bought a car, it was flawed, BMW, staring at a multi hundred million dollar class action suit (reimbursement for the cost of the car plus millions more in damages - triple damages under certain conditions), does not want to admit it so we are asked to pay for a fault that is clearly not ours!
    Bob, as always you are right, but I just don't see any pleasure or gain in the fight. By the time BMW get beaten our biggest concern will be how to convert the s62 to an ethanol burner - and we'll need some serious support from BMW to do that.
    Your very own Dr Faustus
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  25. #25
    Z8 Madness
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    Andrew, points well made. Lets wait for more details.
    62050 - Z8

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    Sore Brain

    Dieter is correct when he voices concern about the "2 classes of Z8s" in the future. The early repaired ones such as this summer, and the "resale repaired" cars done long after damage has occurred but are getting ready for the resale marketplace. As a long time(but now reformed!!) collector these issues have dogged many great cars.
    I am a simple guy but I have some problems with the discussion about right and wrong, moral and ethical. What I think, personally, as in all things owners currently should be able to make the best choice possible regarding a fix. They can only do that if ALL current owners are contacted and made aware of the issue (problem ?, flaw? engineering shortfall? etc.). To do justice to this question BMW should bite the bullet and send this recent letter to all current owners of record. What happens to the cars after that is in the hands of each owner. END OF STORY

    Robbie

  27. #27
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    Wink The problem here is that this whole issue borders on...

    Mental Masturbation. AND is a circular conversation at that!!

    MANY of us have mentioned the potential two tier car values of the future (although not those exact words) many times on almost every thread since this issue originally began.

    The only way for the Z8 to maintain it's value, either as a classic, collectible, sports car for the enthusiast, garage queen, paper weight or what ever your intended use of it is, would be for BMW to install this upgrade in every Z8.

    Yes, that is not very practical but nevertheless possible, which is where the focus should be if we want our car values to be maintained but I think only focusing on that will NOT bring a quick resolution to the problem for any of us.

    I agree with Andrew, Bob, Deiter, Rifle, and with everything mentioned here as I have voiced similar concerns in the past. Anderw raises an interesting point when he mentions he feels no real interest in fighting for a fix for the other 90% of owners who are not known to us. Clearly, the enthusiast is represented here on this board and via the Club in Europe. To me, it is really we members here on this site and in the Club that BMW is concerned about. So.... lets get moving for US on this issue so WE all can MOVE ON. The Z8 ownership who is NOT here we truly can not be concerned with unless we all want to do a Class Action (which I do not at this point).

    At this point, I too am leaning toward the practical side of things here and my comment above with regard to "where are the owners wanting to go" with this issue is really directed at our members here and the Club in Europe as WE are clearly the only Z8 owners who really give a damn about the issue in the first place (assuming you know about the issue, but really, for those other 90%, if they truly gave a damn, they would be here too).

    To me it is boiling down to this choice,

    Either:

    a) Install the "fix/upgrade" and protect the car from future concerns and put an end to this issue, have fun driving again and hope for the best with regard to values in the future (as Dieter put it) but with an eye of caution toward future purchases(the trail) OR...

    b) Argue with BMW for an unknown period of time, have countless more mental masturbating conversations about this issue, get an ulcer worrying about this issue, and maybe even become disgusted enough with the issue that I / you would sell the Z8 and move on and maybe never buy another BMW in the future (as others have either already done, or intend to do).... (the trail)

    I for one, as an enthusiast, prefer option A as I do not intend to sell my Z8 and plan to keep it as it "matures into being a classic" BUT how BMW treats me as an Original Owner of the Z8 will most definitely influence my future BMW purchases. The Z8 was my third BMW purchase (it and a loaded X5 for the Mrs. at the same time) and I was/am considering an M3 convertible (new vs. certified pre-owned) for my Daughter in the near future. But.... that decision is up in the air right now ..... BMW, are you listening??
    Best Regards,

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

  28. #28
    Team Z8 dwz8's Avatar
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    Jeff, well said, one point is wrong though.
    Several people are talking about 90% being "not interested" etc.

