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Thread: I might (MIGHT) pay for the fix....

  1. #1
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    I might (MIGHT) pay for the fix....

    ....if I knew it would work. I know these types of problems exist on other BMW models (albeit not aluminum frame models). Does ANYONE know of these similar issues w/ other models and (more importantly) have they been fixed with no futher problems? That's key to me. I cannot in good conscience pay 5 large for a fix that I am not sure will eliminate further problems. What if I get the fix and still get the frame distotion problem? I can just imagine BMW's response...."for those of you who are REALLY driving sporty on bad roads we'll be offering a fix for the fix for $5 grand...should be ready in 9 months or so."

  2. #2
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    We're the first...

    ...this is BMW's very first "Performance Upgrade".

    Personally, I think it's foolish to pay to resolve what I perceive to be a flaw.
    thegunguy

  3. #3

    While it may answer a concern....

    that we share about a susceptibility to damage by the kind of bad roads that we have here in the USA, it was an engineering solution that BMW created at our request.

    If it does what we require it may represent a rather good investment in protecting our car from the unforeseen damage that the severely damaged roads or roads under going large repairs (like the I-15 from Vegas to LA last week) can or could inflict on it. This will offer a complete solution to any shock tower stability concerns and is engineered by BMW at our request, so paying for it doesn't seem like such a terrible thing.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

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    Andy, while I agree that it is a "possible" solution...

    ....that BMW created at our request, I must say that you hit the nail on the head with your comment "IF it does what we require it may represent a rather good.....". The key is "IF". And your comments about U.S. bad roads...I'll argue the only place in the world with better roads than the U.S. is probably Germany...and maybe some small sheikdoms. If BMW can be the NUMBER 1 seller of luxury cars (<$40k...3 series) in the US...it can produce a car that can endure our bad roads. And your comment that "this will offer a complete solution to any shock tower stability concerns" is...well....hopeful speculation at best...and irresponsible at worst. I want to believe BMW's solution will put this issue to rest once and for all. However, I thought when buying a BMW, I would never have to deal with an issue like this. Spending another 5 grand on the same hope seems........well kinda stupid. Fooled me once.....fooled me twice....fooled me thrice?????

  5. #5
    Team Z8 dwz8's Avatar
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    Well, it's all been said...

    The fix is for those nerds driving fast on bad surfaces.
    The letter explicitely states that the "performance kit" doesn't help you anywhere else.

    Hence: If you drive in a manner that is not "spirited" and "on bad surfaces", and you encounter any deformation - with the kit installed - this will be normal. BMW told you so in advance.

    BMW doesn't tell you or give you any warranty that the performance kit will eliminate the problems. That's understandable, I would give this either.

    So pay for it (or in the US: have dear old Bill pay for it), and find out...

    Once you know the outcome, please let us know in the rest of the world, where people have not been informed about this whole thing at all, there was no letter from BMW to any customer. On the contrary, one Z8 driver calling BMW (Blabst's department) got a statement on the phone along these lines:
    "There is nothing, this is all just embellished by the club."

    Is it really?
    Best regards, Dieter

    ....

  6. #6

    Angry Is there a change of heart at BMW AG?

    "There is nothing, this is all just embellished by the club."
    Well, it looks like BMW AG maybe changing their tune?
    Maybe all those kindly apologetic faces at the Villa D'Este were simply selling us a lie?
    Why would BMW tell us lies?
    Is there actually a frame kit?

    I think it is time BMW AG showed us some pictures of this 'Performance Upgrade'. If they now claim there is no issue then how can they sell us an upgrade to protect against it?

    I really hope they aren't underestimating the anger that will be unleased here in the USA if the whole frame fix is a fantasy to keep us quiet.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  7. #7
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    Question Embelished by the Club!

    That is absurd!! Certainly IF BMW AG and it's subordinate, BMW NA try to minimize this issue and somehow do NOT actually offer the fix / upgrade.... then you are correct that the response from the ownership in the USA will be swift, with a legal notice notifying them of a Class Action would be in BMW's hands within a few days.

