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Old 30th November 2005, 22:30   #291
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Re: FAQ on Carbon Build-Up Issue (First Attempt)

read both letters, both have merits. i'm willing for the community at large to include my name once there is agreement on how to proceed. thank you for the effort.

i have a hard time believing with the discussion i'm one of few to experience the problem. living with the SES light is not an option, i may want to sell my m5 for a new one, a porsche, etc. I don't think it will make it any easier to have this light on, clearly there is diminished value as a result of these circumstances. 8K is what i'd expect to pay service on a ferrari, not a bmw.

perhaps it may be wise to open a new thread on the board (any lawyers drive an m5?).

Jas
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Old 30th November 2005, 22:42   #292
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Re: FAQ on Carbon Build-Up Issue (First Attempt)

Quote:
Originally Posted by omologato
read both letters, both have merits. i'm willing for the community at large to include my name once there is agreement on how to proceed. thank you for the effort.

i have a hard time believing with the discussion i'm one of few to experience the problem. living with the SES light is not an option, i may want to sell my m5 for a new one, a porsche, etc. I don't think it will make it any easier to have this light on, clearly there is diminished value as a result of these circumstances. 8K is what i'd expect to pay service on a ferrari, not a bmw.

perhaps it may be wise to open a new thread on the board (any lawyers drive an m5?).

Jas
Jas -

You hit the nail on the head regarding one of the painful dilemmas facing us if the carbon fault strikes. It may not affect the car's performance, but what do you do about the SES light? You are stuck with it unless you want to fork over $8,000 for the head cleaning. This light could have big consequences when you try and sell the car.

We've attempted to identify board members with a law background, but haven't been very successful. We would need someone in the US, since this is a US-specific issue that does not affect non-US cars from what we can tell. We have numerous threads open already, so I might try and organize this a little better with a single sticky pointer thread and links to the different threads we have now.

Cheers,
Dave
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Old 30th November 2005, 23:05   #293
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Re: FAQ on Carbon Build-Up Issue (First Attempt)

Here is and update for these letters. My car is 02 model. I have been working with my dealer to try to get this issue resolved. The cost of the repair are being exgagerated by the dealers. If u really push it can be done for about 5k. The 8k price is for doing each head at different times. (2*4k). Once the engine is out of the car its out; so one should be charged a second time for droping the engine.

my car is a very high mileage car 120k, and i love my m5. My lease ends in december and for 10.000 i can return the car. i'm opting to keep the car. I have been offered 3500.00 towards fixing the problem. not bad. but waht is going to happen over the next 50k miles.
The only reason you have not seen the 02 on this board yet is because these cars are still fairly low miles cars. they will join as the miles pill up.
this problem is also reducing the value of these cars on the pre own market. we may be able to go after bmwna for reduced value of the vehicle if they will not fix our problem. Count me in also as a member that will contribute to lawyers fees. We do need to find an atty if we are going to be effective against bmwna.


I did reorder the new M5 that i had previously cancelled. this one will go to the wife. she does not go far. so less mileage.
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Old 30th November 2005, 23:16   #294
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Re: FAQ on Carbon Build-Up Issue (First Attempt)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmdeetjen
Here is and update for these letters. My car is 02 model. I have been working with my dealer to try to get this issue resolved. The cost of the repair are being exgagerated by the dealers. If u really push it can be done for about 5k. The 8k price is for doing each head at different times. (2*4k). Once the engine is out of the car its out; so one should be charged a second time for droping the engine.

my car is a very high mileage car 120k, and i love my m5. My lease ends in december and for 10.000 i can return the car. i'm opting to keep the car. I have been offered 3500.00 towards fixing the problem. not bad. but waht is going to happen over the next 50k miles.
The only reason you have not seen the 02 on this board yet is because these cars are still fairly low miles cars. they will join as the miles pill up.
this problem is also reducing the value of these cars on the pre own market. we may be able to go after bmwna for reduced value of the vehicle if they will not fix our problem. Count me in also as a member that will contribute to lawyers fees. We do need to find an atty if we are going to be effective against bmwna.


