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Thread: The definitive subframe strategy thread

  1. #1
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    The definitive subframe strategy thread

    1. There are currently 2 class action lawsuits forming. One in Alabama and one in California. Support those efforts.

    2. If you or if anyone you know has the problem it is very important to get them involved.

    a. Have them fill out an NHSTA complaint. NHTSA Complaint

    Your complaint information will be entered into NHTSA's vehicle owner's complaint database and used with other complaints to determine if a safety-related defect trend exists.

    * If a safety-related defect exists in a motor vehicle or item of motor vehicle equipment, the manufacturer must fix it at no cost to the owner. Your complaint is the first step in the process.

    * Government engineers analyze the problem. If warranted, the manufacturer is asked to conduct a recall. If the manufacturer does not initiate a recall, the government can order the manufacturer to initiate a recall.

    * We do not have to receive a specific number of complaints before we look into a problem. We gather all available information on a problem. Your complaint is important to us.
    b. Have them submit their story to my website. It's really the only one stop resource we have right now. I think this will come in handy at some point.

    3. After the lawsuits are in motion and once the NHTSA is notified, we get ugly. We go to all the car magazines (C&D, MT, Automobile, Roundel, etc) with a coordinated publicity campaign. We have some nice pictures that need no explanation. We get those pictures in the magazines with some blurbs about unhappy owners of BMW cars that fall apart and that could very well snowball into the sort of national exposure we need. We contact Speed Channel if they have any news shows or whatever, I dunno, I don't have a TV.

    But you get the idea, build our case up, and then take it to the streets. There will be pain. We will have trouble selling our cars. People will laugh and tell us we have a "chick car on crack." But this piecemeal approach of take it to your dealer and hope for the best is not gonna cut it.

    It really seems like a design flaw, and if it happens... the car is rendered UNDRIVEABLE. Would you drive this car?

    Last edited by count_schemula; 08-25-2005 at 04:43 PM.

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    Last edited by count_schemula; 08-19-2005 at 03:27 AM.

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    This is the how to inspect your subframe post in this thread:

    Content to come later.

    [edit] has anybody inspected their car and took a lot of pics of the process? PM me.
    Last edited by count_schemula; 09-12-2005 at 10:09 AM.

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    Well, I knew this space was going to come in handy one day. That day has arrived.

    What was my Diff Mount Trunk Floor web page is now collected into a downloadable .zip file.

    The form had a spam issue and I did not feel like fixing it based on how static it had become.

    I may move my web site around at some point in the future. Therefore, and hence forthwith, for some period of time somewhat relative to eternity, but not quite:

    This post, right here, is the only place where I will maintain a current link to the .zip file.

    http://www.thelargeglass.com/bmw/sub...TrunkFloor.zip

    This post, right here, is the only place where I will maintain a current link to the .zip file.

    If you have any links to my old web site, maybe point them to this thread instead.
    Last edited by count_schemula; 12-02-2007 at 02:02 AM. Reason: The time to edit this post had arrived.

  5. #5
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    good to see...this thread will become very useful in the future

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    Props for organizing a sticky for everyone to gather information from one thread.

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    i am possibly getting somwhere with my case...i will inform every1 as it unfolds....my complaint has been sent to nhtsa, and ms williams will also be in contact with me as well...

    this is going to work one way or another....

    read this thread...huge amazing great wonderful update

    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...d.php?t=402329
    Last edited by Z3speed4me; 08-19-2005 at 02:32 PM.

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    This is exactly what was needed to keep this from falling apart like so many group buys. Thank you. The battle has just begun and there will be some casualties along the way but this is one we can win. The question is who's in it for the long haul? Great job.

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    I have no symptoms --- YET.
    So is there anything I can do other than to keep checking my car?

  10. #10
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    check the car..or send it to randy to get it enforced so it does not ever happen

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    NHTSA complaint filed: 10133599

    Dealer visited. They denied ever having seen this plroblem before. I am compiling data about cars covered by BMW and making the case for mine to be repaired.

    The BMW Field Service Rep was Mike Hardy. We had a good informative and cordial discussion. I will follow up and keep this updated.
    -Jason

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    Quote Originally Posted by z3speed4me
    check the car..or send it to randy to get it enforced so it does not ever happen
    I am keeping an eye on it! I plan to have the reinforcement done (already bought the Rogue diff cover) after the warrantee is over.