    Imagine you are not one of those "Internet guys", and you have never heard about the club. How would you ever know about this issue?
    If - accidentially - you get a letter from BMW NA saying that there is a special kit for high performance drivers, and you don't consider yourself one, what would you do? Especially, if the same letter says that this kit won't do anything good to your car?

    A lot of "recalls" have been handled silently by upgrading a car once it comes in for regular inspection. Very often, the owner will not even know about this. Just think about the tons of software updates and other issues on the E65.
    Why not handle it the same way here?

    I just refuse to blame "90%" for not being connected to this small community here.
    Best regards, Dieter

    ....

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    Concur

    Dieter, that was my point exactly. In cases such as this is "ignorance really bliss". If I had not met Andrew I would have only found this website by chance. If I had bought a car and then found out by stumbling to this website I would have been pissed off. True it is a buyer beware world but this is not a simple matter as the number of entries and opinions bear out. I maintain that the opportunity to make the choice regarding the "performance upgrade" requires knowing about it.

    Robbie

  30. #30
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    DeiterI guess I just fail to see how anyone who owns a

    high end sports car like a Z8, would not "seek out other birds of a feather". Curiosity is one of the greatest qualities of human beings as it makes them "seek" and understanding of the world around them and we can accomlish great things because if it but at the same time, gets us into trouble at a moments notice.

    So, how is it that this small 10% minority of Z8 owners represented here are the only ones "curious" enough to "seek out" other owners and/or information about this car?? I disagree that I am wrong about that 90%. While I am sure there are a few that are like the person you discribed, I doubt that most of the so called uninformed 90% are ignorant and therefore, most likely do not care enough to participate here, OR (more likely) they have heard about this issue and are going ahead and "doing their own thing" with regard to it. WHICH, is my point exactly.

    To me, we need to go ahead and "do our own thing" and put this issue behind us and really not worry about that other 90%, as if we truly were concerned about them, then the only avenue to represent everyone equally here in the USA, is with the Class Action -- which I have stated, I am not interested in at this point and I think almost everyone here is not interested in at this point.

    Question: Deiter, IF you lived here in the USA and had the Class Action as a remedie available to you personally, what would you do, given the circumstances?


    I will be the first to admit that I do not know everything! These are just my opinions and feel free to take it out on me at the Fall Z8 meeting at the Ring! (trying to firm up me coming!)
    Best Regards,

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

  31. #31
    Team Z8 dwz8's Avatar
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    Jeff, the Internet has a completely different significance for high-level managers in the US than it does in Europe. I personally met quite a few Z8 owners who were looking for contact, but didn't know where to find it.
    My question whether they would check the internet would often be answered with no. Good example: doctors...
    The club represented the first way for a lot of them to get in touch with others, however, the Club has no way to contact all existing Z8 owners to give them that choice.

    As far as class action goes: no, most likely not.
    However, I still trust that somebody inside BMW will recognize the damage for BMW, now and in the future, coming out of this. Hence the repetition.

    For me personally:
    The maximum damage will be ? 3,900, and I doubt that I will have to pay that much, if I believe my dealer. Again, I don't care about this amount.
    For BMW:
    The maximum damage will be to destroy the image of the Z8 as a flagship product and successor to the 507 for the next 50 years. Questionable image once they will come up with a successor for the Z8. Lots of annoyed and frustrated customers that won't buy a successor.

    I'll take you on a lap on the Ring, that will get you quiet...
    Best regards, Dieter

    ....

  32. #32
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    Question A different letter by regular mail

    I just got a letter from BMW NA. It is different from the letter posted here. Specifically, it does not include these two paragraphs:

    "Due to recent concerns from some of our customers, we once again have tested and inspected several Z8?s. Our investigation again has shown that the stiffness of the Z8 body fully meets the proven BMW Standards. Slight distortions that are being discussed have no effect on driving safety and drivability. If a customer feels uncertain about the condition of their Z8, we recommend a tracking alignment check that will establish if the car is still in line with specifications.