I did reorder the new M5 that i had previously cancelled. this one will go to the wife. she does not go far. so less mileage.
Thank you for the update. I'm always curious to hear the explanation from the dealer as to why this problem occurs. What did they have to say about it?

Good point about hiring a lawyer if we can't find one among our board members.

Can you please enter your information into our "data base" ("POLL ON CARBON BUILD UP ISSUE..." Don't worry if you don't have all the information, but this is the first '02 that I think we've heard of having the problem and I'd like to get it "documented" in the same location as all the others. It does support the view that eventually all e39 M5 owners could face the problem with enough miles.

Cheers,
Dave
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Old 1st December 2005, 00:16   #295
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Re: FAQ on Carbon Build-Up Issue (First Attempt)

I have already done that.



Quote:
Originally Posted by wilsodh
Thank you for the update. I'm always curious to hear the explanation from the dealer as to why this problem occurs. What did they have to say about it?

Good point about hiring a lawyer if we can't find one among our board members.

Can you please enter your information into our "data base" ("POLL ON CARBON BUILD UP ISSUE..." Don't worry if you don't have all the information, but this is the first '02 that I think we've heard of having the problem and I'd like to get it "documented" in the same location as all the others. It does support the view that eventually all e39 M5 owners could face the problem with enough miles.

Cheers,
Dave
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Old 1st December 2005, 01:44   #296
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Re: FAQ on Carbon Build-Up Issue (First Attempt)

I have included below the actual letter sent by JC Fox reguarding the missing pixel issue and the reply from BMWNA.
It is 1 page and very succient. After reading both letters I think we should model ours very closly to the orginal letter. I also think we should be able respond with some type of legal action and or notifation of the proper authories if we are not satisifed with the BMWNA respone. In the words of a great American president...we should "speak softly but carry a big stick!" We need to be able to react if they blow off our request.

Link for the inital letter below: http://bimmer.roadfly.com/bmw/forums/e38/1706512-1.html

Fellow owners:

The text that follows is a copy of a letter sent to BMW North America today by FEDEX. The tracking number is: 8312 5041 2977.

Prior to sending the letter, the proposed letter was sent to all owners who had signed up via my e-mail address for inclusion. Two owners "opted out", while an additional 3 came forward for inclusion.

Several drafts of the letter were generated, and a lawyer or two on the list were kind enough to assist me with the draft, and provide critical assistance. The letter that was sent was approved by all, and no name was included that requested they be deleted.

I have not included the names of the participants on this posting. The participants have been given a link to a PDF file that shows the entire text sent to BMW. IF there are any "typos" below, rest assured they were not in the letter sent, and they were created when the text was pasted on this site.

Because of the "flames" this issue has previously generated, I will not respond to any comments or questions related to the letter, the legalities, or the ethics on this or any other board. Since the "supporters" far and away outnumber the detractors, I would also ask that the detractors be ignored, since a flame war or discussion will serve no purpose whatsoever. I never have understood why anyone would object to someone trying to help the community, and I've stopped trying to understand the motivations of the detractors.

I will "scan" any reply I receive from BMW North America into a document, and post it to this board upon receipt.

TEXT OF LETTER TO BMW NORTH AMERICA:


January 31, 2003

BMW of North America, LLC FEDEX TRACKING #
300 Chestnut Ridge Road 8312 5041 2977
Woodcliff Lake, NJ 07677

RE: Product Defect Affecting BMW Vehicles

Dear Sir or Madam:

The undersigned is the representative of over 100 vehicle owners, reflecting 117 vehicles that all suffer from a common defect. Many of the owners have had extensive contacts with BMW, either through the dealer network, or directly with your customer relations organization, and these owners were advised that BMW was not aware of the defect, and for those vehicles out of warranty, that BMW would not assume responsibility for the defect in question.