    I just find it so ridiculous and... for lack of a better word... weird, the way they are handling this issue. Mulitple letters, offer an upgrade in one, don't mention it in another, do not notify others. This is a US Trial lawyers heaven as far as I have been informed. I have been told on multiple occasions that the law (USA) favors the "reasonable man" and with the irratic message given by BMW (mulitiple letters with different information), BMW is certainly not being reasonable nor are they being consistent in the message they are conveying. This in court will most likely be to their demise and I would say that any self respectinng jury in the US would rip BMW a new one for handling it this way and tack on potential triple damages for the misrepresentations made here.
    Best Regards,

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

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    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Exclamation Talk about a change of heart!

    Dieter, that's a crazy story. As Andrew said, that totally reverses what we saw in Italy.

    Frankly, BMW NA's half-hearted, and potentially deceptive (dual letters), actions are quickly chipping away at my patience.

    Their claims of tests falling within "their" standards may well be true, but the fact is that cars are being damaged. To what cause and at what rate, I cannot conclusively say, but I've personally seen too many cars with similar signs of damage for this to be acceptable. Something is not right.

    17 (~77%) of the 22 people voting on the "how long is too long" were willing to wait until 6/30 or sooner. The date is quickly approaching. I suggest we begin preparations of what actions we will choose to take should BMW remain silent until then.
    thegunguy

  9. #9
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
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    I agree

    BMW needs to act NOW, or pay the price.

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    I'm waiting until the end of June...

    Without further contact from BMW I believe we should make a statement that will get the attention of BMW and all the owners who are still unaware of the problem.

  11. #11
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    Maybe Z8Bob will let us reverse engineer his factory fix and we can build our own .

  12. #12
    Team Z8 jawz's Avatar
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    I got a call from my dealership to bring my car in for "the" inspection by a BMW field service rep later this week. This is a follow up to a conversation with Bill Stuart in which he said he would coordinate the inspection. I DID happen to mention to Bill that I didn't believe my car has evidence of damage... yet. Since it appears that only some cars are being inspected, is this the reason my car is being inspected?

    There is one thing that continues to bother me though. Based on the way this issue has been handled by BMW to date, I believe these inspections could be a double edged sword. Is my car being inspected for my benefit/peace of mind? ...OR... Could BMW be using these inspections to collect data which supports their position that nothing's wrong? Anyone else thinking along these lines?

    I hate to be pessimistic, but I can't help but continue to watch BMW's actions with a jaundiced eye.

    Has BMW really given any of us a solid reason to believe they'll ever OFFER, let alone APPLY, the fix? Personally, I remain steadfast in my belief that this is a latent defect and BMW should step up to the plate and do this at their expense.

    I'll post the inspection results when it's completed.

  13. #13
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Double-edged sword indeed!

    Until BMW can make an effort to put forth a coordinated and straightforward message, I refuse to let them see my car. We get one message one day, another the next, and the guys in Europe get hear something totally different. Furthermore, while I have rarely found anyone at a dealer that had even the slightest clue about the goings on at corporate, the BMW dealer is astonishingly ignorant on this subject, probably by design. I get the feeling that there?s a different person at the helm on a daily basis ? or is it really a shell game?

    So, until they make a definitive stance and release information on the fix, including on whether or not it will be offered, I can see little benefit to having my car inspected by a ?company? man. Of course, you?re all free to follow your own opinion, but I would suggest that we all refrain from inspections unless you have a strong suspicion that your car is damaged. After all, these inspections could lead to a closed-room corporate decision to abandon the fix, regardless of our fears of the potential for long-term damage and safety issues when using the car as it was marketed and promoted on normal US road conditions.

    PS: I declined Bill's offer to inspect for now on the basis that my concern is on the potential for damage. Again, if they'll take an actual stance, I will re-evaluate my position.

    Sunnslo: Any comments after your inspection?
    thegunguy

  14. #14

    This is certainly an interesting point....

    but since I know of a good number of cars that do have the damage I think that this would be a fools game for BMW. They must know that we will be in a class action suit quicker than a bolt of lightening if the are playing us for fools on this. I have a file as thick as Moby Dick with all the evidence I've been collecting on this sad subject. I believe we will be very quickly galvanized as an owners group now if this whole subject of the fix is a fantasy and a game.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  15. #15

    Monday June 19th

    I spoke to Bill Stuart today, and he both told me and emailed me to confirm that the Performance Package is still being developed, and it will be available in the summer of 06, which officially begins on the solstice in two days time. (When we were in Lake Como we were told it had already finished development, and testing on three cars, one in Finland, one at the 'ring and one at BMW's own test track, had been successfully completed.)

