Well, no luck with emailing Leonora...I've gotten radio silence from her unfortunately. I was even hoping for at least a "Sorry, we can't help" email but I haven't gotten that either.
I have a good acquaintance at an individual BMW mechanic shop and I emailed him this thread. He actually took a stroll around his shop and made a few mental notes about the cars he had there:
(1) Only 5-series show this problem. All 3s and 7s look fine...from all years. He even had an 8...looked fine.
(2) He found E39s from 97-03 in his shop. About half had the problem, the other half looked fine. He also noticed that the shininess of the material looked different between different E39s, regardless of year. I can't remember if the shinier stuff was holding up better than the non-shiny stuff (or the other way around).
He said the part number has remained the same for this all throughout the E39's years but certainly the manufacturer could have changed several times (and presumably, the material could be different, too).
2001 530i/5 (E39), Topaz Blue/Stone Green/Black (118k miles) *very rare interior/exterior color combo*
2005 545i/SMG (E60), ED Order, Titanium Grey/Grey (lease over)
2015 335i, ED Order Summer 2015
Last edited by Ågent99; 06-26-2006 at 02:29 PM.