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F10 M5 (2012 - Current)
The count down is on. The BMW M5 F10 will be released on April 1st, 2011!

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  #1  
Old 04-22-2014, 02:30 PM
Moe Daher Moe Daher is offline
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BMW F10 M5 on Fire

On January 28, 2014, my F10 M5 caught on fire driving 6 miles on few inches of snow, I parked along the street as I saw smoke coming from the vehicle and brake warning lights were being displayed. When I got out of the car, I saw a fire under the right rear wheel well. Gladly my 5 year old was not in the car, as I myself got out right before everything locked up!! My car was totaled!!

I tried working with BMW NA, and my case was assigned to a Jay Hanson, who told me they would need 6 months to do their investigation!! Meanwhile, no one had offered to provide me with a loaner vehicle or otherwise offer any other solution to this problem. eventually I gave up on waiting on BMW NA and my insurance took care of me.
This was my second M5, I still own an X5 and M3. researching around I found many incidents of BMWs going on fire. Are BMWs really safe?
I cannot understand or accept the poor customer service provided to any customer, especially by a company selling luxury and performance vehicles and a customer who bought at least 13 BMWs and was a big time BMW fan! I guess BMW has become a mass market company who forgot what made them who they are!
Has anyone else dealt with BMW fires and were assigned a Jay Hanson?_a_
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  #2  
Old 04-22-2014, 10:25 PM
ZoomingBy ZoomingBy is offline
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Sorry to hear about your loss and good that no one was heart ...

I do strongly believe that BMWs are safe. I skid and rolled an e39 doing 75 Miles an hour on 287 near Decatur Texas and came out without a scratch. I have not seen or heard bimmers caught on fire like this, but I like to hear more about your case - please keep us posted with the latest

Good luck!
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  #3  
Old 04-23-2014, 04:34 AM
Bmwkt11 Bmwkt11 is offline
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Exclamation Shocked that more people don't hear about these types of things

As a [Formerly proud] BMW owner for years, I too wanted to believe these cars were as safe as they were fun to drive. Unfortunately it's not the case and these fires are more prevalent than you think! And this Jay Hanson must be the clean up crew for BMW's messes. Not a very good one I might add. I first found out about the risk of fire with BMW when I had a colleague involved in a similar issue with her BMW catching fire what seemed like spontaneously and I watched as the recourse taken by BMW to not only take responsibility for their manufacturing issues but to offer any type of customer service during this time was atrocious! Before this personal experience I had no idea of these issues and was blissfully ignorant to the way BMW would handle a situation if it ever occurred to me. In fact had I heard or read this back then I probably would have defended BMW as safe and mostly wonderful to its customers and thought your case a very isolated incident ...but not anymore. Check out this page here - http://bmwproblems.wordpress.com/201...t-still-burns/ it's full of other once loyal BMW owners who have gone through the same or worse dealing with BMW fires and also with Jay Hanson.

Mr. Daher I'm very sorry to hear you have been the latest victim here but also very glad to hear that no one was hurt. I can't tell you what to do regarding your other vehicles (other than be careful! You really never know when these fires will occur!) and that I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for BMW to do the right thing. There's a long line of people still waiting to hear back and to understand both why the car they loved and invested so much time and money in would catch fire to begin with and, most importantly, why BMW refuses to do anything honorable about it.

If your story turns out any different, please let us know. Good luck!
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  #4  
Old 04-23-2014, 07:41 AM
ZoomingBy ZoomingBy is offline
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I checked out the link, Looks like almost all been reporting the fire start from the engine compartment or front dash. Urs is different in a sense that it started in the passenger rear wheel area.

I have fire phobia so I would be reading to see if anyone else has any inputs ..




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  #5  
Old 04-23-2014, 01:11 PM
Miami10 Miami10 is offline
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6 miles + Summer tires + Snow + (safe assumption) Traction/Stability Control engaged on a RWD performance car = brake fire.
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  #6  
Old 04-23-2014, 01:42 PM
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Pat_X5 Pat_X5 is offline
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Brake fire ?