    Here is Bill's email confirmation:-
    With regard to the availability of the Performance Package, the most current information that I have is that it is expected to be available in the summer of 2006. As soon as new information is available, I'll communicate with you further.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

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    Spoken to all 3

    Perhaps I am the only one to have had a Trifecta. I have had conversations with Mr. Green, Ms. Engleart, and most recently Mr. Stuart. I have had at least 3 different take away messages, and one startling comment when I was asked if I was tape recording the conversation. To date I have had what I believe to be 2 implied offers to "take care of my car" and one "we will look into it and open a file". The 2 offers to take care of the car was followed by my statement that I assumed "gratis" as in no charge for a performance update. That was routinely followed by a reiteration of "take care of an stand behind the car". I did in fact take my car in for an "inspection" but never received the results nor did the dealer. I had to make a follow-up call a week later only to be told it was "fine" although it was never put on an alignment rack. When I asked about the performance package I was told I didn't need one because the car was fine. So I am and remain baffled and progressively more incredulous about BMW "doing the right thing". I am now becoming more inclined to become part of a law suit because I do not see BMW really trying to do the right thing but more trying to find the right "smoke and mirrors
    tact that will help them avoid being consumer oriented.

    Robbie

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    Last Thought

    I could end this masochistic exercise in a second by selling if I didn't love this car so much. I suspect there is a bit of this in all of us frequenters of this website. It is sad to note that BMW just doesn't get it and the point of no return regarding taking more agressive action is rapidly approaching for more of us as "the stories" mount up.

    Robbie

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    No doubt, bmw's (NA, AG, both?) level of cooridination, communication, and basic blocking and tackling on this issue and customer service is pathetic. 3rd graders could do it better. "Who's on first" is prophetic except we are the butt of the joke. However, in time, they may very well deliver the fix, at what actual cost to us who knows, and it will all be a bad memory. In the meantime, expect nothing but incompetence and corporate speak, and we will not be so dissapointed. Anything else just makes it worse.

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    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    This is what I fear...

    Quote Originally Posted by sunnslo
    I had to make a follow-up call a week later only to be told it was "fine" although it was never put on an alignment rack. When I asked about the performance package I was told I didn't need one because the car was fine.
    Robbie, thanks for the update. This is the very reason that I am reluctant to have the car inspected until they make a definitive stand other than a "we will stand behind the car". What does that mean anyway? It makes me nervous. I don't like people standing behind my car or me. Such a statement is just to vague, and is easily defined and justified under their own terms, not ours. Whatever happened to "we will do the right thing"?

    BMW's announcement of the "performance upgrade" describes it as just that - counteracts the effects of ambitious sport driving. However, in your report, they state that your car does not need the "performance upgrade" because it is "fine". Wait a minute. This implies that the "performance upgrade" is only helpful on damaged cars. So, what is it, and upgrade or a fix? And all of this without any mention of ambitious sporty driving or bad roads. Is it preventative or a repair. Please read heaps of sarcasm here.

    It seems that every week I am hearing similar reports to this that suggests that we are quickly coming to the point where some form of legal action is necessary.
    thegunguy

  20. #20
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by macfly
    I spoke to Bill Stuart today, and he both told me and emailed me to confirm that the Performance Package is still being developed, and it will be available in the summer of 06, which officially begins on the solstice in two days time. (When we were in Lake Como we were told it had already finished development, and testing on three cars, one in Finland, one at the 'ring and one at BMW's own test track, had been successfully completed.)

    Here is Bill's email confirmation:-
    With regard to the availability of the Performance Package, the most current information that I have is that it is expected to be available in the summer of 2006. As soon as new information is available, I'll communicate with you further.
    Bill is a very nice and helpful man, but I believe he is merely a pawn in this whole affair. Someone else is moving the pieces. My point? Bill's assurances cannot be taken as gospel. Afterall, he lays a very open qualification in his statement: "..the most current information that I have...". Bill could easily be kept in the dark.
    thegunguy

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    Has BMW explained the tower problems other than bad roads? If an upgrade or retrofix (what ever BMW want to call it) will protect our Z8's is fine with me, but only if we do not pay for it. I believe BMW cares about us, but BMW does not want to admit to anything. Also by now are these tower defects found in any specific year, month, or production run.... any associations?

