BMW owners, but not the 7 series
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Hi There... Our X5 is a horror. Hi Axel...I am writing to let you know about our X5. My poor husband decided to purchase the 2001 X5. He placed his order and waited 9 months for the car. Upon receiving it it was a nightmare. It arrived without AM radio and the air conditioning did not work. He gets that repaired and then all sorts of electrical glitches start to happen. The alarm goes off by itself and the windows open on their own while the car is off. Of course we take it for service and they tell us nothing is wrong. Needless to say we have had the car 18 months and it has been serviced 14 times!!!! Finally, yesterday my husband became enraged and told them he was leaving the car in the shop for a week so that way the alarm and windows is bound to go off while at the shop. For the first time he asked for a loaner car and he was given a Ford Focus!!!! My husband is 6'1", 230 lbs. For the luxury of this Ford Focus he has to pay $14/day to insure it in the event of an accident!!! So now at the end of the week he will have an $80 bill for repairs that are supposedly warrantied. I planned on buying the 325XI....There is no way in hell that I will do that now. The VW Passat with 4-motion looks good to me!!! BMW sure took the $57,000 check from us really fast and they are very slow with service. I would never ever tell anyone to buy a BMW. They do not care about the consumer, they only care to take your money. It's a shame that such a renowned company as BMW is being bested by Lexus (they pick up your car for service and bring you the same exact car you have as a loaner!!) I can definitely relate to your nightmare. We call our car "Christine". You may place this e-mail on your web site but do give out our full name and our e-mail address.
Yvonne M. & Hugh K. <email address on file>
USA - Thursday, June 27, 2002 at 10:25

Axel's reply: You're not the first to write in with a horror story about an X5. I can't really comment on the model, as I've never had one. I do agree, however, that it should be standard practice for any dealer to provide a car that equals the car being brought in for service, particularly when the "loaner" sometimes can lead someone to another maker. It's my practice to not provide the full names or email addresses for anyone. If someone has a follow-up or comment to your story, I will post it here.

Hi Axel, I am a current BMW owner and a lover of BMWs. I must say that BMW's disregard for you as a customer is surprising. Obviously they only care about the bottom line as it is right now. At the present time their new car sales are high and they can sell every car they make. However if some "tough times" come their way - their customers will not stand by them due to the fact that they did not feel that BMW stood by their product. In other words they go elsewhere. Customer service and satisfaction is obviously not a big concern to them despite the fact that they employ an abundance of customer service representatives. Fortunately my cars have been as advertised and I have never had to deal with customer service except for the occasions when they telephone me about my service experiences. I presently own a 1998 328is and a 1993 525i. I had considered purchasing a late 1980s or early 1990s 750iL in the past but my service writer whom I have used for six years told me "Don't do it!" At least he was honest. The E32 750iL is the most beautiful car of its time...but apparently with beauty comes high maintenance. Regards, PS: You have my permission to publish this on your site. Thanks again for making it.
Matt R. (1993 525i & 1998 328is) <email address on file>
Arlington, Texas USA - Sunday, May 26, 2002 at 20:28

Axel's reply: I too get the feeling that BMW is just interested in the "bottom line." Service advisors have also repeatedly told me that the 750iL was a mistake, both my buying it and BMW for having made it.

I have previously owned a 89 525i wich had many problems simmular to your 750. But I am a machanic and have found that the driver I purchased the car from had driven the crap out of the car. It was amazing the car actually heald up to the punishment as well as it did. I had the car for about 8,000 miles and it had 190,000 miles on it when I sold it. The driver never maintenanced the car. and kind of like you replaced things when they broke. Also I have a suggestion if there is another BMW Dealer in town you should go and have the car checked and things replaced from there. The Dealer I have in my home town is great and could not ask for better service. I recently purchased a 97 528i this car has been a dream. I have owned this car for the same leinght of time and have had no problems. this car has 111,000 miles on it. The car was owned by a Doctor and maintained very well. Go Figure. All maintaince that had been done on the car was done at a respectable BMW Dealer and is in perfect new car condition at 111,000 miles. I wouldnt be afraid to drive the car across country 5 times. I know it wouldnt give me any problems. anyway my point is you cant dis every BMW because of a couple of bad 750s. Actually my friend has a 98 750 and the car has saved his life 3 times. In the event of 3 horrifying wrecks that I may add he walked away from without a scratch. That car has been in to fix the wrecks but otherwise has never been in for anything else. Again good Maintainance was preformed on the vehicle at the same Well Respected BMW Dealer. And by the way as for the pittly annie stuff like washer nozzles clogged fix the damn thing your self its simple. The Dealer is just pissed because you are complaining about such stupid things. Open the hood and you will see the problem Simply hook the washer hose back up to its proper position. And if it is clogged get a air hose and blow through the hose Simple Easy Cheap and Effective. Sorry you hate BMW. I am a BMW Owner and Lover and I just dont think it is appropiate to be judging millions of cars ranging 15 years apart on a couple of bad expereinces. I hate to tell you this but EVERY CAR MANUFACTURE HAS LEMONS. its something you are not going to get away from. Furthermore why the hell do you still own the car if it gives you so many problems. Its not good buisness since to dump money into a piece of sh*t unless you have millions of dollars and you like to spend good money after bad. I rest my Case Thank You for Reading
DDR (1989 525i) <email address on file>
USA - Friday, May 3, 2002 at 23:19

