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BMW i3 I01 (2014 - Current)
The BMW i3 and BMW i8 are the first two cars launch under BMW's new sub brand BMW i. The i3 is an all carbon fiber, all electric vehicle meant for urban mobility.

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Old 02-15-2017, 04:42 PM
SFO i3 SFO i3 is offline
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BMW i3 tires - Disaster

I have an i3 which is about a year old. Last week in the rains some minor potholes damaged both my tires to the level that the dealer asked me to replace both of them. Left front and rear which cost a total of 500 USD. This I find ridiculous that a car which is one year old cannot bear a pothole in the rain. This I think is dangerous as it could leave someone stranded with kids. Does anyone else have a similar experience.

The sad part is when I wrote to the company, they asked me to contact Bridgestone and absolved themselves. I found it nervy and I think this car should be deemed dangerous with such low quality of tires.
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  #2  
Old 02-15-2017, 08:32 PM
jadnashuanh jadnashuanh is offline
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Hitting a sharp-edged pothole with any tire at speed can destroy a tire. Sounds like you were lucky that it didn't ruin your wheel(s) at the same time. I haven't read the tire warranty...BMW installs the tires, but Bridgestone warranties them. That's fairly common with many cars. The car dealer often won't interface with the tire dealer, and will offer to just replace them at cost, whereas Bridgestone might do it for free or on a prorated basis.
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Old 02-15-2017, 11:21 PM
SFO i3 SFO i3 is offline
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are you an owner

Are you an i3 owner or a Company rep just explaining. well this is true even if the engine breaks down - company is not responsible for some amount of dust creeping on or any other part of the car. I know I am lucky driving over such flimsy tires and was lucky not to have hurt my 6 yr old in the car. I should give this feedback to other potential buyers - no one has seen two tires damaged over a pothole in a one year old car. of course anything or any force in the world can damage anything in the car but this is just not normal and I will discuss this in other forums as well so that buyers can assess the safety of this vehicle. I live and drive in the bay area mostly on city roads which are vey good. I am not from the rural areas with sharp edges and I know how I drive. the rains produced some mild potholes on some roads where I was about 20 mph.
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Old 02-16-2017, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFO i3 View Post
Are you an i3 owner or a Company rep just explaining. well this is true even if the engine breaks down - company is not responsible for some amount of dust creeping on or any other part of the car. I know I am lucky driving over such flimsy tires and was lucky not to have hurt my 6 yr old in the car. I should give this feedback to other potential buyers - no one has seen two tires damaged over a pothole in a one year old car. of course anything or any force in the world can damage anything in the car but this is just not normal and I will discuss this in other forums as well so that buyers can assess the safety of this vehicle. I live and drive in the bay area mostly on city roads which are vey good. I am not from the rural areas with sharp edges and I know how I drive. the rains produced some mild potholes on some roads where I was about 20 mph.


Car tires are never treated as part of the car or warranted by auto manufacturers - BMW or otherwise. The problem with low profile tires is that they are prone to deformations and bubbles when hitting potholes - once again, BMW or otherwise. Road hazards happen. You said it was raining? Possible you didn't see the full depth of the pothole? Also, the age of the tires isn't a contributing factor here, they were damaged by an impact, not dry rot or premature tread wear.
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Old 02-16-2017, 04:23 PM
SFO i3 SFO i3 is offline
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I agree with whatever you say and that's exactly the reason I say this car should be deemed dangerous to drive for parents. If roads in the San Francisco Bay area can bust two tires in the first year, it is clearly dangerous - whatever the explanation. it is not an expected outcome on buying any car, they should test it for tougher conditions typically. And this is not a question of tough luck or fate, it is just that this could happen to anyone who would drive on not so good roads that I am subject to. So its a warning.
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Old 02-16-2017, 04:24 PM
SFO i3 SFO i3 is offline
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agree

I agree with whatever you say and that's exactly the reason I say this car should be deemed dangerous to drive for parents. If roads in the San Francisco Bay area can bust two tires in the first year, it is clearly dangerous - whatever the explanation. it is not an expected outcome on buying any car, they should test it for tougher conditions typically. And this is not a question of tough luck or fate, it is just that this could happen to anyone who would drive on not so good roads that I am subject to. So its a warning.
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Old 02-16-2017, 06:17 PM
jadnashuanh jadnashuanh is offline
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You drive over some glass and your tire goes flat....is that the tire's problem, or yours? Same idea if you hit a sharp edged pothole at speed. Lucky it didn't also crack a wheel, which BMW does make. They chose forged wheels because they are both lighter and stronger than typical cast ones. I responded to your post on another website. I do own an i3, I do not, nor have ever worked for BMW or any tire company. Low profile tires are less tolerant of impacts than taller ones and none like a sharp edge. Those with the 20" wheels are even more susceptible to damages of not only the wheel but of the tires than those with the 19" option. Read the owner's manual of ANY car available today, and somewhere in it you will almost certainly see a disclaimer that lower profile tires are more susceptible to damages than taller ones. Maybe I've been lucky, maybe it's just that I don't really have all that many miles on mine, but so far, I've not had an issue with either my all-season or winter tires...both Bridgestone products. You hit a wall, and the car is damaged...is it the car that is at fault? Same issue with the tires.