  22. #22
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    Robbie, was the inspection attended in person by...

    you? IF not, why? I am not critisizing, just merely trying to understand. Did YOU choose to not be present for the inspection to "go over the car" and "see what the inspector saw"? OR were you not ALLOWED to be present???

    Jaws, I would definitely INSIST on being present, see what the inspector sees and get a FULL UNDERSTANDING on the field service Reps UNDERSTANDING of the issue, what that persons qualifications are and from whence they came??? A name too and from what area do they come from, i.e., New Jersey, Spartanburg, Germany?? Are they an engineer or again some low level flunkey for BMW gathering information??.

    It would seem to me, for consistencey purposes, that only a few, maybe even one person, is inspecting these cars. IF NOT, then the inspections process could be seriously flawed as to who does or who does not have damage, especially, the variety of damage that is called "fatigue failure" of metal, which is unseen to the naked eye.

    Remember the Challenger Space Shuttle and it's O-rings? They too passed several "visual" inspections by NASA experts, yet-- upon closer look (with X-ray after the fact) they were discovered to have multiple cracks and were the CAUSE of the failure and explosion.... FATIGUE FAILURE is a LATENT DEFECT in DESIGN, and is MORE THAN LIKELY WHAT WE ARE DEALING WITH HERE!!

    I am in the process of having my car inspected too but, I will not let BMW's expert inspect my car unless I am present and can discuss the inspection with their field service representative directly. Otherwise, no way.
    Best Regards,

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

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    The Experience

    A week prior to my appointmenr I was called by Mr. Green, in the same office I think as Bill Stuart, and told to have the car at the dealer at 10:00am to meet with an "engineer flying in from the east coast". I arrived at 9:45 with great expectations. The dealership was told to have a car availble for me as the inspection was to take most of the day. I waited until 11:15, but had other things to attend to. I called the dealer back at about 1:30 planning to swing back over and talk to the engineer. My new 6 month old top (down and up 1 time) was coming apart and there was a slight vibration at 60mph so I wanted to go over these as well. The "engineer" had come and gone. I asked the service guy what they said or told him and he said they left no message, that I would here in a day or two. I went back the next day to retrieve my car. I was told the "engineer" was a southern CA tech instructor who the mechanics all knew. The car was never placed on an alignment rack or even a lift, but they took a bunch of pictures. They shared NO information with the local dealer. I did not hear back for a week at which time I called Bill and he apologized and the rest of the info is in the above posting. I was and still am amazed and disappointed in this process so far. As mentioned above I was told I "don't need the performance upgrade because my car is ok".
    So what is the real facts, as I feel pretty jerked by now and have no idea what the purpose of the performance package is. Is it preventative or is it a repair?
    Beats me, but BMW needs to start telling a consistent truthfull story.

    Robbie

  24. #24

    Robbie, I agree with you...

    and I'm certainly saddened about this whole situation.

    BMW NA certainly seem to be saying "Your car is ok - you don't need anything, don't worry - be happy!"

    These inspections seem to serve no real purpose, except for BMW to build a case against us by saying the cars are fine, and that we are all worrying unduly.

    -edit-

    I just heard from an owner who thought his car was ok, but it isn't - it has the problem - and he has been promised the fix (upgrade) so it looks like we are really nearing a solution.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  25. #25

    melny, in response...

    Also by now are these tower defects found in any specific year, month, or production run.... any associations?
    The weakness of our chassis wasn't really seen by a unified group in the public eye (the Z8 Club) until last year, long after the end of the production, so every Z8 has the same Achilles heel.

    There is an interesting story coming out in Germany this week, it seems that there has been a leak from within BMW AG on this subject. What I've heard is that this issue was seen during the testing of the pre-production prototypes, but the Z8 project managers thought it was because their test-drivers were all too extreme, and they didn't believe it would be an issue with normal owners in normal use. It must be remembered that while the axles have been falling of Z3's, steel shock towers have been bending on 3 series cars and the frames breaking on the 8 series, this was BMW's first all aluminum Titanic, and it was to be unsinkable - they couldn't be wrong.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  26. #26
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    Thanks Robbie for the information...