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    I understand that if your car is having this issue you will want it fixed right away and you should have it fixed right away so that you can enjoy the car. But here is something to think about. If BMW decides to fix the cars back to factory standards, the problem will happen again. Will they be will to fix it a second time? I doubt it. What is needed from BMW is a fix to the problem, whether it is Randy's kit or something else. Restoring the car back to the poor design will not correct the problem, it will only delay it. A design change is needed. It would be cheaper for BMW to restore the cars back to factory standards than have to…. let say install Randy's kit. I'm just not sure if this is a good thing when BMW is willing to fix this issue by restoring it to factory standards when factory standard is a inferior design. Also this can only have a negative effect on any law suit. What are your thoughts?

  14. #14
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    my car is going through the fixing process right now....
    i am the 16th subframe my dealer has fixed....
    i have full trust they will do a perfect job, and do not expect this to happen again to my car as its only a 1.9 and some freak thing like this should never happen to a 1.9 in the first place, im only going to own the car for about another year, so i am not worried about my subframe one bit...

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    Quote Originally Posted by segue007
    I understand that if your car is having this issue you will want it fixed right away and you should have it fixed right away so that you can enjoy the car. But here is something to think about. If BMW decides to fix the cars back to factory standards, the problem will happen again. Will they be will to fix it a second time? I doubt it. What is needed from BMW is a fix to the problem, whether it is Randy's kit or something else. Restoring the car back to the poor design will not correct the problem, it will only delay it. A design change is needed. It would be cheaper for BMW to restore the cars back to factory standards than have to…. let say install Randy's kit. I'm just not sure if this is a good thing when BMW is willing to fix this issue by restoring it to factory standards when factory standard is a inferior design. Also this can only have a negative effect on any law suit. What are your thoughts?
    I have thought about that, and I want to pursue getting Randy's kit put in if I can get mine covered. If thats not an option (but I bet I could get something worked out) then I would revert to the Dinan kit that is sold in the dealership. They could "stand behind" the Dinan kit more than they could from an outside source.

    Also, if they believe that it is an isolated incident, then they will restore it back to stock and not reinforce it, because they don't have a reason to believe stock is a problem. If we show a pattern of failure, then it becomes evident that they need to make it stonger that stock. Its all in how you make your case and what you can negotiate. Results my vary.
    -Jason

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    Quote Originally Posted by segue007
    I understand that if your car is having this issue you will want it fixed right away and you should have it fixed right away so that you can enjoy the car. But here is something to think about. If BMW decides to fix the cars back to factory standards, the problem will happen again. Will they be will to fix it a second time? I doubt it. What is needed from BMW is a fix to the problem, whether it is Randy's kit or something else. Restoring the car back to the poor design will not correct the problem, it will only delay it. A design change is needed. It would be cheaper for BMW to restore the cars back to factory standards than have to…. let say install Randy's kit. I'm just not sure if this is a good thing when BMW is willing to fix this issue by restoring it to factory standards when factory standard is a inferior design. Also this can only have a negative effect on any law suit. What are your thoughts?
    On the local level: what you're saying now is exactly what the bodyshop technician told me when I took my black car in 1-1/2 years ago. He said he could make it exactly like it left the factory (with the new trunkfloor assembly) and I would be faced with the same problem in another "X" amount of years. He looked at the steel pieces I had laying in the trunk and said that if he installed them, I would never have to look back.

    He also said that BMW historically only fixes a situation like that one time.

    I had been led to believe that the replacement trunkfloor was going to be a reinforced piece, but my dealer went several links up the parts chain and found there had been no revision/sucession of the part number. Too bad, as I would have gone that route (and maybe still add my parts later...).

    The car would have to be severely damaged (like the recent pictures of the 1.9) to warrant complete replacement of the trunkfloor assembly as opposed to just the installation of the parts I provide. Once the kit I have is installed, the original sheetmetal crossmember becomes merely a dust cover

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    I think I have a good idea:

    We should start an email list. Get down everyone's email who has had the problem. THEN, each and every person on the list writes an email, and sends it to every other person on the list, that includes a brief description of what happened, and hopefully pics of your trunk. That way, we have a weapon to bring to the dealership, that we can show them, if they try to say that it is a unique problem, and it is not a common defect. If they say that, then you whip out a big old pile of letters, with photographs, etc, that pretty much proves them wrong altogether.

    It would be nice to have BMWNA develop a blanket policy that states that they will pay for all Z3 subframe replacements. However, I think the chances of this happening are slim, and if it did, it would take a while. Our best hope is to resolve this on a case by case basis, and give the dealerships, and BMW no way of not paying for this.