Axel's reply: The previous owner of my car replaced everything that broke, did all required and preventative maintenance, as have I- didn't make a difference. I've never said anything about hating BMW, but I am unhappy about the maintenance requirements of my 750iL. I continue to drive the car because it is my car of choice, but the maintenance needs are still unacceptable. Also, I cannot follow the car's maintenance record unless I keep driving it. Dumping the car onto someone else will not change what has happened, nor will it change what has happened to many others with similar 750iL stories.

Axel, Very interesting to read your site. I was thinking of retiring and buying a 750L as a way of fulfilling my days. Generally I like to do engine repairs such as mains, big ends, bores and chase elusive faults in both carburation and electrical systems. I have to tell you I have had quite a lot of successes with British Leyland cars over the years. As a current 528 owner I am getting a little bored with it - there really isn't anything for me to do. I've toyed with tearing the cam shaft off to have a look or disassemble the steptronic box to peruse the oil way galleries but fortunately the lawnmower failed before I could get to it. I really enjoyed welding up the lawnmower chassis and resetting the sprag clutch on the recoil mechanism. I've got a couple of questions: 1. Do you think I would find true happiness by owning a 750L and working on it for the rest of my days to get the odd trip to the local shopping mall? 2. I don't have a real lot of money but as a professional engineer if I moved to the USA , studied the 750L manual/CD ROM, bought all the computer sh*t and special tools, would you guys pay me $200 USD/hr to keep your 750L's on the road - in spite of BMW?
Albert S. - Engineer, Nearly Retired (528) <email address on file>
Australia - Tuesday, April 16, 2002 at 4:06

Axel's reply: I don't think even the highest paid mechanics in the U.S. make $200 per hour, maybe a little more than half that, however, I also don't think that tinkering with a 750iL would be the source of true happiness, particularly if you don't have much money. For me, the 750iL has been an endless source of expenditure, inconvenience, and frustration, but it has had its moments.

THANK GOD NOT A 750. I bought a new 528i and my complaint is really about service and how one is treated by BMW of North America Customer Service Department. My car "slipped on a lift" and a tire was slit. They bought one tire, I had to buy the other. I have been getting a roaring noise from tires ever since. Bought 4 new tires and eventually they roared. Found out I had a ball joint that was loose on same side as slit tire. I know this is related to the car "slipping off the ramp." Got to looking (on my knees--ran my panty hose) and there is actually a dent on the undercarriage that could only have been caused by the car falling on something. Memories and service records are strangely not there. Also, had to replace a head gasket just after car out of warranty. Looking back on service record I noticed a thermostat was replaced (car practically new) and I think it is related to the head gasket (overheating). Since I am a woman I believe I was lied to and they would figure I would never discover the dent on the undercarriage or put two and two together on the thermostat. BMW Cust. Serv. of NA is a waste. People should not be buying these expensive cars until the mother company starts cracking down on the treatment buyers are getting. Even though this is not about a 750, the common thread is that BMW does not seem to care about their customers, how they are treated, and whether they will buy again. Thanks for the site to let off steam. I know I will never achieve satisfaction, but at least I have the satisfaction of never buying one of these vehicles again.
Ursula (528i) <email address on file>
USA - Saturday, March 23, 2002 at 15:37

Axel's reply: I agree- the dealerships should be held much more accountable and BMW does not appear to have much concern over long term customer satisfaction.

