Last post on Jul 23, 2013 at 5:49 PM
You are in the BMW 5-Series
What is this discussion about?
BMW 5 Series, Car Safety, Tires, Wheels, Sedan, Wagon
#45 of 136 Re: My First Sport Package [ctshorse]
Jul 14, 2009 (7:06 am)
BWM refuses to acknowledge that their rims are defective and crack as a result of normal driving, especially their 18 inch rims when coupled with run-flat tires. We have a 2006 530i with standard 18-inch alloy rims and run-flat tires that came on the car. The car is driven 90% on Los Angeles freeways, and the other 10% on well-paved local roads. The car has never taken off road or driven on a particularly bumpy/potholed roads. Nor do we take speed bumps at 40 mph, run over curbs, or not slow for a pothole . . . events that might possibly crack a rim or break a tire. I tell you all this because BMW’s excuse for not replacing 2 cracked rims was that the cracks must have been caused by the driver impacting some object, like a pothole, rather then a result of a defect in the design of the rim. In the past several years we have owned 3 BMWs . . . but this will be our last.
After reading all of the threads on many websites about BMW’s problems with these rims and run-flat tires, it became quite clear what the problem is. The rims were designed too weak to take the impact of normal on-road driving. The problem is exacerbated by the run-flat tires, which are very hard and have strong sidewalls resulting in too much of the normal road force from small bumps being transmitted to the rim rather then absorbing some of the shock in the tire. Confirming the hundreds of comments on reliable Internet sites about the faulty rims and too hard run-flat tires is the reviews of Bridgestone Potenza RE050A Run Flat tires on cites from every supplier of these tires. In general, the comments conclude that the combination of weak 18-inch rims and 245/R40/18 Bridgestone Potenza RE050A Run Flat tires (original equipment) was a very bad mistake by BMW. One comment, similar to most, says: “These tires are terrible! Harsh ride, noisy and prone to impact bubble in the side walls from hitting small potholes. . . I am going to switch to non run flats . . . What was BMW thinking when [they] picked these tires?” [http://www.discounttire.com/dtcs/readReviewsTire.do?postalCodeSelected=90291&ra- =%2Ftires%2Fbridgestone%2Fsize%2FviewProductResults&pc=25428&ar=40&rd=18&cs=245]-
We asked the Service Manager at Santa Monica BMW to replace the rims under warranty. Not only was he rude, but he was uninterested in any discussion about comments on many websites about the defective rims. It seemed apparent to me that he had been through this problem all too often before and did not want to deal with it again.
I then called BMW NA Customer Service. They were very nice, but totally useless. After four phone calls and escalation to a customer service supervisor, I began to understand the way it works. Customer Service has no authority whatsoever, all they could do was call the Service Manager at the dealership and get the same answer you had already had gotten. They seem to be in business of playing “good guy” to take the heat off of the Service Manager by providing the same answer as if it came from an independent, higher authority at BMW, which it does not.
Not willing to accept the result, I contacted the Director of Parts and Service at Santa Monica BMW, and told him of our displeasure with how his Service Manager had handled the problem, and asked him to involve BMW NA regional “team” to evaluate the problem and try to get some help. To his credit, he seemed very professional and appeared to want to help. He clearly understood the problem . . . you should be able to drive a BMW on normal streets and not have the rims break. Next day, he got a response from BMW regional team . . . “they would not participate” . . . meaning they would not cover it under the warranty or assist the dealer in any way.
My next step is to contact the General Manager of BMW Santa Monica and alert him to the problem. We certainly won’t be buying any more cars at Santa Monica BMW so he loses a loyal customer because the service folks won’t handle this problem. No response from the GM of Santa Monica BMW after two calls.
Next step is a letter to the CEO of BMW North America, and a compliant with U.S. DOT about the situation with these failing rim/tire combination. Perhaps DOT will investigate.
#47 of 136 Re: My First Sport Package [ron2hoff]
May 26, 2010 (8:44 am)
OMG i am in the same exact situation. I tried all venues like you. I have replaced about 8 tires and 4 rims. I don't know what to do at this point. I was going to try regular tires. Did you have any luck???
Oct 04, 2010 (3:08 pm)
I have gone through the same sernerio as you. I have purchased 3 rims $450 each including installation. Each time due to the crack rims it has destroyed my tires. It does not matter if it is run flat or if you change the tires to regular tires. It is obvious that there is a defect in the mechanics in the wheel, rim or tires. I did research on how tire rims get cracked with the tire association of america. The information I received confirms a defect must exsist in the way the vehicle was engineered in respect to the tires, rims, run flats or whatever.
I must admit I have spent at least $2,500 just in tire and rim repair within the past 3 years. I can no longer afford the high cost of repairing rims and tires. I contacted BMW corp office and just as you said, they are nice but ultimately support the car dealer. They do not care about the consumer.