    I would be more than happy to set this up. My email is:

    krauss(dot)joshua(at)dol(dot)gov

  18. #18
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    I'd like to be part of this email listing as well. I'd like to have a bunch of cases w/ pics handy for reference and as a tool to use when I get this problem and (if) the dealer tries to pull a fast one.

    email is protonicate@yahoo.com

  19. #19
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    im obviously going to be involved

    z3speed4me@yahoo.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jshkrauss
    that includes a brief description of what happened, and hopefully pics of your trunk. That way, we have a weapon to bring to the dealership, that we can show them, if they try to say that it is a unique problem, and it is not a common defect. If they say that, then you whip out a big old pile of letters, with photographs, etc, that pretty much proves them wrong altogether.
    That's kind of what my website is supposed to be.

    I link to forum threads, the pics should be in the threads.

    Z3/MZ3 page

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    Quote Originally Posted by count_schemula
    That's kind of what my website is supposed to be.

    I link to forum threads, the pics should be in the threads.

    Z3/MZ3 page
    emails are a little more formal, but yes you are right, that site could definitely be shown to a dealer.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jshkrauss
    emails are a little more formal, but yes you are right, that site could definitely be shown to a dealer.
    It's just more centralized, mostly.

    All you need is the web address. I mostly rely on other people alerting me to threds, although there have been a lot of new threads lately.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by count_schemula
    It's just more centralized, mostly.

    All you need is the web address. I mostly rely on other people alerting me to threds, although there have been a lot of new threads lately.
    definitely. for the love of all that is Z3, keep that site working!

    I added pics to my thread yesterday (titled "great") of the spot welds that have popped in my trunk, causing loud creaking, if you want to include it.

    J

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    Looking at 2000 M Roadster

    Long time reader, first time poster. Looking to get back into the BMW family and buy a low mileage 2000 M Roadster. Been researching this subframe/diff issue and I have a couple of basic questions I was hoping one or more of you could comment upon.

    1. How pervasive is this problem? Is it an every car problem, or have many of these cars gone to high miles with no problems with this area of the car? I know this is a difficult question, so I'm just looking for anecdotal opinions.

    2. Have people found serious damage early in the life of these cars (i.e., first 20k miles)? I have no problem spending the money for reinforcing the car, but I'm hoping not to buy into a serious existing problem. Some of the cars I'm considering are a distance away and I won't be able to do a sight inspection until I board a plane and check it out.

    3. Given this may be classified as a safety issue by the NHTSA, is there any chance BMW would cover repairs for a second owner and/or an out of warranty car? Anyone have this situation? I'm guessing no.

    4. Any other major issues I should be aware of regarding the 2000 models. I've searched and haven't come across anything.

    Thanks in advance for any help. I've wanted one of these cars for years.

    Archimedes

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    Quote Originally Posted by Archimedes
    Long time reader, first time poster. Looking to get back into the BMW family and buy a low mileage 2000 M Roadster. Been researching this subframe/diff issue and I have a couple of basic questions I was hoping one or more of you could comment upon.

    1. How pervasive is this problem? Is it an every car problem, or have many of these cars gone to high miles with no problems with this area of the car? I know this is a difficult question, so I'm just looking for anecdotal opinions.

    2. Have people found serious damage early in the life of these cars (i.e., first 20k miles)? I have no problem spending the money for reinforcing the car, but I'm hoping not to buy into a serious existing problem. Some of the cars I'm considering are a distance away and I won't be able to do a sight inspection until I board a plane and check it out.

    3. Given this may be classified as a safety issue by the NHTSA, is there any chance BMW would cover repairs for a second owner and/or an out of warranty car? Anyone have this situation? I'm guessing no.

    4. Any other major issues I should be aware of regarding the 2000 models. I've searched and haven't come across anything.

    Thanks in advance for any help. I've wanted one of these cars for years.

    Archimedes
    1. unknown, we only have a limited sample from the people on the borads, but I would throw a very rough estimate of about 15-20% of the people I see out on message board have the problem.

    2. Randy had one of his cars done a 20k miles by the dealer, but i don't know how bad the damage was. It seems to be seen on cars mostly over 50k miles.

    3. Yes, 2nd owners have had them fixed by BMW while out of warranty. We need to use that precident.

    4. nothing else major, its a great car
    -Jason

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    '99 Boston Green M Roadster - intake, M50 manifold, schrick cams, magnaflow exhaust, TCK D/A Coilovers 500/600, RD front bar, ltw flywheel & clutch, harddog rollbar, schroth harnesses, zionsville radiator, S54 oil cooler, stewart pump, etc ..... ~245rwhp

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