While this is a 750iL website, i think i should share my story about my ultimate sh*t machine! i am a seventeen year old girl who purchased a brand new bmw 325ci in 2001 i paid the car off at the time of the purchase. Since then my car has been in service sooooo many times that the dealer has made an exception to the rule and gives me loaners because they know that once my car goes in it won't be out for a while. My car has bumper to bumper warranty or so they say. Every time i go in with a problem this is their extremely intelligent response "ooohh gosh we've never seen anything like that before pretty lady ya know that's gonna cost you a pretty penny to fix." I find this a little offensive soo yeah I'm still driving my car even though i can't go long distances in it in fear that I won't make it there.
Tasia B. (2001 325ci) <email address on file>
USA - Tuesday, March 12, 2002 at 13:27

Axel's reply: Very different cars, but similar scenarios. Even during my car's warranty period, it was far from trouble-free and involved out-of-pocket expense. I too am afraid to drive my car long distances because I'm concerned it will break down. I have enough trouble locating a 750 mechanic in the middle of a major city, so I would not want to have to locate one while on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Given that the cooling system for my car has suffered at least 18 breakdowns, a long hot drive is not what I would want to put this car through.

Axel, Well I don't have a 750 story, but I do have a 635 story if you're interested. I purchased a used 1988 635CSI in 1995 I think it was. I paid about $ 14K, it had about 80K miles on it but looked well cared for. I had just gotten divorced and it was a car that I had always wanted, so I indulged myself. I had it checked out by an independent BMW/Mercedes mechanic that I had know sometime and trusted with my MB. There were a few things he recommended to be repaired which the dealer did indeed fix before I picked it up. Mechanically the car seemed pretty sound throughout its life. I must say that this car was the most fun to drive of any car I've owned. I've owned two Mercedes-Benz's a Corvette and some other sports cars. Now for the bad news. BMW's have never been known for their air-conditioning. A 635 has a lot of glass. So, to cool the car they stuck an extra evaporator unit between the two seats in the back, this was an option for the southern states. When this works it cools the car very well. I had the air-conditioning completely rebuilt three times in the six years I owned the car. Now, I did drive it everyday, which could have been a mistake. But here it Texas you must have air-conditioning that works. I went through three sets of front brake rotors, I still don't know why. I would purchase a new set install those and have the old ones turned. Then when the new ones started shaking swap them, have the newer ones turned and run on the old ones until they were shot. Throw those away and buy a new set. I had one injector fail the whole time I owned it. Which is the only time this car left me stranded. I had the brake ?pressure accumulator? fail, that was a harrowing experience. To go from a car that stops on a dime to one that won't stop without exerting all the strength you have on the brake pedal. The exhaust system finally wore out, that was $ 2,500 end to end, with aftermarket parts and the some things had to be "fabricated" because the car was a mid year car and was "different". I learned early on with this car that when I went to the dealership for parts to take the serial number. Apparently since these were relatively low production run cars, they were somewhat different from one to the next. I tried buying aftermarket parts for various things tune-up parts, brake rotors, brake pads, AC parts, suspension, etc. They almost never fit, because this car was "different". So I ended up at the BMW dealership going through the build sheets with the parts guy looking for the correct parts. Over the years I had this car I determined I spent $ 3,500/ year keeping it running. The last year I owned it I didn't drive it much and so it didn't break much. But, if you figure for 5 years at $ 3,500 is $ 17,000, $ 3,000 more than I paid for it. I finally figured out that I could lease a brand new Toyota Avalon XLS, if I didn't drive the 635, which is what I did. I currently spend about $ 350/year keeping the Avalon running, which ain't bad. Anyway, the reason I'm sending you this story, my experience is not as bad as your (I think) is this: I think the 750's are like the other low production cars BMW builds (635, 850, etc), they don't make enough of them to work the bugs out. The other thing is that the engine in my car was rock solid, I had trouble with all the accessories and electrical items. I once talked to my mechanic about upgrading to an 850CSI, which I really wanted. He got a green sick look on his face and told me I'd be going right from the frying pan into the fire. Then proceeded to explain what was wrong with the V12 engine. So needless to say I didn't buy that. I eventually got remarried and my wife insisted I sell the BMW that only sat in the garage taking up space. Which I eventually did. I do miss driving the 635 but I don't miss the maintenance bills. For car recommendations, I would buy another Mercedes. I have never heard any horror stories such as yours with them. And I would highly recommend the Toyota products. I was a hard-core German car fanatic until I bought my first Toyota. Toyotas really are that much better. Lexus is a fine car and I would buy one of those as well. I would not buy another BMW after reading about the guy on your page having problems with a 2000 750 protection. Which I was considering. I find it very disappointing that after 10 years they haven't fixed their problems with their low production cars.
Roger B. (1988 635csi) <email address on file>
Texas USA - Thursday, February 28, 2002 at 16:52

Axel's reply: I too found the 2000 750iL Protection story to be very disappointing and that story alone would make me reconsider a decision to buy a new or newer 750iL.