    Due to customer demand, a performance package is being developed should a customer desire to enhance their Z8 to increase the stiffness in the front end to counteract potential body deformation. The performance package is in the development phase and we expect to have it available as part of the accessory line up this summer. The package will not enhance the vehicle capability."

    I will be calling that number this week to see what's it all about.

  33. #33
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    wrs7, are you an Original Owner or 2nd owner, etc?

    Just curious if that could be part of a reason, i.e., letters of different types to different car owners, one for Original owners, another for Club members, a different one for 2nd owners who have been very vocal here, and now a 4th letter??

    Not sure, but this does not look like a consistent message from BMW?

    Can you post your whole letter just for everyone to compare?
    Best Regards,

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

  34. #34
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    Angry Letter DIfferences

    I also received a letter without references to the performance package. Sofar I have been taking a back seat to all this and letting this run its course. Slowly though I am getting the feeling that I getting screwed big time. I bought 8 BMW's in the last 7 years, I dont appreciate getting treated as a 2nd class citizen and nothing pisses me off more than thinking they can outsmart us. What the hell where they thinking sending out different kind of letters when AG already sent out a formal statement mentioning the performance package. When I got the letter on Friday I thought: typical for a big company not knowing what one side is doing and sending out this stupid after the fact letter. Now when I read that they sent out different letters, I am really started to get pissed off. These people must think we're stupid. Actually looking fwd to having a little chat with MS. Englert tomorrow....

  35. #35
    Team Z8 dwz8's Avatar
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    So you see what the "90%" get: not even the information that the kit exists.
    Best regards, Dieter

    ....

  36. #36
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Look back at my post on 5/26

    Earlier in this thread, I posted that I had received a second letter via USPS. The first was delivered FedEx and included the "information" about the performance upgrade. I believe the new letter is being sent to all owners in BMW's database, but there is no explanation for not mentioning the "fix". In my post on 5/26, I asked Ms. Englert to comment on this exclusion.

    I believe this has been discussed at length, and I concur with the opinion that the letter containing information on the fix is only being sent to a select group and those that have contacted BMW NA (not the dealer) expressing concerns on the issue. So, if you have not done so already, contact Bill Stuart (information on this board) to get your name on "the list".

    On a side note, from a conversation that I had with SUNNSLO, it appears that Ms. Englert serves in a related fashion to Mr. Harris, whose signature was on the original letter. So, I don?t believe the two letters are a case of the right hand not knowing what the left is doing.
    thegunguy

  37. #37
    Team Z8 zilver8's Avatar
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    letter differences

    Similar to pvanderluis, I also received the letter from from BMWNA without any mention of a "performance package". I have the Alpina version... could that be the reason why the package is not mentioned in the letter? Does anyone know if the performance package is for both Z8 and Alpina version?

    thanks

  38. #38
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    Here is the letter version:

    RE: Your Z8-AH*****

    Dear Mr. ,

    We at BMW have always maintained an open dialogue with our valued customers. Consistent with this philosophy, I am writing to address recent Internet postings and press articles, concerning an alleged structural integrity issue of the BMW Z8 frame.

    I would like to start off stating that BMW cares about all BMW owners. With this in mind we would like to clarify any potential concerns you may have and reassure you regarding the structural integrity of your Z8.

    The Z8 structural foundation is an aluminum space frame. The advantages are plentiful:

    ? A space frame, with a central structural tunnel element, is especially suitable for an open-bodied car like the Z8 because it gives optimum structural rigidity.

    ? Aluminum construction saves significant weight compared to steel.

    ? Careful, targeted design of the space frame helped BMW engineers achieve not only high rigidity for precise handling and a quality driving feel, but also the energy management that promotes crash safety.

