BMW Fires Seriously Change Lives

11 05 2010

After my car was totaled due to an electrical fire, BMW offered a $1500 Owners Loyalty Rebate to buy another BMW, to pay my car insurance deductible, and to replace the stroller lost in the fire…a grand total of just about $2300!

I am extremely disappointed with BMW’s offer for several reasons.  My family could have been seriously hurt had the situation been slightly different.  If the fire started 20 to 30 minutes later, we would have been in the car and possibly on the highway.  Being distracted by smoke filling the car’s cabin could have resulted in a multiple car accident.  We are all blessed that the car was parked and no one was injured.

As with most people, I need a car for my job and parental responsibilities.  I lease apartments at several different apartment communities in Washington, DC, and I need to travel to these apartment communities when a prospective resident wants to see one.  Not having a car has seriously hindered my ability to do my job efficiently.  This has effected my commissions and my household income.  Moreover, I have a seven-month-old child that needs to be taken to daycare everyday.  Having to borrow a car or use public transportation to get him to daycare everyday since mid-march is the single most frustrating part of this entire situation.  I cannot begin to express the anguish I am going through.  I purchased a luxury vehicle from a reputable dealer, and I expected more from the product and BMW.  I expected to have my car until I was ready to trade it or sell it, and I certainly didn’t expect to lose my car after only 4 years due to a product defect.

Second, I loved my 325i and was excited about having a vehicle that was paid off and reliable.  Having purchased the car in 2006, I was proud of the miles I had put on the car and I was close to paying it off.  Your offer to give me a $1500 owner loyalty rebate is unacceptable, as it is less than 10% of the car’s value.  I’m shocked that BMW is not guaranteeing their product.  As we all know, the car caught fire because of faulty manufacturing.   Fifteen hundred dollars also does not account for the interest I will pay on a new car over the next 5 years and the frustration I am experiencing because I lost my car so unexpectedly.

Lastly, I did everything I was supposed to do when owning a luxury vehicle; I babied the car.  I used premium gas, only let BMW service it, I recommended the car and brand to anyone who asked.  In retrospect, while I loved the car, I see now it’s possible that I expected too much.  I expected to have a car that was safe and reliable.  I didn’t expect faulty manufacturing to put me in this situation.  I feel really let down.  I have been rendered carless and I did nothing to deserve this.  The bottom line is that purchasing another car–regardless of the brand–puts me at an extreme disadvantage.


BMW Fires on Twitter

1 05 2010

I Returned the Rental, A Ford Focus

21 04 2010

Can you believe that in a time of sheer crisis, a Ford Focus got me around town without any problems?  When my insurance provided me with the car, I was like, “are you serious?  A Focus?”  But I eventually settled into the car and it became my way of life.  The little burgundy treasure never caught fire or caused me any trouble.   I just returned it, nearly 40 days after my car was totaled due to an electrical fire.  I can’t believe I don’t have a car; this entire situation has been a nightmare.  Since this scenario started, my son has had two ear infections and I’ve worked an average of 6 days a week.  And now I don’t have a car.  I am so stressed out!  How am I supposed to function?  I might be able to borrow a car until BMW replaces my car, but that’s not a guarantee.  I really hope BMW doesn’t disappoint my family.

If this situation has taught me anything, it’s to never take anything for granted.  What you have today can be gone tomorrow.  I know it’s cliché, but when such a huge loss happens to you–it smacks you in the face and it doesn’t seem so trite.  Simple things like going to the grocery store to put food on the table now seem like an impossible task.  I have a baby and no car.  His undeveloped immune system should not need to be exposed to all those people on the bus.  And yet, I don’t have a choice.

AND how am I going to get him to daycare? I hope BMW fixes this!

November 9, 2009 | New 335xi Turbo Burns

25 03 2010

New 335xi Turbo Burns in Bellevue, WA

My Car is Totaled

19 03 2010

I just talked to my insurance company, and as it turns out–MY CAR IS TOTALED.  I’ve never had a car totaled before.  It feels strange.  Especially since the last time I drove the car, I had no idea it would be my last time.

Yesterday I went to the grocery store, for some butter and onions.  I came out of the store with 3 bags full of groceries on one arm and the baby carrier on the other arm.  As I stepped off the curb, I had a moment of panic–I didn’t see my car.  Was it stolen?  It took a moment, but relief set in when I remembered that the burgundy rental, parked at the end of the row was the car I was driving.

This morning I went to push the start button.  There isn’t a start button in the rental car.  These are certainly infinitesimal issues when I consider the larger issue of fire hazards and car safety, but they are little reminders that I am dealing with a situation that I didn’t create or anticipate. 

So between the volume of work on the job, the babies’ reoccurring ear infection and all the other things going on, the last thing I wanted to hear this morning was that my car was totaled.

The Language of Fire

18 03 2010

I have no idea what he is saying, but I know what he is feeling…

BMW Recall for Electrical Fires???

17 03 2010

Click here for the orginal location of the article below.

“The following problems are old and have supposedly been corrected (e.g., by recall and manufacturing changes) and thus should not affect newly produced X5s. I’m really no authority on what is a current vs. a past problem, so treat the difference between the above list and the list below as just a very rough split.

Fire (aux. fan problem)
A small number (3-4?) of X5s caught fire under the hood when an auxilliary fan malfunctioned due to a defect. There was a recall. Many vehicles evidently could have eventually caught fire. This problem affected many other BMW models besides X5s. According to the recall information available from the NHTSA, vehicles produced after 9/2001 should not have this problem. BMW issued more than one recall about this, however, recalling the vehicles that had already supposedly been fixed, so you never know. Here is more info:

The recall notice can be accessed at the BMW NHTSA recalls page using NHTSA Campaign ID Number: 01V206000 or drilling down as follows: vehicle -> 2001 -> BMW -> X5 -> engine cooling system:fan. ”