This whole deal with cracked rims and 18' tires smells like a class action law suite to me. BMW need to own up to the defective rim/tire/mechanics of the wheel problem before someone really get's hurt.
Normally, I do not get involved in b logs but this needs to stop! something has to be done!
#49 of 136 Re: Run flats, crack rim [bmw18_rimsucks]
Oct 04, 2010 (3:35 pm)
When you bought your car with the 18" wheels did you not read BMWs disclaimer that low profile tires can (and very often will) lead to tire and wheel failure? The fact is, if you go to a low enough profile on the tires, pretty much any vehicle will suffer tire and wheel damage unless literally 100% of the driving is on glass smooth roads.
#50 of 136 Re: Run flats, crack rim [shipo]
Oct 08, 2010 (7:28 pm)
Looks like bmw18_rimsucks was another "One post and on to the next forum" serial complainer...
#51 of 136 Tire options for 2003 530i with 16 inch wheels
Mar 17, 2011 (8:56 am)
I am a conservative driver who needs A/S tires for Boston driving. Am considering Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S tires. Any comments or suggestions.
#52 of 136 Re: Tire options for 2003 530i with 16 inch wheels [fbachner]
Mar 17, 2011 (11:04 am)
Excellent tire for your purposes. I live just north of you in New Hampshire and am currently rocking the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S tires on my car; they currently have about 41,000 miles on them and will easily last until the snow flies late this year.
#53 of 136 Cracking Alloywheel on BMW 535i with Sport Package
Apr 04, 2011 (4:35 pm)
I own 2008 BMW-535i with sport package (with low profile tires). It now has low 40,000 miles and less than 4 years (under factory warranty). Back in January 2011, one tire on the rear passenger side has started loosing pressure and I took my car to deal service asking them to check. Dealer service adviser told me to replace tires. Since these are low profile tire and BMW dealer charges approx. $150 more for same tire (including installation charges) than Costco does, I got two tires replaced by Costco tire department. Even after replacing tire, that wheel was not retaining pressure. I took my car three times to the same Costco store to get that tire fixed. Fourth time, tire technician at Costco store told me that there is a crack in the alloy wheel and hence he asked me to replace wheel before they do anything. I took this car and cracked wheel to BMW dealer’s service center. Since it is still under warranty (4 years, 50,000 mile all inclusive warranty), I thought dealer would cover the cost. BMW service adviser told me that the wheel crack was due to outside influence and crack was on the outer side of wheel and hence he explained that with all probability, it would be caused by driving on pothole and hence he said BMW would not cover parts and labor for this work. I called BMW NA. customer service and asked them if they would cover this wheel replacement under factory warranty. BMW NA customer support person told me that if BMW dealer service advisor concludes the cause as defective part/design they would cover. If not, they would not. Customer service representative asked me to get second opinion if I am not satisfied with first one. Estimating cost of my time and effort, I decided to absorb that cost and asked same dealer service advisor to replace the wheel at my expense to get it over with.
Exactly after 6 weeks, my other tire started loosing pressure. I took this car to same Costco store where I replaced tires and have them do the tire service. Their technician told me that there is crack on the wheel and due to this, tire was damaged beyond repair and hence Costco store manager told me that Coscto would not cover tire although it is only 6 weeks old and only few hundred miles on it. I took this car and wheel in the trunk to the same BMW dealer service center and met same service adviser. I got same response from the service adviser. I explained him that from my engineering background, I cannot accept that it is due to outside influence. I also pointed the fact that the visible crack was on the inner side of the wheel. After service adviser’s refusal to cover, I called BMW NA customer service and have them record my complaint. Having called them earlier, I did not expect any meaningful answer. Now I have complaint recorded with BMW NA. I want to find out if any class action law suite currently being litigated or in the past. If yes, I want to be part of the class action lawsuit plaintiff.
It is hard for me to accept that two alloy wheels crack in 6 weeks time due to outside influence. I think alloy wheel is too soft or has defective material. My car has less than 50,000 miles and is less than 4 years old. Based on BMW promise, BMW supposed to cover maintenance and warranty for first 4 years or 50,000 miles (whichever comes first). In reality they do not. I hope someone put the end to this deceitful marketing.
#54 of 136 Re: Cracking Alloywheel on BMW 535i with Sport Package [ravk]
Apr 04, 2011 (5:52 pm)
My guess is that there are ways to determine if the crack is the result of fatigue or an impact. The testing may cost more than it's worth. But, on low profile tires, doing something as inoccuous as hitting a speed bump too fast could crack both wheels. This gets to be a bigger deal the lower the profile of the tire.
It's also possible that the methods of the tire changer could crack a wheel, but most of the modern machines are pretty good at protecting them. The simple expedient of overinflating the tire to help seat the bead can be problematic as well. It usually damages the tire but could damage a wheel under extreme situations.