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F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 / F36 (2012 - current)
The sixth generation 3 series, chassis code F30. 2013 model year 328i and 335i sedans now in production. Read the F30 frequently asked question thread for all your basic question and dive into all the details in the ultimate F30 information thread.

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  #101  
Old 10-02-2012, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voip-ninja View Post
You have said that the majority of the cars you've driven exhibit the problem, so what happens if your new one also does it? Personally I'm more inclined to believe that the problem is more of a rarity as I've never observed it and have driven about six different F30s now... but maybe I'm not enough of an enthusiast to notice it.

Also, if BMW is replacing entire cars over the issue they would be very highly motivated to discover the cause and get it corrected.
Maybe i just notice it and you don't, unless you think thats not possible. If my new car has it that's ok as long as it's not any worse than it currently is. I expect the new car to have the problem, but i am willing to live with it since i love everything else about the car. My car i have now is 41k, my new car is 53k and i am paying less per month for it.

http://www.f30post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=682580
one of a few threads on it.
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Last edited by justinnum1; 10-02-2012 at 09:13 AM.
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  #102  
Old 10-02-2012, 09:53 AM
diesel86 diesel86 is offline
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I can see and feel my vibration. Had it in to the dealer with less than 500 miles to address the situation...didn't work. If I had to put an uneducated guess as to the cause I would have to say that it is some issue with the power steering itself. If it was a mechanical issue, i.e. wheel balancing, hub diameter, tire issue, etc...., it seems that it would be more consistent. Last night on my drive home at 50mph on a dead smooth patch of highway, the steering wheel vibration was as bad as it's ever been. Pull up to daycare, pick my kid up and head out for home and vibration is barely noticeable even when my hand was off the wheel. This morning, same deal...could barely feel it.
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  #103  
Old 10-02-2012, 09:57 AM
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Interesting. The electric steering probably makes use of a servo motor and software to control it. Could be a bad batch of servo motors or a problem with the firmware that is controlling the power steering.

It's very hard to believe that this is a fundamental design problem. BMW has too much experience and too many picky people who test their cars for something like that to slip through completely unnoticed.... unless it was a business decision because fixing it would have been too expensive, which also seems unlikely.
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  #104  
Old 10-02-2012, 10:25 AM
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no question it's a hardware issue and it has to do with the zf steering box. i drove an x3 with the same zf steering and found the issue there too.
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  #105  
Old 10-02-2012, 11:12 AM
Lorenzzo Lorenzzo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voip-ninja View Post
You have said that the majority of the cars you've driven exhibit the problem, so what happens if your new one also does it? Personally I'm more inclined to believe that the problem is more of a rarity as I've never observed it and have driven about six different F30s now... but maybe I'm not enough of an enthusiast to notice it.

Also, if BMW is replacing entire cars over the issue they would be very highly motivated to discover the cause and get it corrected.
Makes me wonder if it's the same type of thing that's common with cameras. A new model comes out, someone has a subtle problem, it hits a message board, people that don't have the issue think they do and pretty soon the problem gets reported as rampant.

I can't remember perfectly but it seems to me, historically, a lot of BMW steering wheels have had a very distinct feel with more feedback than is typical even for sporty cars. I've always liked this feel, particularly here with the F30 where things can seem a little muted compared to prior models.

I'm not saying some cars don't have an issue, but my 328i Sport steering wheel vibrates slightly in response to road characteristics throughout the speed spectrum and in line with past models. I wonder if standards/expectations have changed and to what extent there are cars with a certain problem.

In any event, I have a very difficult time believing this a true, rampant problem.
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  #106  
Old 10-02-2012, 11:18 AM
RDZumbaugh RDZumbaugh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diesel86 View Post
I can see and feel my vibration. Had it in to the dealer with less than 500 miles to address the situation...didn't work. If I had to put an uneducated guess as to the cause I would have to say that it is some issue with the power steering itself. If it was a mechanical issue, i.e. wheel balancing, hub diameter, tire issue, etc...., it seems that it would be more consistent. Last night on my drive home at 50mph on a dead smooth patch of highway, the steering wheel vibration was as bad as it's ever been. Pull up to daycare, pick my kid up and head out for home and vibration is barely noticeable even when my hand was off the wheel. This morning, same deal...could barely feel it.
This post describes the issue pretty well. I only notice IT when I am going 43mph to about 55mph and that is a few times a day during my drive to/from work. I think for us that have owned BMW's the new steering doesn't require that you grasp the steering wheel as hard. The steering is much lighter and easier - hence, why I noticed the shaking I think.

