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I am sure that few around here put a lot of faith in Consumer Reorts for their auto selections, but none the less in todays Wall Street Journal (11/8)there is an article that reflects very poorly on the new 5 series BMW. Reliability is the issue and while the basic engine tranny stuff looks okay, the electronics and other supporting systems leave a lot to be desired. Seems like BMW would have figured it out by now that sometime less is more. grrrrrrr

Spooky 1
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Yes, I saw that in CR. I knew they would have issues with the E60- and they do. The E60 is just not CR friendly and thats bad marketing.
 

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I believe the E39 5 series was the highest rated car in CR- ever. The lowest? Why that's the idrive riddled E65.

CR is a great resource. Like everything, you need to retain your skepticism. Yet, I have not seen them get something grossly wrong. For example, we have several Viking appliances in our home, mostly due to the wife's request. She's a great cook and wanted something "good". Know what? Each appliance has had several problems and Viking will not stand behind their products. Guess which home appliances get low CR ratings... Viking. Btw- don't ever buy from them, they are pure marketing. When I called them, I was told the fact that our stove came with a crack in the burner must be my fault! And as far as I can discern, I could cook with the same precision with a GE device. I think the more dedicated cooks must look elsewhere.
 

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I haven't read the article. Can someone please scan?

As for reviews in general, the overall impressive has been positive (at least based on what I've read, which is largely all here), and for every "bad" review posted, you can always find another "good" review to counter it. Don't sweat.
 

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why wonder? the e39 m5 was plagued with electrical gremlins... the e60 m5 would be prolly worse by a order of magnitude... a whole new batch of hardware is making its debut in a production vehicle and it does not seem that bmw ag is learning any japanese soon...:D

but we will see... i am predicting average-to-poor reliability for the my05 m5...

alex
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AJ, the e39 electrical problems are minor glitches like NAV resetting or an SES light popping up on occasion. The new 5, 6, & 7 problems are far worse with cars dying on the road, batteries discharging overnight, radios coming on for no reason, etc. I've followed the Roadfly 6-series board. Many folks have just given up and had their cars bought back after numerous trips to the shop.

I personally am sticking with the e39 M5 until they straighten things out.

To get myself back on the thread subject, I read the CR article. I don't disagree with their assesment.
 

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It's one thing to debate someone's subjective opinion of a car. It's quite another thing to debate a quantitative assessment of reliability. Unfortunately, the Europeans in general have a long way to go to keep up with the Japanese in automobile reliability. I really don't see how anyone could debate this point, even the carmakers themselves are acknowledging they need to do much better. If we as customers make excuses for poor reliability, then that's what we'll get.

I love my car, and it's been nearly perfect. However, I have no problem agreeing with Consumer Reports if they rate the reliability poor. They are the most objective consumer publication that I know of. I don't put much credibility on their subjective opinions of cars, but here they are using real data from car owners. If this is a problem, then BMW need to fix it.

I'm quite concerned about the new M5. I just don't know if the Germans can deliver these complex electronic systems at a high reliability level. I might even forego my number one spot at the dealer to wait until they have the problems sorted out.

No company is perfect. BMW still makes the absolute best drivers cars in the world IMO. Their design capabilities are awesome, and they lead the way in performance engineering. But they need to get their act together in terms of producing reliable technology. No doubt about it.
 

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Proof of what you say is MB is cutting back on electronics in future models to address this.

BMW is taking the long view by creating their own subsidiary, BMW IT, to actually supply such systems.
 

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I've read the M5 is using the first products of their internal development. This could be good or bad.
 

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Richard in NC said:
AJ, the e39 electrical problems are minor glitches like NAV resetting or an SES light popping up on occasion. The new 5, 6, & 7 problems are far worse with cars dying on the road, batteries discharging overnight, radios coming on for no reason, etc. QUOTE]
You could be talking about the W211 E class when it came out also! If possible, it seems that the new M5 will have even more "stuff" than my car did. I would be very nervous about getting a 1st yr. car. Funny thing though is that it's like a labor of love. My wife can't understand how I happily take my car in for stuff that you would not expect in a 90K car.
 

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MEnthusiast said:
Proof of what you say is MB is cutting back on electronics in future models to address this.

BMW is taking the long view by creating their own subsidiary, BMW IT, to actually supply such systems.
Almost 800 individual items across the enitre MB line will be de-contented. Most having to do with electronics or items that can do the same function multiple ways.
 