Axel, I have been a victim of the love too much to give up money pit car, mine was a 85 635csi. I was just wondering about a few things on your site. Not trying to defend the 750, but curious as to how hard you drive it. You listed you put 4 new tires on it between 75k and 76k miles, then again between 94k and 98k miles. That's less than 25k miles. On my 635csi with 17" wheels wrapped by P-zeros and my usual 90 to 130 cruise speeds on back country twisties, I get over 30k. I noticed in your letter about high speed trip to Las Vegas. How fast are you cruising? Just want to know.
Chris (1985 635csi) <email address on file>
USA - Friday, February 22, 2002 at 17:15

Axel's reply: Yes, it appears as though I put about 20,000 miles on the tires before changing them, although you're assuming that they were in serious need of changing at the time they were replaced. I tend to change my car's tires before it may be absolutely necessary. It was also nearly three years later and they were more weathered than tires that may have had 20,000 miles put on them in one year. Could also be that a 750iL gets fewer miles on its tires because it's a heavier vehicle than a 635csi. I was cruising to Vegas faster than 55MPH (89km/h), but within the operating specifications of the car.

Dear Sir, We have similar problem (over heat) with our BMW 528 model, do you have any information of this model. As our BMW is a company vehicle, I am not sure I can release the maintenance history for now. Thanks
Ronnie C. (528) <email address on file>
Macau, China - Thursday, January 24, 2002 at 21:53

Axel's reply: I don't have any information on the 5 series. [Privately, I referred him to a place to get some information on the 5 series].

Axel: Hi there. I came across your site after doing a quick search on BMW coolant. I had taken my lowly '95 318i in for a Type II service, and it came back spewing coolant all the way home. But that's not my story for you. I bought the BMW to preserve my wonderful old 1988 560 SEL Mercedes. I bought this car a few years ago with 160,000km (100K miles), and the most major thing I had to do was the valve seals and re-torque the cylinder head. My 560 now has 212,000 km (127K miles) and the past year has been entirely incident free, with the exception of affordable and expected routine maintenance such as oil changes and a front brake job. I routinely crank my 560 up past 100 mph, and today (December 9, 2001) I'm pulling it out of storage because my '95 BMW econobox is malfunctioning. My Mercedes has been an honest, capable, reliable and even affordable motoring companion. I urge each and every BMW V12 owner to downgrade to a W126 or W140 V8 Mercedes! Just make sure the W140 Mercedes has already had the air conditioner repaired! Case in point - I have performed approximately $4,500 CDN ($3K USD) of repairs to drive nearly 50,000km (30K miles). This included converting my a/c to R134a, and nearly $2K CDN worth of hydraulic shocks. I chose to replace the shocks the expensive way, but I could have taken the cheap route and put in shocks from a non hydraulic W126 Benz. Net result - $2,500K CDN or ($1.5K USD) for that kind of mileage. About half that was for the valve seals and head re-torque, but the remainder is routine maintenance. My Mercedes has never left me stranded, and I'll drive it into the ground - probably around 400,000 km, or 240,000 miles. Who knows? It may just keep going. The big Mercedes is a known to be reliable car, and they are relatively simple and built like a bus. My advice to all foreign car buyers? Find the right car, spend a few bucks extra for a good one, and then find the right mechanic. My brother has been considering a modern 7 series BMW, I sent him your web address in hopes of preventing him from purchasing what appears to be a nightmare.
Paul H. (1995 318i) <email address on file>
Canada - Sunday, December 9, 2001 at 11:23

Axel's reply: I've heard far more high mileage/low maintenance stories about the Mercedes than I ever have about BMWs. Hope your brother pays attention.