After sending my car to have it checked out - it doesn't seem as bad, they balanced the tires. But the loaner that had about 6,900 miles on it shook terribly which concerns me - will my steering wheel shaking worsen with time?

Unfortunately, I've not had a very good experience with my Service Rep - he basically doesn't believe me. So I ended up talking to the Manager of the Service Department and suggested they hunt down the loaner they gave me and drive it at the speeds we've talked about. The Manager actually admitted knowing of one other customer of theirs that reported having the same problem and then going to BWM to deal with their problem.

I probably would have not been pissed nor looked this up on this blog, which I have followed for a while now, if I hadn't been treated like I was losing my mind. Again - my concern is what is actually causing the problem. Can it be fixed? Will this affect the value of my car? Will the shaking worsen as I put more miles on my vehicle? Will this affect my tires? I think all of these questions are valid. I didn't spend $49k for a car with a shaking steering wheel. I expect more from BMW. But I would be extremely satisfied if they found a simple fix that won't affect the value of my vehicle.
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  #107  
Old 10-02-2012, 12:30 PM
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Those with problems should contact http://www.nhtsa.gov/ to inform them of the situation in hopes that they start an investigation.
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  #108  
Old 10-02-2012, 05:49 PM
squareroot squareroot is offline
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People that do not have this issue may dismiss it all they want. My intention for this thread was for anyone with steering wheel vibration (not an active safety feature, as some have suggested ) to post their story and to discuss potential resolution to the issue.

I tried to take a video the other day, but I couldn't find a straight enough road and the iPhone camera wasn't able to pick it up. I really need a mount to get a good shot. In my vehicle, the wheel moves back and forth approx. 1-2 degrees at a rate of ~2Hz. Because of the low level of rotational movement, I only notice it when gripping the wheel lightly, such as when cruising down a straight. This really annoys me, and I have found myself paying more attention to the steering wheel when I am driving than enjoying my new car. I have also noticed it getting worse with mileage, even after the dealer did a "good faith" balance of the wheels (I put that in quotes, but I do indeed appreciate their effort).

I know I am not "an anal retentive BMW owner" because this is my first BMW and my other vehicle is a Civic Si. The civic exhibits no steering wheel shake or vibration and I don't expect the ultimate driving machine to either.

I'm trying to decide what my next move is. It seems pointless at this time to take it back into the dealer. Everyone, please keep posting here any hits or misses you have with getting this issue resolved. I'm sure we will get it at some point....
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  #109  
Old 10-02-2012, 06:22 PM
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Have you tried taking it to another dealer to see if they can help?
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  #110  
Old 10-02-2012, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squareroot View Post
People that do not have this issue may dismiss it all they want. My intention for this thread was for anyone with steering wheel vibration (not an active safety feature, as some have suggested ) to post their story and to discuss potential resolution to the issue.
I don't think that anyone is dismissing the issue; at least I'm not. The question has become how widespread is the problem, and whether it's common enough to make potential buyers reconsider buying the car. I think not.

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  #111  
Old 10-02-2012, 08:46 PM
Lorenzzo Lorenzzo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squareroot View Post
People that do not have this issue may dismiss it all they want. My intention for this thread was for anyone with steering wheel vibration (not an active safety feature, as some have suggested ) to post their story and to discuss potential resolution to the issue.

I tried to take a video the other day, but I couldn't find a straight enough road and the iPhone camera wasn't able to pick it up. I really need a mount to get a good shot. In my vehicle, the wheel moves back and forth approx. 1-2 degrees at a rate of ~2Hz. Because of the low level of rotational movement, I only notice it when gripping the wheel lightly, such as when cruising down a straight. This really annoys me, and I have found myself paying more attention to the steering wheel when I am driving than enjoying my new car. I have also noticed it getting worse with mileage, even after the dealer did a "good faith" balance of the wheels (I put that in quotes, but I do indeed appreciate their effort).

I know I am not "an anal retentive BMW owner" because this is my first BMW and my other vehicle is a Civic Si. The civic exhibits no steering wheel shake or vibration and I don't expect the ultimate driving machine to either.