As more of the i3's hit the road, we may see alternative suppliers that are willing to tool up to build a suitable tire. That has happened with the winter tires, there is an option made by Nokian. While you may not agree with BMW's design decision to choose a tall, narrow tire, they did it intentionally to maximize efficiency. I do not agree with you that the tires are defective or dangerous. Certainly, you are entitled to your opinion, but until there are some facts that support it, others don't have to believe you or agree. I don't doubt that you had a tire issue, I just don't believe it is BMW's or Bridgestone's fault.
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Old 02-16-2017, 10:28 PM
SFO i3 SFO i3 is offline
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well your defense is technically correct. However what you need to think is if 500 cars roll over a pothole and one of them busts its tires and 499 go through, , what is your conclusion?. yes technically the pothole caused it as you have put it but it did not happen to the other 499 cars. hence a more appropriate conclusion is the car which did not make it over the pot hole has some special weakness. and that's the right conclusion, whatever language you put it in. This feedback is only for all to know that this is a serious concern when you make your purchase decision on this car and it is from my experience a dangerous choice.
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Old 02-17-2017, 07:49 AM
PhantomCypher PhantomCypher is offline
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Dude you need to chill and sell the i3. Get yourself a good ole' SUV that can take potholes with grace and panache.

Nuff' said.
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:25 AM
SFO i3 SFO i3 is offline
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thanks for the advice, i want others to know

thanks Dude for the advice. I plan to do exactly that. For the potholes I have an x5 and have always owned a version of bmw since the 90"s. I love them. So I am surely in a better position to call a fault when I see one and share it with larger groups and not get emotionally defensive. this fault is for real and can lad someone in danger.
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Old 02-17-2017, 04:19 PM
jadnashuanh jadnashuanh is offline
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The issue is related to the supplied width of the tires as designed for the vehicle...a narrower tire will go INTO a pothole more often rather than bridging at least part of it with a wider tire. That doesn't make the tire any better or worse than any other tire that is the same width on any other vehicle...it's just that it is narrower than many on the road - not all, but many. You could say the same thing about riding a bicycle...you can ruin a tire and often a wheel on one of those on what a car could easily pass over, but you can't blame the tire for the physics of the event. Comparing the i3 with it's tires to another that has significantly wider ones is somewhat like comparing apples to oranges...they each have their benefits and characteristics. It gets worse if you choose the 20" option, since you then have even less sidewall cushion/spring to handle the impact. That same effect will affect any vehicle, though, not just the i3.

BMW chose the taller/narrower tire/wheel for efficiency. In the time I've lived and worked or visited Germany, it was a really rare event to find a pothole. To the Germans, it isn't an issue. Complain about keeping taxes low, but that comes with some ramifications...less money for road maintenance and upkeep. In reality, instead of spending the money on taxes, we're paying similar amounts on repairs as a result of trying to save a tax dollar. If you were to assume the i3 was an ICE, how many gallons of gas would you be able to buy to pay say $500 in taxes? Or, how much faster will you have to replace the shocks/springs, or pay someone to find the squeaks and rattles that develop from the lousy roads?

It comes down partly to driving style and being aware of your environment. Most people follow too closely, and don't have enough time to observe and react to a pothole in the road, so they hit it verses going around it. Try the 2-second rule...stay at least 2-seconds behind the vehicle in front of you, which, obviously, will vary based on your speed. That gives you an opportunity to avoid that pothole, debris, etc. in the roadway and stay out of their trunk should they stop fast for some reason.
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Old 02-18-2017, 10:20 AM
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Pothole explosions/deformations/damage aren't even just a narrow tire phenomenon. Check out the E9x board and see how many people with the 19" and 20" wheels crack them and blow out tires. Why? Lack of sidewalk flex. It's physics- not the tire or bad design.

Road hazards are, well, hazards.
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Old 03-14-2017, 07:02 PM
Mojoelvis Mojoelvis is offline
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So is it the tires, the car, the car company, the cities inability to repair streets, the driver ... I've had my i3 with motorcycle tires for 4 weeks now and believe that they are safe, i must add that I have always been one to avoid holes in roads be it moon light, sunshine or rain. All that being said one should always do what one feels is right for them and the ones they love be that post on a forum about what they feel are unsafe conditions or drive an SUV built like a tank.
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Old 03-15-2017, 06:00 PM
srswans srswans is offline
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Originally Posted by SFO i3 View Post
well your defense is technically correct. However what you need to think is if 500 cars roll over a pothole and one of them busts its tires and 499 go through, , what is your conclusion?. yes technically the pothole caused it as you have put it but it did not happen to the other 499 cars. hence a more appropriate conclusion is the car which did not make it over the pot hole has some special weakness. and that's the right conclusion, whatever language you put it in. This feedback is only for all to know that this is a serious concern when you make your purchase decision on this car and it is from my experience a dangerous choice.
You might have hit a particularly bad pothole. To find out, you'd need to station yourself near the pothole for a few days and follow up with each driver that hit the pothole. Who knows - maybe 300 of those 500 cars you mentioned had a damaged tire. Maybe 100 had two damaged tires. My point is: your conclusion that the i3 is unsafe using only one data point is baseless.

I feel for you man but it's just bad luck, not the i3. (I had good luck - 18,000 miles on one set of 20" tires on my i3 with no damage.)
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Last edited by srswans; 03-15-2017 at 06:02 PM.
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