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Thread: 2008 528i structural flaw

  1. #1
    Z8 Millennial Monster hayvenhurstkid's Avatar
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    Question 2008 528i structural flaw

    I just wanted to get some opinions of Z8 Forum members. My best friend bought a new 2008 528i about a month ago. He noticed a creaking sound coming from the driver's side B pillar and he took it into the dealer to be looked at. To make a long story short, the problem was diagnosed that where the B pillar is welded by robot to the floor pan, three "pinch" welds were not made by the robot. He thinks BMW should replace the car because this to him is a major structural flaw. BMWNA took the position today that they will have the car fixed but they will not replace it. If it were my car, I wouldn't want it fixed. Just curious to see what others think.

  2. #2
    That is a hard call, because I can't visualize how much of the car would have to come apart to have this repaired.
    How will the repairs affect the paint and anti-corrosive coatings on the aluminum chassis?
    How long it will it be out of service?
    How it will show up on the car's repair history?
    Most importantly did he lease or buy?

    It is sad that this kind of quality control issue should happen to BMW. Having been to Munich three times now I know that the people who build our cars take great pride in their work and their product. They would be horrified by such a problem. I hope BMW NA get the information back to AG quickly, because robots don't change thier actions, they repeat them, which means there are a lot of cars out there that passed by this same little bad boy on the line.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  3. #3
    Z8 Millennial Monster hayvenhurstkid's Avatar
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    Center BMW already disassembled the necessary parts to expose the defective weld. It is around six to eight inches long. They put some shims in where there was no weld and drove the car and it stopped making the noise, so that is obviously the problem. It is a leased car, but it is his first new BMW and he is really disappointed. He doesn't trust the car even if they weld it. It would be subcontracted out to a body shop for welding. I assume once the fix is made, it would need the proper coatings put back on. I think I would insist that the car be sent to one of BMW's aluminum repair centers. He called BMWNA and their position is firm: if regional said no new car then no new car. Period!

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    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    If the joint is designed to be welded, and the fix is to weld it, my guess is that the repair would be fine, but I too would be concerned about it in the event of an accident, etc. I'd be constantly wondering "what else is wrong".

    I don't think this would be covered under the "lemon law", if applicable in your friend's state, but it might be worth investigating.

    As we all know, defects happen, and if BMW repairs the defect to what they "deem" satisfactory, it's hard to argue against them without waging a major war.

    The sad thing is that their position might be entirely different if it weren't your friend's first BMW.

    Certainly a tough situation...
    Last edited by thegunguy; August 10th 2007 at 23:04.
    thegunguy

  5. #5
    Z8 Millennial Monster hayvenhurstkid's Avatar
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    Just heard back from my buddy. He spoke with a lemon law attorney and was told he has no case, so he asked me what to do. I told him to go ahead and let BMW fix the car but to insist that it go to the factory repair center in Oxnard where the new cars come in. I think the job will be performed correctly there, but as Andrew pointed out, I hope BMW in Germany is aware that they have a welding robot that is not making all of the correct welds. I would be willing to bet there are other complaints of this nature and that the repair has already been made in Germany, but who knows how many cars slipped in under the radar before the problem became known.

  6. #6
    Since it is leased I'd say patch it up, let the lease run out and let BMW NA know that you won't be buying a BMW in the future in writing.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  7. #7
    Z8 Millennial Monster hayvenhurstkid's Avatar
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    It's too bad because he really loves the car other than this problem. I think he would buy another BMW, he just isn't thrilled the way he was treated.

  8. #8
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Perhaps he should inform the leasing company (if not BMWFS). They would have an interest in getting it repaired properly, and they likely have more stroke with BMW.
    thegunguy

  9. #9
    Z8 Millennial Monster hayvenhurstkid's Avatar
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    It is leased through BMW financial.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by hayvenhurstkid View Post
    I just wanted to get some opinions of Z8 Forum members. My best friend bought a new 2008 528i about a month ago. He noticed a creaking sound coming from the driver's side B pillar and he took it into the dealer to be looked at. To make a long story short, the problem was diagnosed that where the B pillar is welded by robot to the floor pan, three "pinch" welds were not made by the robot. He thinks BMW should replace the car because this to him is a major structural flaw. BMWNA took the position today that they will have the car fixed but they will not replace it. If it were my car, I wouldn't want it fixed. Just curious to see what others think.
    I'm with BMW of North America, LLC. With a little research, I was able to identify your friend, and passed this message on to a BMW NA Customer Relations Representative who will be in touch with him shortly.

  11. #11
    Z8 Millennial Monster hayvenhurstkid's Avatar
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    Thank you so much. I passed your message on to my friend. It is greatly appreciated.

  12. #12
    Sport Button On - DSC Off FWK-Z8's Avatar
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    I would inform the NHTSA. As Andrew points out, this defect probably is present in more than one vehicle, and the B pillar is an integral part of the passenger safety cage - contributing to the torsional rigidity of the body and being the major component for absorbing energy from side impacts.

  13. #13
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BMW NA Customer Relations View Post
    I'm with BMW of North America, LLC. With a little research, I was able to identify your friend, and passed this message on to a BMW NA Customer Relations Representative who will be in touch with him shortly.
    How's that for service! It's communication like this that builds lifelong brand loyalty.
    thegunguy

  14. #14
    While a B pillar / floor panel weld defect is potentially a critical safety issue that any manufacturer would have to attend to promptly, I would like to comment on BMW's proactive action seen here. I commend BMWNA for monitoring "our" site and stepping in to support their owners. Such special service extension after the sale becomes a defining component of "The Ultimate Driving Experience".
    Last edited by Bend; August 15th 2007 at 18:15.

  15. #15
    Z8 Millennial Monster hayvenhurstkid's Avatar
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    BMW just agreed to buy back the car. It is interesting to note that Reuters just posted the results of a new side impact crash test and the 08 5 series got the lowest possible marks for driver's side impact. Don't know if there is any relation between the crash test results and the defective weld in this particular car, but when a Kia Amante comes in way above a BMW, something is not right.

  16. #16
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    At least the BMW can avoid the accident - lol!
    thegunguy

  17. #17
    a Kia Amante comes in way above a BMW
    Say it isn't so! I think there is a good chance that this wretched robot has let down the entire production run. There is simply no way BMW's engineers would design something so poorly, they take these things very seriously in Munich, so the car that went to this test must have been another 'child of the bad-bot'.
    Andrew Macpherson

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  18. #18

    Answering my own question....

    There is a huge drop in the side impact safety of the current 5 series compared to the previous e39 series. As you can see the new car has only an M for Marginal score, against the older 5 series car's G for good. There are only 4 possible scores -

    G=Good M=Acceptable M=Marginal P=Poor

    http://www.iihs.org/ratings/rating.aspx?id=831
    Andrew Macpherson

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  19. #19
    Z8 Millennial Monster hayvenhurstkid's Avatar
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    My friend just took delivery of his new 08 535i. Hopefully this one missed the "bad-bot."

  20. #20
    Team Z8 KenZ8's Avatar
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    I continue to be impressed at the lengths that BMW will go to satisfy a customer and do the right thing. I'm sure that their legal department encouraged this particular action, but they came through in a very timely fashion and encouraged brand loyalty once again.