I'm trying to decide what my next move is. It seems pointless at this time to take it back into the dealer. Everyone, please keep posting here any hits or misses you have with getting this issue resolved. I'm sure we will get it at some point....
Sorry if I seemed dismissive, this is a difficult area for defining normal or even desirable. As a grey beard I can say it wasn't all that long ago BMW's steering was lauded for providing a feel for the road, part of which involved vibration of the steering wheel that was different than other vehicles. I'm left wondering if some of the characteristics aren't by design and whether it truly is widespread. I think these are valid questions to raise in this context.
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  #112  
Old 10-02-2012, 09:08 PM
Spagolli94 Spagolli94 is offline
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All these excuses, defending this issue remind me of Apple fan boys defending any flaws with Apple products. I know, because I am an Apple fan boy and I do it all the time. Vibration and road feel are two separate things. My 2006 330i had excellent road feel and never vibrated. I could feel the texture of the road, but on a smooth road, the steering wheel was always still and stable as a rock. If the vibration was in anyway related to road feel, it would be apparent at ALL speeds, not just the range that people are complaining about.

I tolerate flaws in Apple products, because for the most part they are very good and the pros outweigh the cons (for me anyway). I think as several posters have eluded to, this is sort of the same thing. They like the rest of the car so much, that they are willing to put up with it. Personally, any sort of vibration in the steering wheel, visible or tactile, totally ruins the driving experience and would not be acceptable in any car, let alone the Ultimate Driving Machine.

For those of you with problems, don't let BMW off the hook so easy. A BMW should not vibrate. Ever. At any speed. I can't imagine BMW would intentionally engineer a steering wheel to vibrate back and forth at certain speeds. This definitely sounds like a flaw. Reminds me of Apple's antenna-gate. Hopefully they issue a fix soon. If I plopped down $50 on a vibrating car, I'd be PISSED.
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  #113  
Old 10-02-2012, 09:16 PM
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voip-ninja voip-ninja is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdsbuc View Post
I don't think that anyone is dismissing the issue; at least I'm not. The question has become how widespread is the problem, and whether it's common enough to make potential buyers reconsider buying the car. I think not.

.
I am not dismissing the issue at all, I'm simply skeptical of the "most cars have this problem" claims.
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  #114  
Old 10-02-2012, 09:31 PM
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justinnum1 justinnum1 is offline
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I am not dismissing the issue at all, I'm simply skeptical of the "most cars have this problem" claims.
Understandable. And im skeptical of the "my car does not have this problem" Unless you own a car with DHP. I have driven a few on my dealers lot and i could replicate the issue on each one. Also was able to replicate it on an X3(same zf steering box). Maybe im being too picky and anal, or maybe it is a widespread issue.

Did you check out that thread on F30post?
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  #115  
Old 10-03-2012, 02:06 AM
Lorenzzo Lorenzzo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spagolli94 View Post
All these excuses, defending this issue remind me of Apple fan boys defending any flaws with Apple products. I know, because I am an Apple fan boy and I do it all the time. Vibration and road feel are two separate things. My 2006 330i had excellent road feel and never vibrated. I could feel the texture of the road, but on a smooth road, the steering wheel was always still and stable as a rock. If the vibration was in anyway related to road feel, it would be apparent at ALL speeds, not just the range that people are complaining about.

I tolerate flaws in Apple products, because for the most part they are very good and the pros outweigh the cons (for me anyway). I think as several posters have eluded to, this is sort of the same thing. They like the rest of the car so much, that they are willing to put up with it. Personally, any sort of vibration in the steering wheel, visible or tactile, totally ruins the driving experience and would not be acceptable in any car, let alone the Ultimate Driving Machine.

For those of you with problems, don't let BMW off the hook so easy. A BMW should not vibrate. Ever. At any speed. I can't imagine BMW would intentionally engineer a steering wheel to vibrate back and forth at certain speeds. This definitely sounds like a flaw. Reminds me of Apple's antenna-gate. Hopefully they issue a fix soon. If I plopped down $50 on a vibrating car, I'd be PISSED.
There is defensiveness here but it isn't mine. I'm looking for a definition of the problem in the context of what is desirable or reasonably expected. And I'm still having a hard time understanding the definition of the problem. I realize it's possible this standard has changed over the years because as I stated there was a time not too long ago where credit was given for the right type of vibration as opposed to wanton. Mercedes lacked any form of vibration but BMW's style was different.