We have also had extensive discussions with one of the after-market warranty companies that have advised us that they have replaced thousands of the affected components on BMW vehicles at tremendous expense to these companies. We expect to receive documentation of these claims in the very near future.

The first purpose of this letter, therefore, is to formally advise BMW North America of a serious and recurring defect that appears to affect most, if not all, of the BMW line of vehicles produced from 1991 to present and continuing.

The defect we are referring to is the recurring failure of the electronic pixel displays in the various driver-information systems, specifically the dash, heating and air conditioning controls, On-Board Computers (Multi Information Display) and radio display controls. These failures include the failure of the electronic pixel displays relating to the mileage display for the vehicles in question.

Since the accuracy of the mileage display is subject to Federal regulation, as well as by the individual States, this common failure should be of great concern to the affected authorities as well as the individual owners, since the reliability of the mileage display on any vehicle is but one important factor that affects the vehicles resale value, and is an important consumer fraud protection.

On review of the issue, we find it difficult to understand the assertion made to many owners that BMW was not aware of this defect, given the fact that BMW North America has evidently supplied thousands of replacement dash modules, as well as other components, to the affected owners through the parts distribution system of the extensive BMW dealer network.

Interestingly, on review of the resources available on the Internet, it is clear that this is a problem that affects BMW vehicles worldwide, to wit we were able to locate a tremendous number of Internet sites devoted to discussion of the issue, including various do it yourself vehicle owners who have attempted to analyze the cause of the defect, and various methods used to attempt to correct the defect. These sites were not limited to vehicles sold in the United States, and in fact we were able to locate some enthusiast’s sites in Germany that identified the identical issue that brings about this correspondence.

From our preliminary investigation of the components in question, including some destructive testing, it would appear that the problem arises due to repeated failure of the solder of an electronic film that connects the individual "pixels" with the underlying electronic component. The fact that these problems continue to affect vehicles currently being produced, as well as vehicles that have had defective components replaced, would suggest that BMW, or the supplier in question, has not found a solution to the defect.

The secondary purpose of this letter, aside from placing BMW North America on formal notice of the existence of the defect, is to simply request a modification of the BMW warranty regarding the affected components such that a vehicle owner, or prospective vehicle owner, can rely on the mileage indication on a particular vehicle, and further that the full instrumentation on the "ultimate driving machine" is readily visible to the vehicle owner.

Towards that end, we believe a reasonable solution to this problem would be the establishment of a fifteen (15) year warranty for the above-mentioned parts, together with a BMW reimbursement program for affected owners who have already repaired the defect.

We would also encourage BMW to take some proactive steps such that a solution to the underlying defect is found and implemented, such that vehicle owners will not continue to have repeated failures of the components in question.

The undersigned, the vehicle owners listed below, and many others, eagerly await your reply. Naturally, our next course of action will depend on that reply.

Very truly yours,

J. Carlos Fox
Attorney at Law

JCF:bms

cc:
List of participating vehicle owners OMITTED from RoadFly Boards

NOW THE ACTUAL REPONSE FROM BMWNA

Links to the BMWNA reply letter: http://www.e38.org/bmw_pixel_response.pdf or
http://www.clineandfox.com/smallbmwletter.pdf or


http://e38.org/bmw_pixel_response.pdf or
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Old 2nd December 2005, 17:09   #297
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Re: FAQ on Carbon Build-Up Issue (First Attempt)

FYI. federal emissions law language.

Federal Warranty Laws

1.The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (15 U.S.C. 2302(C))

This federal law regulates warranties for the protection of consumers. The essence of the law concerning aftermarket auto parts is that a vehicle manufacturer may not condition a written or implied warranty on the consumers using parts or services which are identified by brand, trade, or corporate name (such as the vehicle maker's brand) unless the parts or service are provided free of charge. The law means that the use of an aftermarket part alone is not cause for denying the warranty. However, the law's protection does not extend to aftermarket parts in situations where such parts actually caused the damage being claimed under the warranty. Further, consumers are advised to be aware of any specific terms or conditions stated in the warranty which may result in its being voided. The law states in relevant part:

“No warrantor of a consumer product may condition his written or implied warranty of such product on the consumers using, in connection with such product, any article or service (other than article or service provided without charge under the terms of the warranty) which is identified by brand, trade or corporate name...” (15 U.S.C. 2302(C)).