    I spoke to Bill last week and we are trying to arrange an inspection too. No word on that as of this time. I am concerned by what you said as Bill asked me, "do you think your car is damaged, as it would be a good test case as unlike alot of Z8 owners, you actually drive yours and have nearly 40,000 miles on it". (very concerning statement and implies that if there is no visible damage, no fix will be offered?). I told him that I was not an expert on the issue so I do not know "for sure" whether I have damage or not but my hood clearances are not symmetric and if you STARE for a while at the passenger shock tower, it seems to bulge in front of your eyes after awhile (maybe... maybe an ever so slight bulge?). Am I imagining it, maybe?? At the MITM, other Z8 owners thought NO, so we will have to wait and see.

    I do not know where this will lead at this point. I made it clear after he made the above statement that IF my car was evaluated and visibly appeared OK, that does not mean my car does not (or of more concern) WILL NOT sustain damage in the future. The original letter I received, states:

    "It (the performance upgrade) increases the stiffness in the front end of the vehicle and counteracts body deforamtion effects caused by ambitious sporty driving on bad road surfaces. The package does not enhance vehicle performance during normal use. It will consist of a strut tower brace and reinforcement parts for the suspension strut mounts. ....."

    That in NO WAY implies the upgrade is ONLY for damaged cars and to me implies quite the contrary. There seems to be NO WAY, IMHO, for BMW to NOT offer this to us, the negotiation to me is getting BMW to waive the cost of it. Every indication I have gotten from Bill Stuart is that this will work out fine but certainly proceeding with an "air of caution" is best for now.
    Last edited by Z8doc; June 20th 2006 at 23:12. Reason: spelling
    Best Regards,

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

  27. #27
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    Why would anyone pay???

    I am really amazed by people on this thread who are coming around and are willing to write a $5000 check to "fix" their $130,000+ car. Folks, I lived half my life in Europe and the other half in the US. I just came back from a 3 week business trip in Germany. Anyone who drove most of the Autobahn "A3" like i did the other week, will know that the US roads are no worse than the European roads. Please!! Please remember there is no frame discussion for Porsche 911 Turbo's or Aston's etc. etc. They too drive on "bad american roads" with wild abandon and handle it just fine. BMW screwed this up and should simply own up to it. Part of being a premium brand and selling premium cars is not just selling a product that is unquestioned in its performance and quality, but proudly standing behind your product, and recognize when you screw up. Bill called me the other day, and he is an ok guy. Funny after all the screaming and yelling they are now offering me an inspection of the car, as some of u may remember they flat out refused to do when I asked for it some months ago. I currently still drive my Z8 here and there and i have come to the realization that even with a fix, i will always wonder what is happening with the car each time i drive on a little rough surface or hit a pothole. How can u possibly enjoy a sports car with that in the back of ur mind. Its the most beautiful car ever made in my opinion, but i am switching. Its just not worth it. To send a message to BMW, I have cancelled my down payment on a M6 Convertible and my partner cancelled his special order 750. They just lost some $200k in sales, and more importantly 2 early 40'ish customers.. Interesting side note.... after 10 cars bought in 8 years at Irvine BMW, the Z8 problem, I never once got a call from the G.Manager at Irvine BMW... after cancelling our 2 new cars of $200+ he called. Glad I was able to get their attention as I stopped being a BMW customer..

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    Quote Originally Posted by macfly
    The weakness of our chassis wasn't really seen by a unified group in the public eye (the Z8 Club) until last year, long after the end of the production, so every Z8 has the same Achilles heel.
    Then this is a troubling matter, and all Z8s will bend someday by some pothole. If the front towers are made stronger will there be additional problems elsewhere? I am so close to bailing out and taking the loss.

  29. #29
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    Inspection results

    FYI - Here's what happened today when my car was inspected.
    The inspection was conducted by a Field Service Engineer named Michael Pratt who has the San Diego, Phoenix and LA area as his territory. Mike has worked for BMW for several years in engineering, but only recently became the FSE for his territory in April. The good news is that he's not just your standard shop guy.