Your assumptions as to my motives are incorrect. Your perspective, as you indicate is that of a fanboy. Miine as I indicated was coming from cameras where the sky is always falling with issues that turn out to trace back to user error. If my assumptions there aren't warranted I apologize.
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  #116  
Old 10-03-2012, 08:54 AM
RDZumbaugh RDZumbaugh is offline
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Follow up - My dealer called me late yesterday to follow-up with what they've discovered about the steer wheel shaking issue. He spoke with their BMW Engineer and they admitted that this is a reported problem that BMW is actively searching for a fix. They are picking up my vehicle next Thursday to do a few tests and a hard road/tire balance (might not have understood exactly what he was saying) and they are going to open a BMW claim. Not sure what all that means but he explained that BMW will then be aware that my vehicle is having this "issue."

Let me set the record straight - someone mentioned that maybe the vehicle was designed to drive this way. It isn't. This is my 4th BMW and this is the only one that has had this problem, I know how a BMW drives, that is why I buy them. I'll also answer someones question as to whether it would keep someone from buying the vehicle IF the issue would have been known - I would have thought long and hard about buying my vehicle knowing this was an unresolved issue. I know that I would have kept my 2009 3series convertible and told them to call me once the issue is resolved. I say this only because of the unknown. Is the fix going to be minor? Will it effect the value of my vehicle? Will this effect my tires? There are so many unknowns right now, I just wouldn't have taken that chance. This isn't just a vehicle, it is an investment to me.

With that said - we are a BMW family - so we're very familiar with how these vehicles drive/ride. Friends of ours that have a 5M and a 6Conv, agree with me that they wouldn't have bought the car knowing of this unresolved issue. YES, I love this new car. This is the first time I've ordered a BMW EXACTLY the way I wanted it and have I said how much I LOVE IT!!!! It is BEAUTIFUL!!!! However, the steering wheel shakes while driving it between the speeds of 40mph - to about 60mph.

What is keeping me calm for the moment is - BMW has admitted to me that IT is a known issue that they are currently seeking a solution for. I'll be patient for now. I'll give them the opportunity to fix it and we'll go from there. IF not, Florida has the Lemon Law and someone will get my beautiful car back, which won't make me happy.
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  #117  
Old 10-03-2012, 09:09 AM
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justinnum1 justinnum1 is offline
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Originally Posted by RDZumbaugh View Post
Follow up - My dealer called me late yesterday to follow-up with what they've discovered about the steer wheel shaking issue. He spoke with their BMW Engineer and they admitted that this is a reported problem that BMW is actively searching for a fix. They are picking up my vehicle next Thursday to do a few tests and a hard road/tire balance (might not have understood exactly what he was saying) and they are going to open a BMW claim. Not sure what all that means but he explained that BMW will then be aware that my vehicle is having this "issue."

Let me set the record straight - someone mentioned that maybe the vehicle was designed to drive this way. It isn't. This is my 4th BMW and this is the only one that has had this problem, I know how a BMW drives, that is why I buy them. I'll also answer someones question as to whether it would keep someone from buying the vehicle IF the issue would have been known - I would have thought long and hard about buying my vehicle knowing this was an unresolved issue. I know that I would have kept my 2009 3series convertible and told them to call me once the issue is resolved. I say this only because of the unknown. Is the fix going to be minor? Will it effect the value of my vehicle? Will this effect my tires? There are so many unknowns right now, I just wouldn't have taken that chance. This isn't just a vehicle, it is an investment to me.

With that said - we are a BMW family - so we're very familiar with how these vehicles drive/ride. Friends of ours that have a 5M and a 6Conv, agree with me that they wouldn't have bought the car knowing of this unresolved issue. YES, I love this new car. This is the first time I've ordered a BMW EXACTLY the way I wanted it and have I said how much I LOVE IT!!!! It is BEAUTIFUL!!!! However, the steering wheel shakes while driving it between the speeds of 40mph - to about 60mph.

What is keeping me calm for the moment is - BMW has admitted to me that IT is a known issue that they are currently seeking a solution for. I'll be patient for now. I'll give them the opportunity to fix it and we'll go from there. IF not, Florida has the Lemon Law and someone will get my beautiful car back, which won't make me happy.
Totally agree with everything you have said, especially the bolded parts