    During the development stage the BMW Z8 underwent the complete program of tests that accompany a new model. These included testing on the Nordschleife (North Loop) of the N?rburgring, as well as driving over bumps and obstacles. We are pleased to say the Z8 successfully passed everything without exception.

    We are always open to your feedback and ready to answer any questions you may have about this or any other issue with your BMW. Please contact us, either through our website at bmwusa.com or by speaking with one of my Representatives (800) 831-1117.

    We wish you many more safe and enjoyable miles in your Z8!

    Nina Englert
    Manager, Customer Relations and Services

  39. #39
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    Angry I agree with Deiter, this is ridiculous at best!!!!

    IMHO, this is a very purposeful and calculated move on BMW NA's part. I read this new letter being sent without the specified 2 paragraphs is due to BMW NA's crafty attorney striking out any language that would raise an eyebrow to a possible problem.
    Very calculating indeed.

    IMHO, make no mistake about it my friends, this is very much "The Art of War" as was mentioned on another thread. And, BMW is winning the war. First, develope a strategy and as a part of that, every war plan includes -- divide and conquer as a necessary part of the road to victory.

    Imagine if you will, you have a small group of the enemy (the informed 10% owners) in Sector 1, who are getting ready for an insurgence (Class Action). You get your highest level Diplomates (Aftersales Customer Service) to offer Sector 1 a fix/upgrade as a prelude to war that IMMEDIATELY DEFUSED that situation (except for a few, but they will deal with them individually I guess??). As a part of that we insurgents are made to feel we have achieved some sort of victory but in reality, we have not achieved much as the object of our outcry (the fix) is still out of reach and is most likey going to cost us alot when (or if???-- Yes, I know they say June, but there are no guarantees here) it becomes available. Class Action defused / the insurgents pay money to BMW -- Battle #1 goes to BMW.

    Next, BMW sees that they must address those "potential insurgents" (the 90% uninformed owners) because like any other revolt, if the "masses" get involved, then BMW would indeed have a full scale war to fight. Hence, a letter to Sector #2. Now, this letter is written very carefully so as to not inflame Sector #2 but with hopes of luring them one by one into calling BMW NA and getting them rounded up into Sector #1, thereby further defusing the revolt and squashing the insurgency (Class Action). Problem is, Sector 2 does not even know of the possible insurgency and that there is even a war brewing. And therefore, unknowingly proceed on, either with "ignorance is bliss" and NEVER get their car fixed OR, do in fact get lured into an individual deal with BMW and get defused before they ever knew they were even in a battle. Battle #2, goes to BMW.

    It looks to me like BMW is indeed winning this war and for now, we really have not made that much headway for our own cause. What we have gotten is a letter saying a fix is coming but that now has so many questions attached to it on so many levels, I do not see it happening very quickly.

    This latest tactic is an insult to the intelligence of everyone here on this website and to all Z8 owners in general. I personally do NOT think we should stand for this BS any longer.

    Baaa, Baaaa, we are indeed just like sheep and BMW is the shepard leading us to the slaughter house!
    Last edited by Z8doc; May 31st 2006 at 01:36. Reason: info
    Best Regards,

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

  40. #40

    just a quick thought....

    there always had to be a two tier - sector 1 & 2 approach if the 10% here were being looked after in a suitable and correct manner, so perhaps seeing the cogwheels in motion shouldn't be so shocking?

    I think it really comes down to are we happy to work with BMW NA on a one on one basis, and make our own deals with them, or do we want to roll out the gunships, and go full steam ahead into the seas of class action?

    We know and they know that we would win a class action lawsuit, but it will be on their schedule, not ours. BMW NA have already shown that they can bury the fix once, and I fear if we really want to go to war with them they will bury it for the duration, while they run us round and round in circles for years. If you guys want to go to war I'm not sure I want to come along for the ride, I'm just not interested in an endless legal battle being a part of the landscape of my life.