    To begin with, my customer advisor was not aware of the strut tower issue, but there was an e-mail thread attached to my ticket when I arrived. Although I didn't get to read the whole thing, the thread was between Mike and Bill Stuart and probably the dealership appointment scheduler. (I thought this was a nice touch because it showed thorough coordination between BMW NA, the inspector and the dealership.)

    I insisted on meeting the inspector (Mike) when he began the inspection and had an opportunity to question him on the inspection process. My car was already on the lift when I got there and Mike had already begun the inspection. He had a checklist (complete with photos) to help guide him through the inspection process. I walked through most of the inspection with him and he did appear to be thoroughly knowledgeable in what needed to be inspected. I asked him to debrief me when he completed the inspection (alignment, etc.)

    The inspection - in general: Inspection Time = 1.5 to 2 hours
    1) The car was placed on the lift for inspection of the undercarriage (i.e. springs, shocks, steering, etc.). Specifically he was looking for general condition, broken welds, bent steering arms, etc.
    2) He also said he was looking for any modifications that aren't BMW approved (??).
    3) The wheels and fender well liners were removed. This provided access to inspect the underside of the shock towers.
    4) He checked the ride height for compliance with BMW specs. (Ride height is determined by measuring vertically from the bottom of each wheel to the bottom of the fender well. If this is not in compliance or there is a difference around the car, this is an indication there may be a problem.)
    5) He aslo checked the panel gaps for variance (hood to fender, etc)
    6) The car went to the wheel alignment rack to check the alignment. NOTE: They didn't actually change anything, but they did check it and a readout was printed. If the alignment is out, this could also indicate a problem.
    7) He also said that if the car tramlines, that could indicate a problem as well. (That reminds me - Ian, did you find anything out about your dodgy suspension yet?)
    8) After completion of the inspection, he then went to check the dealership vehicle historical records. To his credit, Mike said he never checks that in advance. He wants to conduct his inspection without knowledge of the vehicle's history to ensure he doesn't start looking for things that are extraneous to this inspection.

    If problems are discovered in any specific area, then a more thorough inspection of that area is warranted.

    Before you ask, I did not personally see what he inspected for the rear section, but I suspect they did the same as for the front (#3 above).

    Debrief: This was the 4th Z8 he'd inspected and none had been found to have damage. My car has 25000 miles on it and received a clean bill of health. Mike was reluctant to discuss the "fix" to any degree. I don't believe he was at liberty to discuss it.
    IMHO - This is the perfect opportunity for BMW to install the "fix" now that the car has a clean bill of health.

    This inspection was done very professionally and Mike was not afraid to discuss the issue with me or answer any of my questions. If your car is slated for inspection, and the inspector doesn't have a checklist, etc., I'd re-schedule until they get their stuff together.

    Well, that's it in a nutshell. I hope this helps us all in the long run.

  30. #30

    Thanks for the inspection feedback.

    It is great to hear what the inspection involves, and that your car looked to be in perfect health too. It certainly seems like BMW NA are doing their best to resolve this issue. The only yellow flag I see in there is what will they consider an unapproved part? Are Dinan parts fitted by their own dealer network actually approved by BMW? Will having Dinan parts, or say AC Schnitzer parts mean BMW will simply walk away from you and your car?

    On a positive note is that I understand that once the fix is ready for distribution BMW NA will be making all Z8 owners aware of its availability, which is something that many of us had been concerned about. I know we aren't out of the woods yet, but I'm much happier with the positive progress that is being made than I was just a few days ago. It seems that while the news that the owners in Europe are getting is less positive, BMW NA is taking care of the customers who bought their most expensive car.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  31. #31
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by macfly
    It certainly seems like BMW NA are doing their best to resolve this issue.

    It seems that while the news that the owners in Europe are getting is less positive, BMW NA is taking care of the customers who bought their most expensive car.
    Andrew,

    I couldn't disagree more. BMW is doing far from their best, much less what is acceptable in this situation. I find their communication and action to be grossly lacking compared to other companies that I have dealt with in the past on similar issues.