2. Clean Air Act Warranty Provisions (42 U.S.C. S 7541 (C) (3) (B))

The federal Clean Air Act requires vehicle makers to provide two emissions-related warranties -- a production warranty and a performance warranty. The production warranty requires the vehicle maker to warrant that the vehicle is designed, built and equipped so that it conforms with emissions requirements at the time of sale. The performance warranty requires the vehicle maker to warrant that the vehicle will comply with applicable emissions requirements as tested under state vehicle emissions inspection programs for the warranty periods specified in the law (for model year 1995 and later vehicles, the warranty is 2 years/24,000 miles for all emissions-related parts and 8 years/80,000 miles for the catalytic converter, electronic emissions control unit and on-board diagnostic device). The performance warranty is conditioned on the vehicle being properly maintained and operated.

Like the Magnuson-Moss Act, vehicle manufacturers may not refuse warranty repairs under the Clean Air Acts performance and defect warranties merely because aftermarket parts have been installed on the vehicle. The only circumstance under which the vehicle manufacturer can void the emissions warranties is if an aftermarket part is responsible for (causes) the warranty claim.

as tested under state vehicle emissions inspection programs for the warranty periods specified in the law (for model year 1995 and later vehicles, the warranty is 2 years/24,000 miles for all emissions-related parts and 8 years/80,000 miles for the catalytic converter, electronic emissions control unit and on-board diagnostic device). The performance warranty is conditioned on the vehicle being properly maintained and operated.

Like the Magnuson-Moss Act, vehicle manufacturers may not refuse warranty repairs under the Clean Air Acts performance and defect warranties merely because aftermarket parts have been installed on the vehicle. The only circumstance under which the vehicle manufacturer can void the emissions warranties is if an aftermarket part is responsible for (causes) the warranty claim.
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Old 2nd December 2005, 17:18   #298
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Good research, thank you.

It certainly helps to know what the 'law' says.
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Old 2nd December 2005, 18:23   #299
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Re: FAQ on Carbon Build-Up Issue (First Attempt)

Quote:
Originally Posted by omologato
FYI. federal emissions law language.
omologato -

Thanks for pulling this up. Reading through the text you posted prompted me to check further into the language.

Here is a link to an EPA fact sheet on federal emissions control warranties which provides more detail, including examples:

http://www.epa.gov/otaq/consumer/warr95fs.txt

As I read through this, it looks like our cold-start emission system (secondary air system) is only covered for 2 years/24,000 miles, while it is the cats, the eletronic emissions control unit, and diagnostic device(s) that are coverd for 8/80,000 mi. I dont' see a terribly strong case being made that a carbon-clogged secondary air system should be covered per the language of the EPA fact sheet, particuarly if the car has over 24,000 miles. If the vehicle has under 24,000 miles, BMW could technically argue that the warranty covers only defects in materials and workmanship, although it seems likely they would perform a good-will repair in this circumstance.

In re-thinking this a bit, I guess it seems to me that approaching BMWNA on this issue with a threatening tone or implicitly suggesting possible litigation under the Federal Clean Air Act may not prove terribly intimidating to BMWNA, or effective for our interests.

Cheers,
Dave

Last edited by wilsodh; 2nd December 2005 at 18:26.
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Old 2nd December 2005, 18:29   #300
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Re: FAQ on Carbon Build-Up Issue (First Attempt)

Regarding the BMW letter, this is what you should expect with a similar "campaign" regarding carbon buildup - no action on BMWNA's part. They will never admit to a design defect in public that doesn't require a recall. They will "deal with customers on an individual basis" - which, sadly, means - tough luck.
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