Hi Axel, Stumbled upon your website somehow. Sorry to hear about your troubles with the 750. I own a 93 three series and just purchased an 850Ci - yeah the one with the 12 cylinders. I'm pretty sure that the same engine was used in 93. Did I just purchase a living nightmare?
Duane (1993 3 series; 850Ci) <email address on file>
USA - Sunday, November 18, 2001 at 6:49

Axel's reply: I really haven't heard much on the 8 series. [Privately, I referred him to a place to get more information on the 8 series].

hello, I'm E30 325ix owner from Turkey. I read your articles and I surprised. My English is not very well, so I didn't understand in details. Were your repair costs due to bad usage or due to your car's character? Are you regretful about buying 750? I was thinking about a 750 engine transplant on my E30 325. Is it absurd? What do you think about it? sincerely
Ender (325ix) <email address on file>
Turkey - Saturday, November 17, 2001 at 12:35

Axel's reply: I believe the repair costs stem from the car's character. Yes, I regret having bought this 750iL, although I'm trying to use my episode in a positive way by informing others before they may buy one, and to provide much needed venting for those who may already have one and haven't had a good experience. The only way a 750 engine would fit in a 325 would be to strap in on the roof.

Sell it! Why don't you just sell it or give it away? I can't imagine why you would keep screwing around with such an obvious lemon.  I have owned 11 BMW's over 24 years and never had a lemon. I bought a 1989 325i brand new in December, 1988 from Global Motors in Atlanta, and had three absolutely trouble free years from it -- not even a burned out bulb or brake pad, nothing but oil changes and one very cheap tune up, and one case of shimmying which was solved with a careful wheel balancing. Sold it to a friend whose son STILL drives it today; after 150,000 miles plus still going strong, never a single major repair. Worst thing that ever happened to it was a water pump replacement at about 100,000 miles, and preventative maintenance such as timing belt, hoses, belts. And lots of back tires, which wear quickly from wheelspin exiting corners. What a great car.  I currently drive a 1997 540i 6-speed in very harsh conditions here in Moscow, Russia. I'm the second owner. Currently 94,000km on the clock, and never a warranty claim or an unscheduled repair (neither the original owner nor myself), just two tuneups and regular oil changes. It starts instantly in minus 30 degree weather and just flies over rough rural Russian roads with its incredible M-technic suspension and immense power.  BMWs were worse in the '70s; my first BMW's (2002, 2002 turbo, 735i) were less reliable, particularly basic engine integrity -- they all smoked and needed rings and/or head gaskets after only 60,000 miles or so. But in those days all cars were less reliable. My mother had a 280SE Mercedes in the '70's which really WAS a lemon; none of my Bimmers gave nearly so much trouble.  Although the quality of all cars is getting better and better, any car from any manufacturer (at least -- any non-Japanese manufacturer) can still turn out to be a lemon; when you recognize the pattern you just need to get rid of it and move on. Buy a Lexus, if you don't want to risk it.  Another suggestion -- you might want to try a different place for service (whether for this or some replacement car). Repetitive cooling leaks and bad shocks are very strange -- these are generic parts not made by BMW. If you regularly replace hoses and if they are properly installed (right clamps, right position, right torque) you will never have such problems, and that does not depend on the make of the car. Likewise -- if your air conditioner is properly serviced, has the right amount of freon and the right amount of oil in the freon, and the receiver/drier is in order, compressors last for many years. Air conditioning compressors are not made by BMW -- they are York or Sanden or Daikin or some other generic kind, just like Mercedes and many other manufacturers use. If you're blowing them out regularly that is bad service; has nothing to do with the car's manufacturer. Your story sounds a lot like a car with less than par reliability compounded and greatly magnified by crummy service.  Cheers,
Cameron S.  (1997 540i)  <email address on file>
Moscow, Russia - Monday, October 29, 2001 at 9:18

Axel's reply:  I know there are BMWs that are dependable, because I have owned some.  My quarrel is with the 750iL I own now.  Selling it will not change the car's appalling maintenance record and I have too much money into it at this point to liquidate it.  In the meantime, I will do what I can to share my experiences with the hope that others might learn from it.

Greetings... First off, I am sorry to hear of your misfortune with your current BMW. I had similar experiences with a 1998 528i Sport which I leased. It included an unfixable alignment problem as well, 'bent' rims, every power window eventually failing, and, of course, numerous other items. My resolution? I drove it into a wall on the Florida Turnpike and totaled it. I suggest using a similar method with your problem. :)  Good luck!
Adam W.  <email address on file>
USA - Tuesday, September 25, 2001 at 3:03

Axel's reply:  I tried that with my first 750iL, which was totaled when someone ran a stop sign.  Haven't applied that method to my current 750... yet.