    Porsche announced their new GT3-RS today, and swapping my Z8 for a car I'm not afraid to drive 'in an enthusiastic manner' is an attractive alternative to spending the next few years in court trying to save our spagetti-framed sportster.
     
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  41. #41
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Right on, Jeff

    I say we discuss at lunch on Sunday on BMW's dime. I'd still like to pursue a legal letter in the near future. Even with all of the recent "niceties" we have no guarantees - nor will they expose themselves and make any.
    thegunguy

  42. #42
    Team Z8 jawz's Avatar
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    I too received the letter from Ms. Englert. I received the version that EXCLUDES any reference to the latent defect repair (AKA - Performance Package). I find this very curious. Each of these letters should be the same regardless to whether you have an Alpina or a normal Z8.

    I am an original owner and mine is an Alpina but that should have no bearing on the letter's content. I've also been in contact with Bill Stewart.

    I asked Bill if this "fix" applies to the Alpina. He said it applied to ALL Z8s, although I'm not convinced he knows that for sure. He just didn't sound confident when he answered that question.

    I'm dissatisfied with BMW's actions regarding this matter. IMHO no one should have to pay for this fix. It is clearly a latent defect and BMW needs to step up to the plate and apply the repair to evey Z8.

    Just last week, GM acted responsibly by taking responsibility for the inadvertant removal of the Corvette's hardtops at speed. I thought more of BMW , but they just can't seem to shrink their massive egos long enough to accept a little responsibility here.

    I say again...our only crime was in buying a Z8. I didn't know I'd be "on probation" as long as I owned it.

  43. #43
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Robert Linton's Avatar
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    Dear Apologists For BMW:

    Although I understand that certain of you might have agreed to support BMW if they brought out a fix which is why you are being so kind in the face of unconscionable behavior, don't you think you made this deal a bit too quickly and without full disclosure from BMW, e.g.:

    (i) The vast majority of us never agreed to call it a performance package even if certain of you agreed to support this appelation myth designed to help BMW avoid law suits.

    (ii) What do you do for those that already have damage (one of you told me that you think that perhaps 50% of the cars you have seen on dealer lots are damaged) as not even BMW in its mythical fairyland contends that the fix (your "performance package") "fixes" damaged cars?

    (iii) Did you know that BMW would attempt to charge people for the fix and how much?

    (iv) Did you know that BMW might not apprise all BMW owners of the fix ("performance package")? And did you know that our European colleagues in ownership might be left high and dry as their courts might not afford them the protection of the American system? If you knew these things and still agreed to be supportive, the mark of Cain is surely upon you.

    (v) Contrary to what you seem to honestly believe, a large number of high level professionals such as those that could afford a Z8, do not use the intenet; indeed, some of the most brilliant doctors, lawyers and corporate executives I know cannot even send an e-mail.

    (vi) Have you been given an oral or written definition of "ambitious sporty driving" or "bad road surfaces" that must be avoided without the fix ("performance upgrade") or is BMW suggesting we avoid the type of driving that they foster in their driving schools (some of which were paid for by the last attempt to buy silence, gift certificates that were but poor substitutes for the limited slips)?

    (vii) Did you notice that BMW has already stated in writing, at least to some, that there are possible deformation as well as distortion issues?

    (viii) Could it be true, as some 'in the know' have suggested, that BMW knew about the deformation/distortion issues before the car was released for sale? Although I find this hard to believe, if there exists proof of this, every Z8 is more valuable than any of us may think as juries really hate this sort of thing.

    So, apologists of the roundel, do you think that the bargain you made was fair or was it obtained without giving you a full view of the other side of the mountain or of how some who are your friends and countless others who you might never know will be thrown off same? Though some on this board seem to lightly cast away my cries for equality and equity for all owners, it is hard to believe that others that I know to be fair and honorable people will ultimately treat others as but castaways! Though it is easy to say 'all I care about is my car', is it right, is it fair?