Is it because the DTC/DSC is trying to gain traction using the brakes that much ??
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Old 04-23-2014, 02:00 PM
Moe Daher Moe Daher is offline
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I think it was the Traction/Stability Control and driving on little snow and the fire started because the back right brake got too hot and got the insulator on fire!!!! The problem is that I am guessing and do not know for sure! BMW, Jay Hanson with BMW NA, gave me an option wait 6 months without a car until they do their investigation or release my claim and let my insurance take the car and handle it which I did. You would think BMW would care to know the cause so they can fix the problem for the cars still on the road!!
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Old 04-23-2014, 08:53 PM
ard ard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moe Daher View Post
I think it was the Traction/Stability Control and driving on little snow and the fire started because the back right brake got too hot and got the insulator on fire!!!! The problem is that I am guessing and do not know for sure! BMW, Jay Hanson with BMW NA, gave me an option wait 6 months without a car until they do their investigation or release my claim and let my insurance take the car and handle it which I did. You would think BMW would care to know the cause so they can fix the problem for the cars still on the road!!
Third option was to have an investigator do an investiation, file a lawsuit. Or work with your insurer to have them go after BMWNA after you were paid.

So Jay Hanson did PRECISELY the job he is supposed to do: protect BMW.

You didnt think his job was to represent you, did you?!?


Sorry to hear- it would piss me off as well.
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  #9  
Old 04-24-2014, 06:01 AM
Moe Daher Moe Daher is offline
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Even this option does tell me that since this is "Jay Hanson did PRECISELY" what BMW wants him to do means that BMW does not care about their customer service and does not care about finding out what the problems are with their cars. So how BMW takes care of their warranty for their luxury cars is to tell the customer that they will do a thorough investigating for 6 mouths and let the customer file with his insurance. Who is going to want to wait 6 months without a car he/she is still paying for? Then the customer and/or his insurance file a lawsuit to do what BMW was supposed to do in the first place; to cover the warranty they tell us about when we first purchase their car! I never thought Jay Hanson represented me but BMW led me to believe that they assigned this expert to my case to find out the cause of the fire when in fact all he was trying to do is brush me off. Like I have said my insurance did take care of me, and after 13 BMW (I still have an M3 and an X5) that I must get rid off, I am very bothered by the fact that BMW did not care about the safety of the car to try to stop a fire for other M5s and since my car was released to the insurance most likely it was sold as parts or junk auctions so how will that help BMW investigate what caused the problem and help others not have the same problem? Or they only deal with customers that sue them?
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  #10  
Old 04-24-2014, 06:25 AM
Alpina CLT Alpina CLT is offline
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Just saw that you are in Charlotte. I am glad I did not take my car out in the snow after seeing your pics, but I am sure many, many other people have driven their M5's in similar conditions. I wonder what made your situation/car different?

Did you deal with Chris Blocker out at Hendrick? I had a really bad experience with my Alpina and he jumped through hoops to make sure it was handled correctly. I would think though that if they get too many stories like this on this board, they (BMW) may need to rethink their response and standard procedure in dealing with these incidents. The fact that it looks like they only have one guy who deals with this is somewhat of a testament to the frequency of these events.

I think if you actually dig deeper, you will probably find that how BMW handled this is on par with how other manufacturers would handle the same situation. I am not saying it is right.

Your insurance company should go back against BMW, but they won't unless they see it reach a level that would also get the DOT involved. They will just raise the rates on everyone driving this model car and spread the cost.

Looks like you may have been over by Wendover and Randolph? I am just by South Park Mall, by Country Day.
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  #11  
Old 04-24-2014, 09:29 AM
Moe Daher Moe Daher is offline
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I was right there on Wendover and Randolph! Glad you did not drive your car on the snow! It snowed while I was at the office so I had no choice but to drive it, had no clue my car would blow up for that! That car was one of the first F10 M5s, so it probably is a flaw!
I dealt with someone else at Hendrick and that guy was great! He went out of his way to try to help but it was BMW NA that did not care after he filed the case for me! He was just waiting for BMW NA to respond! I do not know about other manufacturers selling luxury cars would deal with loyal customers the way BMW NA did! I bought from them more than 13 BMWs you would think they would care a little more about a customer that has been with them this long!
The thing that is bothering me is that my 5 year old could have been in the car with me and if that was the case she wouldn't be around! the car totally locked up, all doors and windows until the Fire Department came and broke the window to put the fire out! If they really cared about their safety wouldn't you think instead of brushing me off to the insurance they would want to know what happened to their car!!! anyway, I just filed a complaint with NHTSA.
With all that I think BMW has become a mass market company and they really don't care about safety. I just switched to Porsche Panamera Turbo, sadly my daughter asks if this one will go on fire!!
There aren't many Alpina's out there, I am sure we will see each other
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  #12  
Old 04-24-2014, 09:51 AM
Alpina CLT Alpina CLT is offline
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I ended up getting rid of the Alpina since it was it the dealership 6-8 times in less than six months and it finally presented an issue which they did not know how to fix, or at least one that they did not give a priority to.

The resolution was great though. They basically unwound that deal and I opted for an M5. I absolutely love the M5. If you see a Space Gray M5 around, that is probable me.