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LOL... holding up the E39 as the goal? Umm.. don't think so. Oh the list I could list from both of mine. Minor issues of course, but still a royal pain. I have to take one in for a seat motor or gear that sounds like it belongs on a tractor. How about the haunted climate control? My 530 sometimes switches itself to metric measurements. Or the time that the sunroof on one of them went nuts. How about NAV that thought it was in a totally different state? Or a stereo that decided I wanted to listen to the music REALLY loud when I started the car? And that I had no taste in music during these times, as it would randomly pick something else. How about the coolant sensor with an attitude on the 530 that started reporting low for no reason? SES lights... once the DSP went nuts flashing the traction light while I was sitting still... All of these caused trips to the dealer.

Now, the point that making excuses only makes the problem worse is a valid one. Unfortunately, the information boom that has taken place in the last 10 years is driving the "requirements" for more gadgets. Sometimes those gadgets are able to sell the car. MB and BMW want to sell cars, so they add the gadgets to. Not everyone is a die hard BMW fan and gets them for that reason, sometimes they get them for the name... go figure.
 

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It's mot just CR. JD Powers also ranked BMW and MB way low on their initial quality surveys. These folks just tabulate statistics and have no particular ax to grind, none that I'm aware of anyways.

As far as I'm concern, my E39 M5 is the end of the line for BMW. I definitely do not want to go 'where no men has ever gone before'. At least not in BMW-land.

The more complex the system, the more things can go wrong. Any one heard of cancer in amoeba?

CP
 

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The experience of a fine driver's car is worth taking a car to the service department more frequently than with a Lexus. However, I share everyone's concern for the electronic complexity of the newer cars, perhaps reaching a peak in the E60 M5. If I trade in my E39 M5 for a new one, I'll definitely buy manufacturer's warrantee extension, if one is offered.

For the present, the choice in the States is among American cars which still lag behind, reliable Japanese cars, and high performance German cars. However, I understand that Japanese makers will soon be responding to the high performance market. If Japan starts producing reliable sedans with NSX-like performance, at a competitive price, the German makers will have a real fight on their hands. BMW will have to respond with better reliability and/or a better warrantee.

Richard
 

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Richard,
Do not look to Honda. They just axed their NSX v2 program. It no longer meets their strategic goals.

I think you will see something out of Toyota and maybe Nissan.

vndkshn,
Did you take the car in for service? Those things should not be happening. That reminds me of the 2002 7 series- very bizarre behavior. I've had several E39 variants and none has had any serious problem. It may not be as reliable as a Lexus, but I think from a CR standpoint, reliability was solid and the safety was class leading, along with brand image and a great driving car where the communication enhances safety and fun and on top of that there is a level of luxury.
 

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rsteele said:
If Japan starts producing reliable sedans with NSX-like performance, at a competitive price, the German makers will have a real fight on their hands.
The NSX was a cool car, but did not have enough engine.

Tom
 

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MEnthusiast said:
Richard,

vndkshn,
Did you take the car in for service? Those things should not be happening. That reminds me of the 2002 7 series- very bizarre behavior. I've had several E39 variants and none has had any serious problem. It may not be as reliable as a Lexus, but I think from a CR standpoint, reliability was solid and the safety was class leading, along with brand image and a great driving car where the communication enhances safety and fun and on top of that there is a level of luxury.
I agree. I have been driving E39s for over 6 years - first a '99 528 and for the past 3 years a '02 530 and have had NO mechanical issues. My E39-owning friends tell me similar stories and this mirrors the overall "above average" reliability rating that CR gave the E39.

I'm not surprised about the CR E60 reliability rating - exactly mirrors the equally complex new 7 series CR reliability.

I'm a little leary about the reliability of the M5 I'm going to pick up next month compared to my 530 but still believe the overall E39 to be solid in terms of reliabilitiy.

Kevin
 

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I dont buy the more gadgets the more problems arguement fully. It's a matter of cost verses gadgets, as you can make a car full of techno goodies and have it be 99% reliable. Look at commercial airliners and thier complex systems, and their dispatch records. The point comes down to cost, and in that regard I think many manufacturers are making the mistake of putting too much in while cutting costs, which leads (oddly enough b/c you have to pay for the features) to a overpriced car with subpar quality. It's a sad time for reliability, as BMW's used to be fairly bulletproof cars.
:cheers:
 
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