    For a shining example of a company dealing with a quasi-similar situation, look into the Tylenol bottle tampering case. Within hours of learning that a handful of bottles had been tampered with at a single store, Tylenol pulled every bottle from the shelves in every store in the US. They weren't concerned about fault or liability. They were concerned about protecting consumers. It was certainly an expensive action, but it solidified consumer confidence in their brand and their commitment to safety. Obviously, this is not an apples to apples comparison, but it's an excellent example of a company that just did the right thing - regardless of fault. BMW may be doing something, but it's far their best effort.

    Furthermore, I have seen nothing to indicate that the are taking care of us. All we have are a few inspections - no results, no fixes, no preventative measures. Certainly, this is the beginning of the process, but, at this point, it's far from "taking care" of us.

    Forgive me for responding to your post so directly and negatively, but frankly, I'm a bit surprised at your sudden change of opinion. Where's the guy that told me they were "shifty $%@#$s"?
    thegunguy

  32. #32
    Team Z8 jawz's Avatar
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    Andrew - Sorry! With regard to the unapproved parts question, I did ask specifically about Dinan and ACS mods since I knew many folks here have some of those mods. He said that Dinan parts are approved due to their affiliation with BMW, but made no comment about ACS. He may or may not know the official answer.

  33. #33
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    As I understand it, ACS has a similar "approved" status in the European market.
    thegunguy

  34. #34

    If you see my post #23

    you'll see I made an edit when an owner/board member contacted me directly to tell me that his car had been found to have a the shock tower doming problem, and BMW NA assured him that they were going to totally take care of the issue and provide the fix (upgrade) to him gratis.

    This, combined with Terry's report, and that many of the owners we know are also in line for the inspection, indicates that they are doing what they have said they will, and they really are looking for a positive end to this.

    I also said we are not out of the woods yet - just that it seems like we are on the right path. I'm certainly not coseying up to them, I actually had a huge fight with Bill Stewart on the phone yesterday. I don't get the sense that they're doing any of this because they have the honor of a West Point officer, they're simply trying to defuse a bomb. I do feel they are making the wrong moves, which is why I am once again seriously looking ointo the class action lawsuit.


    Good news on the Dinan parts - thanks Terry.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  35. #35
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Call me skeptical...

    What's interesting is that twice in this thread, it has been mentioned that BMW will be installing the "Performance Upgrade" in damaged cars at no cost. If it's an "upgrade" why is it being used as a fix? Hmmm.

    That begs the question, will owners with undamaged cars not get the fix, er, upgrade?

    Don't be fooled by the inspections. They could either use the inspection as an opportunity to do the right thing, or they could use it to gather data to tell us to take a hike. I would give them the benefit of the doubt to say that they are using to resolve the situation, but their less than stellar response to this issue keeps my skepticism alive.
    thegunguy

  36. #36

    Well, if they apply it as a fix for free...

    where there is damage then it is clearly a fix.

    I have also restored the original class action lawsuit thread. BMW NA have now given me sufficient reason to believe that all is not going to be well, indeed far from it.
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  37. #37
    Z8 Guru 2112's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thegunguy

    It was certainly an expensive action, but it solidified consumer confidence in their brand and their commitment to safety. Obviously, this is not an apples to apples comparison, but it's an excellent example of a company that just did the right thing - regardless of fault. BMW may be doing something, but it's far their best effort.
    How about comparing it to Ford's quick action regarding the possible fault of the front control arm? This from a company most BMW buyers would never lower themselves to do business with.

  38. #38
    DSC Off Orcatek's Avatar
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    Got my car inspected Friday.

    Of course on the way there my right rear tire goes flat. Run flats do have their advantages. During the inspection the tell me I also have a broken belt on my right front tire which explains the strange wear I thought was due to alignment. Funny thing was, I never felt the broken belt on the Z8. I have them before and could always tell at slow speeds.

    As Jawz said they worked off a checklist (I attached a page from the list). The FSE was very willing to talk to me before and after the inspection.

    Results, bolts on my struts were not perfectly straight but were within acceptable range. Body panels were good, ride height was perfect. My alignment was dead on for camber and caster, and the same on both sides. Toe in was a bit off.