I have actually seen my Alpina around town, at least I think as I think there are only one or two. It was a nice car and I loved it while it worked. It just started stuttering when coming to a stop (like not switching out of third in a manual while coming to a stop) and they think it is some sort of fuel/cylinder management issue.

They are engineering these cars to such a great length in order to get more hp and better mileage, that they are getting to the limit of what can be done without impacting something else or having the car function on an extremely narrow edge. You can thank our demand for hp along with the democrat's demand for efficiency for that.
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  #13  
Old 04-27-2014, 05:21 PM
Moe Daher Moe Daher is offline
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The more I think about it the more it makes sense to me why BMW treated me this way, when I looked at the other videos I have when the fire just started,

and this when the fire department started to put it off

To me it looks like the insulation was burning and BMW knows it has fire problems. In my opinion BMW wants to avoid a massive recall or a huge class action lawsuit so they have this "Fire Specialist" Jay Hanson whose job is to get the burnt BMW customers filing with their insurance so it would not look like it's a BMW flaw. Why would they have a fire specialist if he does not care what caused the fire? What customer is willing to pay for a burnt car for 6 months waiting on BMW to find out what caused the fire? It is just their way of getting the customer to give up and file with the insurance, which works as I did that! Then the insurance takes the car and sells it as pieces, so the problem is gone forever. I am only writing this for the next person who will be dealing with Jay Hanson in the future. Please just filed a claim with NHTSA.
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  #14  
Old 04-28-2014, 08:20 AM
BMWNA BMWNA is offline
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Safety is the cornerstone of BMW’s engineering philosophy, which is why our Product Investigation Team conducted a thorough investigation to determine what happened. The BMW M5 involved was not found to have any defect or malfunction which would have led to the incident in question.
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  #15  
Old 04-28-2014, 09:01 AM
Moe Daher Moe Daher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWNA View Post
Safety is the cornerstone of BMW’s engineering philosophy, which is why our Product Investigation Team conducted a thorough investigation to determine what happened. The BMW M5 involved was not found to have any defect or malfunction which would have led to the incident in question.
And your customer knows nothing about this thorough investigation? What was the conclusion of that investigation?
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  #16  
Old 04-28-2014, 09:29 AM
Alpina CLT Alpina CLT is offline
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Well, I wonder what the conclusion was? Performing an investigation implies that you have the professionalism and expertise necessary to determine the cause. Simply saying "it's not our fault" does not cut it in my book. These cars are purchased by, in most cases, intelligent professionals who, most likely, understand this.

Should the conclusion be that this car was exactly like every other M5 out there and, as such, every other M5 out there is subject to bursting into flames? Simply stating that the car was found to be free of defects or malfunctions certainly implies that the car may be, as designed, unsafe. The Ford Pinto was free of manufacturer defects and free of malfunctions, but did a very good job of turning itself into a torch.

We are not interested in whether the car was found free of defects and malfunctions. We are interested in what made this car into a very large cigarette lighter.

I do not ask my employees to tell me if it's my problem or not. Any problem with a customer is my problem. I ask them to identify what the problem is and propose solutions. BMW needs to understand this because the response is certainly less than complete or professional.

I would have felt much better as an M5 owner had there been some defect of malfunction that was isolated in nature rather than the implication that the car is inherently apt to spontaneously catch on fire.

BMW NA better hope that this does not repeat itself and cause bodily harm to anyone involved.
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  #17  
Old 04-28-2014, 03:54 PM
MAGjersey MAGjersey is offline
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I'm incredibly surprised that BMWNA even commented on this thread. Sorry to hear about your F10.
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  #18  
Old 04-28-2014, 05:17 PM
guyver626 guyver626 is online now
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I'm glad that BMWNA did respond. BUT that answer was rather poor. If nothing was wrong with the car, an explanation is in order. Was the driver at fault? Did he crash into a wall that we can't tell? Well based on the pictures and NO wall near in sight, something is definitely wrong with the car. And it also looks like the cars exterior was in good shape while it was on fire so something internal caused this. The op and people here want a decent answer and we can see past a bs answer.