    Finally, lest there be any doubt, no one has kinder feelings for BMW as a whole or for their cars than I. I have bought BMWs since 1985 and will continue to do so. The issue with the Z8 is an isolated one and my grievance is not that there is an issue with the car (cars are designed by humans and none of us are perfect) but that BMW (possibly a small group of its lawyers and financial officers) do not want to publicly recognize it and simply offer the fix to all free of charge and fix all those cars that have not been damaged by avoidable circumstances. Yes, I understand the cost in dollars, but the profit in goodwill and enhanced perception of integrity would seem to far outweigh the dollars.

  44. #44

    As always....

    your points are all excellent, and very eloquently made! I feel that you should layout a plan of action to defend the moral high ground, and let the assembled troops know the length and breadth of the fight you would have them fight.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  45. #45
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    My biggest concern with fighting...

    ...is that while we may achieve positive results in the US, it seems clear that the benefit of such effort will not be enjoyed by owners in other countries. However this is not a reason against fighting. Furthermore, I am aware of more than a handful of owners outside of the US who are more than upset with BMW's actions, but are even more upset with their inability to challenge BMW in court.
    thegunguy

  46. #46
    Team Z8 dwz8's Avatar
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    I am not quite sure about this. If there is a ruling that BMW has failed to treat owners equally, this may be a starting point.

    Right now BMW has chosen to intentionally NOT inform Z8 owners about the advent of the performance package. If there is ever discovered that they had knowledge or at least doubts about a structural integrity, they are in really deep water now.
    Best regards, Dieter

    ....

  47. #47
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    A little more...

    Yes, Dieter, it would be a place to start, but just that. My point is that owners in every country will have to fight at a level allowed by their laws. The results of a suit in the US will not have a immediate impact to those outside its borders. Mind you, I'm no expert in international law, or domestic law for that matter, but this seems consistent with my experience.

    Certainly once one domino falls the others are not far behind.
    thegunguy

  48. #48
    Team Z8 dwz8's Avatar
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    Rifle, I agree with this.

    It is just worth noticing that by sending out letters in different ways to Z8 owners, and by not notifying ALL Z8 owners the same way, BMW has started walking on thin ice.
    There may or may not be any legal outcome here, however, everybody can make up his own mind about how much anybody can trust BMW to treat every Z8 owner fairly and equally.
    Best regards, Dieter

    ....

  49. #49
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    Angry BMW Letter

    There is another type of letter from BMW- no letter at all. I am the original owner of my Z8 and monitor these boards closely. I have not received ANY communication from BMW NA regarding this issue. I have inquired to my dealer, but they say they have no information regarding a pending fix, or even an awareness of the problem. It is hard to stay neutral on this knowing that some, but not all owners are receiving info.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Linton
    If you knew these things and still agreed to be supportive, the mark of Cain is surely upon you.
    This pontificating is really over the top. We who disagree with his Holiness Linton are damned. What an arrogant ass.

    Sell your damn car or get on with your lawsuit. This sniveling is really too much.

  51. #51
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    Cool I think they are indeed "fishing" and testing the waters..

    of Sector 2 to see what it may turn up. As I stated before, I really have no interest in a Class Action but given the inconsistent message to different owner groups, it seems on the surface like BMW does not know what they are doing but I seriously can not believe that.... so, it makes me think every move is a calculated one, I am just not able to see THEIR stategy or ultimate goal by handling this issue this way.

    IF their goal is to truly avoid a Class Action and maintain customer relations and future sales, what Bob and all of us have reiterated over and over would be accomplished very easily by giving us what we want, i.e; a fix or upgrade or whatever you want to call it, for all Z8 owners at no cost to the owner (whether they be original or second hand) and have BMW lay out a plan of action to fix the damaged cars. That way our cars are preserved with regard to both driveability AND it's future value AND we would remain loyal to the Roundel mark. Although we and BMW want different things, the end result is the same -- a happy customer base that continues to buy more BMWs.