Guess you weren't a smart consumer. You knew what you were getting into when you purchased a used car with a hundred [thousand] miles on it. How could that be better than buying a brand new car w/ warranty?? Don't get mad at yourself for not making a good decision or not having the money. Save up some money and buy a brand new one instead but please don't bash BMW b/c it wasn't them. It was you b/c you thought it was better to purchase a 100,000 mile car instead of a brand new one with warranty and the previous owner probably didn't take maintain it the way he/she was supposed too. I'm sure you've heard this before... take care.  Regards,
"Proud BMW owner"  <email address on file>
Monday, August 20, 2001 at 24:03

Axel's reply:  I didn't purchase the car with 100,000 miles on it, and the previous owner had quite a bit of trouble with it, even when it was relatively new and under warranty.  It's not merely a question of being covered under warranty and not even a question of "having the money," but a question of reliability.  However, you're right- I wasn't a smart consumer because the 750iL was certainly a bad choice.

bmw nightmare- Hi Axel, I don't own a 750 series but I just bought a brand new X5.   I just couldn't help to email you to express my nigtmare experience with this X5.   I wish I had seen your website before I made this stupid decision in buying this piece of junk.  I just bought a brand new X5 and my nightmare has alreay begun. The car already started to fail on the second day (it only had 30 miles on it!!). I brought it back to the dealer and they said it was the electronics in the gas paddle. They replaced the unit and put 50 miles to test drive it. I wasn't happy that they had to put 50 miles in my brand new car for test drive. I was even furious when the car showed another problem the same night I got my car back from repair.  This time it was the valves that weren't running right.  I only have the car for 3 days and I spent 2 days for repair.   I wanted to return the vehicle but the dealer refused to do so. I'm trapped and I regretted that I ever bought this X5.
Piggy  (X5)  <email address on file>
USA - Monday, June 18, 2001 at 18:07

Axel's reply:  I had thought the X5 was a reliable car- I guess not!   (At least, not in your case).

You are scaring the hell out of me!  I have a '93 850Ci. And these two cars can't be that far apart.
Tom K.  <email address on file>
Orlando, Florida, USA - Thursday, May 17, 2001 at 14:28:24

Axel's reply:  What scares me is that someone has said I have yet to experience the major and expensive failures with the 750iL.

i love bmw and i have to agree with you they dio on ocasion build and ship a car made on monday or friday. you  would think that a company that bills it self as one of the premium car builders in the world, that they would stand by their product. try taking your case to the quandt family or even a magazine such as road and track or car and driver. good luck and the car looks nice.
CP <email address on file>
Cincinnati, Ohio USA - Thursday, May 03, 2001 at 15:33:14

Axel's reply:  I agree- a company claiming to be among the top car builders should do a better job at standing by their product.

HI, THESE ARE MY COMMENTS TO BMW! I WILL LET ANYONE KNOW WHO IS INTERESTED WHAT THE OUT COME IS. LORI. "Hi,I left a message on you corporate phone service today. I am experiencing what turns out to be a major product defect with your 1995-96... convertible tops. I have spoke with countless BMW owners that have had the identical problem. Many had this repaired while still under warranty so no complaints. My car is out of warranty. I had this looked at when the car had 40,000 miles and I was told that it would cost 3,000 to repair the problem. I was not told this was normal wear and tear at that point and I don't believe that is the case. I was told these things work better if they are used regularly. Today I was told this was a normal wear and tear. I'm sorry it just doesn't pass the reasonable test the stories don't match. I have even had discussions with workers at the dealership in which they corroborate that this is a product defect. It's nice to know that the design flaw has been corrected on the newer models. I don't think a car should have to have the entire mechanical frame and top replaced after so few miles. The cost being approx. three thousand dollars.I have a 1995 325i con. That had this item repaired and a new top put on. (under warranty).If this problem isn't resolved I plan on taking it to consumer affairs and filling a class action suit on behalf of BMW convertible owners. I will advertise this problem and I will find every person I can that has or is experiencing this product defect. With the power of the Internet I will be able to reach costumers all over the world. This will cost me very little but can end up being a nasty thorn in BMW's side. I will go to all car magazines and consumer reporting agencies..... I'm asking that you contact [the local dealership] and authorize this repair so that I may fully enjoy the luxury of a working convertible top and thus enhance my ultimate driving experience. I'm fairly young and do love the drive of these vehicles how I continue my relationship with a company depends on that companies ability to stand up and support their product. My husband and I are already talking about a new 7 Series in the near future and could be life long BEEMERS.  My license plate now reads [something BMW related]. You are aware of this problem and of the countless repairs that have occurred at the dealer service centers regarding this problem. It is my hope that this can be remedied in an expedient way. Thank you."
Lori D.  (1995 325i)  <email address on file>
Camarillo, California USA - Thursday, April 26, 2001 at 13:25:00