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  #19  
Old 04-29-2014, 02:26 AM
Bmwkt11 Bmwkt11 is offline
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BMWNA - give us a little more credit, we aren't dumb

I couldn't agree with guyver626 or alpina ClT more. Seeing BMWNA come here with a response at first made me happy to see an acknowledgement of this case at all. Then I actually read the BS response they decided to give and it made me as angry as when first hearing about this case. First, It's both sad and unfortunate that Mr. daher's only hearing about this "thorough investigation" via a forum post and not directly. He simply asked for further explanation and the results of said investigation and gets nothing? Second it is extremely alarming to the rest of us BMW owners as Alpina CLT and guyver626 highlighted. We are all owed some answers here and there should be some corporate responsibility taken on the part of BMWNA. We don't pay good money and put good faith and trust in these vehicles and this brand for nothing. Spontaneous and unexplained fires that could have caused physical harm if not death by the way the doors also locked up - are NOT acceptable.
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Old 04-29-2014, 07:43 AM
Moe Daher Moe Daher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moe Daher View Post
And your customer knows nothing about this thorough investigation? What was the conclusion of that investigation?
Also was this “thorough investigation” done before I decided not to continue to pay for the car while you do your 6 months of investigation and I had to send you this
“February 17, 2014

Via Email
BMW of North America, LLC
300 Chestnut Ridge Rd,
Woodcliff Lake, NJ 07677
Attn: Jay Hansen

Travelers Insurance Company
P.O. Box 65100
San Antonio, TX 78265-5100
Attn: Michael Levine


Re: 2013 BMW M5 (VIN #WBSFV9C58DC772718); Travelers Auto Claim #

Gentlemen:

As you are aware, the above-referenced vehicle, leased by . from BMW NA, was rendered a total loss as the result of catching fire this past January 28, 2014. has already provided both BMW NA and Travelers a detailed account of the circumstances surrounding the fire, as well as several photos taken during and after the fire. While it continues to be our belief that the fire was caused by some hidden defect in the vehicle, is prepared to pursue this matter with Travelers at this time. Accordingly, please make arrangements to release the vehicle to Travelers as soon as possible so that they complete processing the above-referenced insurance claim, which upon completion will result in satisfaction of the auto lease payoff with any proceeds exceeding the payoff amount being returned to .

Please acknowledge receipt of this letter and notify us as soon as the vehicle has been turned over to Travelers.

If you need any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Very truly yours,

Cc Moe Daher



Or was this ““thorough investigation” done after Mr Hanson sent me this



From: Jay.Hanson@bmwna.com [mailto:Jay.Hanson@bmwna.com]
Sent: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 11:49 AM
To:
Cc: @travelers.com
Subject: RE: case reference # 201403000349



I received your letter, thank you. While BMW NA is not technically in possession of the vehicle and therefore cannot release it per se, I will advise Hendrick BMW of the agreement so that they do not interfere when Travelers Insurance attempts to transport the vehicle.

Please let me know if you need anything further.

Kind regards,

Jay Hanson
201.263.8246


And the car was released to the insurance ?
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  #21  
Old 04-29-2014, 08:05 AM
Moe Daher Moe Daher is offline
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I am also very "incredibly surprised that BMWNA commented on this thread" I sent this letter to them a while back and I am still waiting for a response


"
Via Email
BMW of North America, LLC
300 Chestnut Ridge Road
Woodcliff Lake, NJ 07677-7731
Attn: Customer Relations Department
customerrelations@bmwusa.com

BMW Group
Petuelring 130
80788 Munich, Germany
Attn: Customer Service Department
bmwgroup.customerservice@bmwgroup.com

Re: 2013 BMW M5 (VIN #WBSFV9C58DC772718) Vehicle Fire

To Whom It May Concern:

Since 2001, when I purchased my first BMW, until earlier this year, I have been a satisfied and loyal BMW customer. I am a small business owner in Charlotte, North Carolina and between vehicles I have individually purchased and those purchased through my company, we have owned a total of 13 BMWs, including three M series vehicles, a 7 series vehicle and a 6 series vehicle. All totaled, the combined SRP of these vehicles is over a million dollars. I am sending this letter to make you aware of the very poor customer service I received from BMW of North America, and how this poor service has resulted in BMW losing a loyal customer.

