I can send this but would prefer this to be led by someone with some relationship with BMWNA and/or geographically closer to their offices in NJ.
Who wants to sign on? Is there anyone more appropropriate to take the lead?
Tom Purves, President BMWNA
PO Box 1227
New Jersey 07675
Dec 17, 2005
I am writing on behalf of a large group of 2006 BMW M5 owners and enthusiasts to address what we believe is a terrible policy decision by BMWNA. Specifically we are referring to the disabling of the important performance elements of an SMG feature called “launch control.” Beginning with the showing of the E60 M5 concept car in Geneva (2003) through its official debut and worldwide sale, BMW has been touting the M5’s Formula 1 heritage and technology including the V10 engine, the SMG transmission, and its high-performance launch capability. We have long been reading and viewing BMW interviews, advertisements, reviews of BMW-supplied press cars, and reports from owners around the world discussing the marvelous M5 technology and capabilities, including the advanced launch control feature.
You got us salivating with expectation for this spectacular automobile. We rushed to our dealers to put down our money. Many of us even paid considerable “market adjustment” premiums ($20+K) to get the M5 earlier. As the first of us took delivery and then carefully (and painfully) completed its rigorous break-in, we were stunned to then find the launch control feature that was so thoroughly described, advertised, reviewed and evangelized to be strangely not working. Contrary to what is documented in the Product Information Guide, we found that it:
- at standstill will only rev the engine to 1600 rpm given the prescribed full throttle, and not the default of 4000 rpm.
- has a starting engine speed that cannot be adjusted via the cruise control stalk. The launch starting engine speed is adjustable both down and up to 5000 rpm on non-US models.
- will not auto-shift at near red-line through the gears, and instead just dangerously bounces off of the rev-limiter in first gear.
- probably does not properly optimize the clutch let-out as it should, though this is unclear due to the extremely low starting engine speed.
We asked around on internet boards and also called our dealers and BMWNA technical support. Initially no one seemed to know what was wrong. Dealers read the procedure from the Product Information Guide and the internal collateral provided them on proper operation and said “it should work.” Even BMWNA technical support told several of us that it should work fine per our understanding. However, we ultimately began hearing that the launch control feature had been largely disabled specifically for the US market and that what we were experiencing was “as intended.” Contrary not only to our expectation but BMW’s explicit representations and absence of any information to the contrary, we had our launch control crippled into a completely useless form. The result of this intentional crippling is that the US M5 does not have the same high-level of standing-start acceleration as the M5 sold everywhere else.
Needless to say, we were more than merely disappointed; we were horrified. We are angry. We feel deceived and unjustly singled-out in the world. While we can certainly imagine concerns and issues BMWNA might have with the use of the M5’s launch control capability, we also vigorously believe that it is wrong and ultimately counterproductive to address these through precipitously functionally-eliminating this much-touted feature.
Please understand that we represent your best customers and most enthusiastic supporters. I personally have purchased seven BMW automobiles in the past six years, including five M cars (1999 M3 coupe, 2000 M5, 2001 M5, 2002 M3 cabrio, 2004 745, 2004, 545, and now the 2006 M5). I also had several Z4s purchased as prizes for top salespeople in the company I founded. Many of us have similar or even more significant BMW purchasing pedigrees. Given the great expense of our “car hobby,” many of us are also highly successful and very business savvy. The obvious disappointment and anger combined with the high-profile careers represented here made a number of us instinctively wish to seek a legal remedy. However, we would much rather have a conversation as friends to reach an agreement that can give us what we were promised and want, and maybe even address your issues with launch control in the US market.
We will be calling you very soon.