Axel's reply:  It would seem reasonable to me that if BMW intends to maintain their customer base, they ought to listen to current customers, who are likely tomorrow's BMW buyers.  I wish you good luck in your effort to get some attention from BMW with your convertible top.

Axel, Thank you for sharing your story with me. I am a BMW owner and would love to buy a 750iL but it is too pricey. I ended up buying a 2000 BMW 323i when it was new. This car comes with a 4 year warranty (I'm in Canada) with all scheduled maintenance included (oil changes too). You do not have to open your wallet during the warranty period. The point I am trying to make is that you bought a 7 year old BMW, and the flagship model as well. I think the mechanics think if you are rich enough to own one, you are rich enough to fix one. Over the last 4 years, you have paid $500 per month in repairs. For $400 per month you can lease a brand new 3 series. I would never touch a 7 year old BMW. If you bought a new one, you could keep the car for 4 or 5 years, knowing that you would not have any troubles at all, and if you did, you would be covered by the warranty. Soon after the warranty period expires, you could sell the car to some poor bloke. Thanks for your very informative story that is very well documented. BMW would never compensate you as you did not buy the car new, and BMW does not view you as their customer. They figure if you bought a used BMW, you would never buy a new one. BMW is only interested in selling new cars, and keeping these customers happy. They are more than happy to take the money from a BMW owner who only buys used. Regards, Alan
Alan W.  (2000 323i)  <email address on file>
Vancouver, BC Canada - Saturday, April 07, 2001 at 12:54:08

Axel's reply:  You may not open your wallet during the warranty period, but you certainly do when the vehicle is purchased.  There's a little something called depreciation.  On the 750iL, it's dramatic.  If you pay $100,000 for a new one, within three years the car will only be worth $50,000, and you've just lost $50,000.  Sure, the maintenance was "free," but you paid a hefty price for it.   I chose not to throw that money out the window.  By buying my car used at the time I did, it's depreciation was less than $5000 during the same period, only one-tenth as much.  The extraordinary maintenance requirements, however, were unexpected.  And there never was a problem-free period with this car- the previous owner brought the car in about 50 times, and had to pay about $10,000, despite it being under warranty for some of that time.  BMW does view used car owners as customers.  The repair and parts market for used cars is a more profitable segment for the car industry than selling new cars.  In fact, without the used car market, car manufacturers couldn't survive.  Yes, I could have leased a brand new 3 series, but I don't want to drive a 3 series!  And this is not just about money, it's about a car having to go into the shop about 100 times, and still never getting fixed.

I own a BMW also it isn't their flagship though it is just a 1990 325is. I still drive it and it runs fine. I haven't experienced near the amount of problems that you've mentioned on you list of failures. However, once a car is out of warranty that is exactly what it is. Thus, leaving all repair responsibilities to the owner. I would try and find a more proficient BMW dealer for the repairs. Truth be told I would have dumped that car along time ago. There several dealerships that sale 750iL that are not BMW dealerships. To continue to throw money into that car is ridiculous. Good luck with your next automobile. Ps-get rid of that piece of crap!  The Rock says "It doesn't matter!", It doesn't matter! It doesn't matter!"
The Rock  (1990 325is)
Thursday, March 29, 2001 at 15:43:31

Axel's reply:  If it doesn't matter, then send me a check for $23,000.  The 3 series is quite a step away from the 750iL.  I should know, I have had three 3 series cars, and two 750iL cars.  Of course the 3 series will never experience the same needs as a 750iL.  I don't blame the dealership where I have my car serviced- they can only work within the design and engineering parameters of the vehicle and its replacement parts.  If the vehicle's design is such that it is prone to repeatedly break down, and the components and replacement parts regularly fail, that is not the fault of the dealership or the mechanics, but I think the fault of the car manufacturer.

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