    I fail to see BMWs strategy here as this seems more of a smoke and mirror and is indeed hard to follow. I do believe in one thing here though, I think BMW wants to handle this on an individual basis, much to our disagreement or desire. This is their profile with other problems in talking with owners of other vehicles, whether major or small and this is no different.

    If you look at all the letters together, they do have a recurring theme and statement... and that is they state they are interested in our feedback and comments and either ask us directly to call them (the first letter) or imply/encourage the owner to call (the second letter reading between the lines if you are so inclined).

    IF you do contact them and try to negotiate individual deals, and you just can not come to terms with them and also come to terms with it in your own mind (morally, ethically, financially), then the Class Action is always an avenue open to anyone here in the USA, which by the way, in the end, could still indirectly benefit others around the globe.

    My advise here is for everyone to call BMW customer service, ask for Bill Stuart, Mr. Harris, or who ever and start a dialogue to resolve the issue... or at least, get your name on their list and proceed from there as IMHO, this is going to be the only resolution we get unless we all go to court (which I can not believe BMW wants to do either?).
    Best Regards,

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

  52. #52
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    Going Silent running at this time as I am walking out the

    door to head to the Meet in the Middle, looking forward to meeting everyone there and discussing it further.
    Best Regards,

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

  53. #53
    Sport Button On - DSC Off mollyshark's Avatar
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    I must be lucky. I have 3 letters already, all in different types of envelopes. Very decorative. I must sound fierce online or something! Of course none of these letters has done much other than kill a tree.
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  54. #54
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    My Z8 Experience

    I have been waiting several months to see how things develop until I posted my Z8 story. I am not happy with BMW and their handling of this. I purchased a new Z8 for my wife in 2001, which we ended up storing it for a year after delivery. When we finally put the car on the road in 2002, I had a chance to really drive the car for the first time. I detected a lot more ?cowl flex? in the chassis over bumps than expected, which concerned me. I told my wife that I am not that confident of the chassis strength and we should drive it ?very carefully.?

    My brother-in-law is a professor of engineering at Cornell, and he specializes in the automotive industry. He has countless students who landed jobs all over the world, including Porsche. So I had him drive the car in 2002 and he had the same concerns about the rigidity of the chassis. At this point we designated the car as a garage queen and used it for occasional short trips. (Lucky!) I am not an engineer, but I have many years of professional racing experience and understand the basics of car chasis feedback.

    So I get wind of this frame issue 3 years later and I am really upset at BMW?s response that I need to pay for an upgrade....that is if I can even get it! I measured the gaps in the car and we do have some ?migration? in a few of the panels so I guess that I am going pay for the upgrade. The car has 6000 miles on in, none of which where ?aggressive? (I have a GT3 for that.), so I cannot help but be skeptical of BMW?s claim that the car is fine as is. I probably can't sell it so I guess we will store it and make it my kid's problem in 30 years!

    I have had several BMWs and I will never buy another one after this.

    I know that some other owner's cars are worse off and I feel bad for them.

    Karl Scheible

  55. #55
    Sport Button On NYZ8's Avatar
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    "no effect on driving safety and drivability"

    [quote=BMW NA Customer Relations]Dear Z8 Owners,

    "Due to recent concerns from some of our customers, we once again have tested and inspected several Z8?s. Our investigation again has shown that the stiffness of the Z8 body fully meets the proven BMW Standards. Slight distortions that are being discussed have no effect on driving safety and drivability."


    I may be very naive, but don't you think BMW is going out on a limb to make this written statement unless they have some data to prove their point? Or lack of safety issue despite some distortions?

    Robert
    ('02 Silver/Black)

  56. #56
    Sport Button On - DSC Off Robert Linton's Avatar
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    Thr question, of course, is what are "BMW Standards" and are they applicable to this type of car. Thus far, BMW has refused to define "ambitious sport driving" or "bad road surfaces". Perhaps they will share in writing these standards such that they may be reviewed by independent engineers.