To be honest i would have not given them the car to do anything. There is no fix. The fact that they are aware would have been where the service involvement should have ended. My scenario is very similar to yours. I took the car in once, the shop forman agreed with me, and acknowledged the issue. I had him open the puma case, which is what they will do with you, and 2 weeks later i was ordering my new car. BMW does not want you to lemon the car because it goes on the title and they cant get much for it when it goes to auction. Call BMWNA and tell them whats up, they will talk to your dealer and in about 2 weeks you can be ordering your new car(doesnt have to be another F30). They will give you back the money you have spent on the car minus a fee for mileage used.
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  #118  
Old 10-03-2012, 09:48 AM
bt1337 bt1337 is offline
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To the guy that doubts new buyers will be put off by this unresolved issue, I can guarantee you that as a prospective buyer this has me quite worried and it could escalate into a deal breaker.
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  #119  
Old 10-03-2012, 09:55 AM
Lorenzzo Lorenzzo is offline
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Actually, nobody denied your individual problem, again some of us are trying to understand what defines it and how common it is. Some of us may have science backgrounds where challenging assertions, particularly in light of inconsistencies, is standard. One poster said no vibration is acceptable which is different than what you describe. My car's characteristics are in line with past models -- right now with 1,500 miles. I'd like to understand more about it in case at some point I'm affected. And if I am, I'd like to be able to discuss the problem with engineer types in their language.

If my car did what you're describing I'd be just as dissatisfied.
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  #120  
Old 10-03-2012, 10:03 AM
Spagolli94 Spagolli94 is offline
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Originally Posted by Lorenzzo View Post
There is defensiveness here but it isn't mine. I'm looking for a definition of the problem in the context of what is desirable or reasonably expected. And I'm still having a hard time understanding the definition of the problem. I realize it's possible this standard has changed over the years because as I stated there was a time not too long ago where credit was given for the right type of vibration as opposed to wanton. Mercedes lacked any form of vibration but BMW's style was different.

Your assumptions as to my motives are incorrect. Your perspective, as you indicate is that of a fanboy. Miine as I indicated was coming from cameras where the sky is always falling with issues that turn out to trace back to user error. If my assumptions there aren't warranted I apologize.
I was speaking in general terms about many posts in this thread, not targeting you specifically. I was trying to say that feel is good, vibration is bad. From what I gather, people are complaining about a vibration issue, that should not be easily explained aways as a "feature" like road feel. Road feel would never cause a steering wheel to vibrate back and forth on a smooth road.
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  #121  
Old 10-03-2012, 10:11 AM
Spagolli94 Spagolli94 is offline
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To the guy that doubts new buyers will be put off by this unresolved issue, I can guarantee you that as a prospective buyer this has me quite worried and it could escalate into a deal breaker.
Agree. My warranty has expired on my RS4 and I'm not interested in aftermarket warranties as they tend to be expensive and have way too much fine print regarding all the stuff that's not covered. I've been in the service department many times, hearing the SA's try to explain to frustrated customers why the repair isn't covered by the shoddy extended warranty they bought. Anyway, I digress.

So, I'm casually in the market for a new car. I've thought about a CPO M3 to replace the thrill I'm used to in the RS4. But honestly, I think I just want a more "normal" car, but still quick and fun to drive. So, I've had my eye on the new F30. But this issue does seem to be pretty widespread. And, as steering vibration is one of my biggest pet peeves, the F30 will be off my list until I hear there is a fix.

I did buy the RS4 knowing that it would have carbon issues. But I was fine with that. It's an extra expense every year, but not something that ruins the driving experience every day. Even the E90 HPFP issue was a nuisance, but didn't ruin the day-to-day driving experience.

To those with this issue, I hope you get a fix soon!
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  #122  
Old 10-03-2012, 11:22 AM
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There has been speculation that cars with adaptive-M suspension never exhibit this behavior.

If that were proven out to be the case, then the source of the problem would be one of the components that is different between models with adaptive suspension and those with stock or sport suspension.
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  #123  
Old 10-03-2012, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voip-ninja View Post
There has been speculation that cars with adaptive-M suspension never exhibit this behavior.

If that were proven out to be the case, then the source of the problem would be one of the components that is different between models with adaptive suspension and those with stock or sport suspension.
I have only seen one case where someone has DHP/VSS and has the issue.
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  #124  
Old 10-03-2012, 11:44 AM
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I have only seen one case where someone has DHP/VSS and has the issue.
What percentage of cars sold have DHP/VSS?
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  #125  
Old 10-03-2012, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_clueless View Post
What percentage of cars sold have DHP/VSS?
I doubt anyone here actually knows unless John Schaffer or another sales person wants to chime in. I imagine that the percentage of DHP/VSS cars is minuscule, like single digits... like, 1%.
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