On January 28, 2014, the above-referenced vehicle caught on fire when I was driving home from work on a snowy evening. The trip to my house is around 7 miles and after about 6 miles, I parked along the street as I saw smoke coming from the vehicle and brake warning lights were being displayed. When I got out of the car, I saw a fire under the right rear wheel well. I promptly contacted 911 and police and fire department responded. The fire, and the efforts to extinguish the fire, caused significant damage to the vehicle. The next day, BMW road-side assistance towed the vehicle to Hendrick BMW. Through Hendrick BMW Customer Service, a case was opened (Case #201403000349). I then called BMW NA and they verified the case number and told me that "Lisa" was responsible for my case. I never heard from Lisa, and when I called Hendrick BMW, they kept telling me that they were waiting for BMW NA to get back with them. Meanwhile, no one had offered to provide me with a loaner vehicle or otherwise offer any other solution to this problem. When I followed up with BMW NA after a couple of days, they informed me that my file had been assigned to Jay Hanson. Mr. Hanson did not return the initial phone call and did not try to contact me. I was able to obtain his email address and we sent him an email regarding the status of our case. Another week goes by and after we follow up again, and his email response is that BMW NA cannot claim responsibility for the loss yet and that he is waiting for the insurance company to inspect with BMW. We called Mr. Hanson as I was ready to buy a new M6 Grand Coupe as a replacement vehicle and need to get this incident resolved as quickly as possible. Mr. Hanson new that I have looked at an M6 Grand coup and that Mr Dean DePhillips is the Client Advisor at Hendrick BMW that I was dealing with. Mr Hanson tells us that the process of inspecting could take 6 months and that it would be easier for me to file a claim on my own insurance. Although I was convinced that there was a design defect in the vehicle or some mechanical failure, I went ahead and filed a claim with my insurance. The vehicle was determined to be a total loss and my insurance company promptly processed the claim (once I had jumped through more BMW NA hoops. I had to officially request BMW to release the vehicle to the insurance company allowing my insurance adjuster to inspect the vehicle.) Altogether, it took more than 45 days from the date of the fire until the matter was resolved,

I have since spoken with Hendrick BMW customer service and with the insurance independent fire specialist and they both confirmed what I had suspected all along; that there was a design defective or epic mechanical failure. It turns out the problem was that my right rear brake had locked up and that is what caused the fire. Luckily, other than the damage to the car, there were no other consequences such as personal injury, other property damage or worse. (The locking mechanisms also failed and the fire department was unable to unlock the doors, hood or trunk. What if me and my family had been trapped in the car?)

During this entire process, I went out of my way to be available for contact and to provide information to BMW NA, including a detailed account of the incident, as well as videos and photographs of the fire. Conversely, BMW NA was nonresponsive and noncommittal throughout the entire process. To date, I have yet to be contacted by BMW regarding the incident, other than the initial standoffish correspondence with Mr. Hanson. As mentioned above, I was planning to purchase the BMW M6 Grand Coupe as a replacement vehicle, but I have completely lost faith in BMW and have taken my business to another manufacturer. As an engineer myself, I can understand that problems occur in high performance machinery. However, I cannot understand or accept the poor customer service provided to any customer, especially by a company selling luxury and performance vehicles.

If you require additional details of this matter, I would be happy to share them with you.



Sincerely,

Moe Daher
"

Last edited by Moe Daher; 04-29-2014 at 10:44 PM.
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  #22  
Old 04-29-2014, 08:43 AM
Alpina CLT Alpina CLT is offline
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It's pretty clear to me that Mr. Hanson's job is just to try and move these things through the process with the ultimate goal of having the insurance company pay out and no further discovery take place. It is forums like these that are a thorn in their side, making issues publicly known and then keeping them active in the public eye.

The only user or driver's error that might come into play would be riding the brakes with your left foot while applying gas with the right, but I am much more inclined to think that the snow, combined with the summer tires, tended to screw with the traction control system, a major problem for BMW if that is the case. That would support Mr. Hanson's conclusion that the car was not defective and that a malfunction did not occur, but it would rather point to an inherent problem with each and every one of these cars.

If something happens and someone gets hurt/killed, these types of threads would be damning.

It's really too bad for Hendrick BMW though as I have found those guys to bend over backwards in the customer service area, both in sales and in service. On the other hand, Mr. Hendrick won't mind too much as it is highly likely that you will end up buying a car from another one of his Charlotte dealerships.
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Old 04-29-2014, 10:45 AM
Moe Daher Moe Daher is offline
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I agree with you, the group at Hendrick BMW were/are great! I dealt with them for many years, but with this incident it was BMW NA that was handling it.
This is exactly what I did went next door and got a 2014 Porsche Panamera Turbo from Hendrick Porsche!
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  #24  
Old 04-29-2014, 02:14 PM
BonzoFestoon BonzoFestoon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWNA View Post
Safety is the cornerstone of BMW’s engineering philosophy, which is why our Product Investigation Team conducted a thorough investigation to determine what happened. The BMW M5 involved was not found to have any defect or malfunction which would have led to the incident in question.
So the fire is by design to melt the snow? Awesome feature. Does that come standard in M5 or does my 335 that that too?
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  #25  
Old 04-29-2014, 02:50 PM
guyver626 guyver626 is online now
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Originally Posted by BonzoFestoon View Post
So the fire is by design to melt the snow? Awesome feature. Does that come standard in M5 or does my 335 that that too?

Lol do u want your 335 to have this feature?


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