    So I had them align it as I was getting tires at the same time. And I stuck with the runflats and got the RE050A's. On the drive home I could feel the difference that new tires make.

    I don't push my car near as hard as some owners, so these tires will keep be fine for me.

    I am looking forward to hearing back from BMW. As my car is still within the acceptable range, I want the fix to keep it there. It will prove interesting to see how it all pans out.
     

  39. #39

    I can't help wondering....

    what exactly is within acceptable range?

    Who has defined this, and how?
    Was this defined before this issue or only in reaction to it?
    What proof to we have that this is really an acceptable range?
    Are BMW asking us to simply trust them?
    Andrew Macpherson

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

  40. #40
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    Answer.... Three Letters... Bmw!

    Quote Originally Posted by macfly
    what exactly is within acceptable range?

    Who has defined this, and how?
    BMW.

    Was this defined before this issue or only in reaction to it?
    YES, BY BMW.

    What proof to we have that this is really an acceptable range?
    BMW'S WORD.

    Are BMW asking us to simply trust them?
    YES.
    More answers, more questions. This trend will NOT stop until this issue is settled for good. This is being handled on BMW's terms and BMW's time schedule and according to BMW's standards. I do not find it strange that there is an 'acceptable range/limits, as everything manufactured has such a range.... question for me is, I would like to know what that acceptable range is and how my car fits within it.

    For example, the Toe has a range, the castor the camber all have ranges. Each individual side could be withing specs But, your cross caster or cross camber could be off. (left side caster at 6.5 and the right at 7.5 (WNL is +7.0 +/- 0.5) but the cross caster difference is +1.0 (WNL is +0.5) and the above example is +0.5 out of range and indicative of a problem, such as a possible (not definite) bent front end assembly or a chassis/frame?

    Again, what IS the "within normal limits" range? I am still waiting for BMW to get back to me to schedule my inspection.
    Best Regards,

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

  41. #41
    DSC Off Orcatek's Avatar
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    As far as the alignment on my car, I did see the print out. And it was actually close to middle of range on both toe in and caster and they were the same right to left both front and rear. The FSE was seemed surprised that the alignment was as good as it was.

    As far as acceptable range, I too wondered what that is for the bolts. I don't see any crowning, and you have to look just right to see if the bolts are not straight.

  42. #42
    The Other Red ZAchterbahn's Avatar
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    Shock tower distortion a rare "deep country" phenomenon

    My service advisor inquired about the shock tower distortion at a recent BMW tech-meeting in Atlanta.

    He reports that I know a lot more than BMW about this issue. They have only heard about a few cases from owners somewhere in the deep country with really bad roads. He presented the BMW bulletin I had forwarded to him but was unable to get any detailed information from the BMW brass.

    I will get a call from my dealership when the BMW field representative visits Fort Worth next time to have my car inspected.

    Judging from the looks of my Z8's shock towers the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex is still "deep country". The only charming aspect of this sad story.

  43. #43
    Sport Button On - DSC Off mollyshark's Avatar
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    ZA: Can you let me know when that field rep is here? I'd like to have mine inspected also. Hopefully I'll be in town at the time.
    ___________________
    MollyShark
    Red/Crema Tan top (both of us)

  44. #44
    Team Z8 KenZ8's Avatar
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    contact for inspection

    Have Bill Stuart at BMWNA (201-263-8210) schedule the inspection for you. He takes care of having the FSE and the appropriate service people all in the same place at the same time. My experience with him has been phenomenal- arrangements are completed and orchestrated with precision, and followed up with phone calls (a rare treat in this world). BTW, my avatar shows how my car looked after the inspection.

  45. #45
    The Other Red ZAchterbahn's Avatar
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    Ken, thank you for Bill's phone number. I will call him after the holiday. Monica, I will keep you posted on scheduling an inspection of our cars at Autobahn BMW.

    A great weekend to the both of you!

    Christian.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by macfly
    There is an interesting story coming out in Germany this week, it seems that there has been a leak from within BMW AG on this subject. What I've heard is that this issue was seen during the testing of the pre-production prototypes, but the Z8 project managers thought it was because their test-drivers were all too extreme, and they didn't believe it would be an issue with normal owners in normal use.
    Sounds like you need to subpoenea the test data.

    David