  57. #57
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    fear and loathing in the garage

    This is my first post although I have been lurking since I bought my 01 Z8 a few weeks ago. I started reading this thread last night with dread. I was in my garage a short time later. I bought my car with 34,000 miles on the odometer. Left and right side of hood show a noticable difference in the gap to the point where a quarter will not fit adjacent to the shock towers. There is also a slight bulge to both left and right towers. Sure wish I had discovered this site prior to my purchase. I too received the letter which omitted the two paragraphs mentioning any possible fix. I called the number listed on the letter and spoke to Patrick about the situation and asked him why there were different letters for the same problem. Said he was unaware of this. I didnt buy this car to store in a garage for safe keeping but I am afraid to drive it now. Are any of you located in the SF bay area?

  58. #58
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    Same letter as mine

    This is an exact copy of my BS letter that I received a few days after calling Mr. Wm Stuart of BMWNA. No mention of the ?performance upgrade? that does nothing for my car, except keep the body panels in place. What a load of crap. Now do I sell this thing now or wait and fight it out ? and could I sell it now??

    Hap

    Quote Originally Posted by wrs7
    RE: Your Z8-AH*****

    Dear Mr. ,

    We at BMW have always maintained an open dialogue with our valued customers. Consistent with this philosophy, I am writing to address recent Internet postings and press articles, concerning an alleged structural integrity issue of the BMW Z8 frame.

    I would like to start off stating that BMW cares about all BMW owners. With this in mind we would like to clarify any potential concerns you may have and reassure you regarding the structural integrity of your Z8.

    The Z8 structural foundation is an aluminum space frame. The advantages are plentiful:

    ? A space frame, with a central structural tunnel element, is especially suitable for an open-bodied car like the Z8 because it gives optimum structural rigidity.

    ? Aluminum construction saves significant weight compared to steel.

    ? Careful, targeted design of the space frame helped BMW engineers achieve not only high rigidity for precise handling and a quality driving feel, but also the energy management that promotes crash safety.

    During the development stage the BMW Z8 underwent the complete program of tests that accompany a new model. These included testing on the Nordschleife (North Loop) of the N?rburgring, as well as driving over bumps and obstacles. We are pleased to say the Z8 successfully passed everything without exception.

    We are always open to your feedback and ready to answer any questions you may have about this or any other issue with your BMW. Please contact us, either through our website at bmwusa.com or by speaking with one of my Representatives (800) 831-1117.

    We wish you many more safe and enjoyable miles in your Z8!

    Nina Englert
    Manager, Customer Relations and Services

  59. #59

    To sell or not to sell?

    I think that with the gorgeous Ford GT in your garage which will do everything that you could ever ask of a sports car you need to know exactly why you would keep this car. If you just like it enough, and maybe will hang on to it for a year or two, I'd suggest get out know, and avoid the headaches that getting the upgrade done, and dealing with the concerns of possible resale values.

    This is a car you really must love. It is a car that has a unique style, and every time I look at it I think it is the most beautiful car I know of. I'll keep it because to me it is simply gorgeous, however that's just my taste and my opinion. I have a track car for serious sports driving, so this is my practical classic for doing special events in. I'll have it a very long time because I like what it is very much, and am prepared to deal with what it takes to keep it in tip-top shape. If you don't feel like that about it I'd say get out now while the goings good.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  60. #60
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Well put Andrew...

    ...if it's merely an "affair", dump her. If you're in it for life, marriage comes with ups and downs.

    Good thing my wife condones Z8 polygamy!
    thegunguy

  61. #61
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    Big Love.... but I think it is Macfly who is the only one...

    Quote Originally Posted by thegunguy
    ...if it's merely an "affair", dump her. If you're in it for life, marriage comes with ups and downs.

    Good thing my wife condones Z8 polygamy!
    who has actually practiced Z8 polygamy (more than one Z8 at a time!!)

    My wife considers my Z8 a mistress and "tolerates" my "Z8 Adultery" and even at times, joins in the fun!
    Best Regards,

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