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2011 BMW 5 Series - Alignment Problems (pulling to right)

wengelwengel Posts: 13
I just purchased a 2011 528i (8/4) with the sport package and when driving contently pulls to the right slightly. Took back to my dealer with 150 miles on it and they tested and indicated the car is not out of alignment, so they called BMW Corp and BMW Corp indicated that they have had multiple complaints regarding this problem and that it is a problem with the steering column. BMW Corp indicated that they are working on a software fix for this problem that should be available in a month plus!

I asked my BMW Service Center if this would cause undo wear on my tires (especially at $550 each..its a concern!)..they promised it wouldn’t. I plan to contact BMW Corp directly myself to inquire how they plan to acknowledge a customer sat problem for us customers who have spent $65K+ on a new car and after 50+ miles of driving your wrist hurts so bad you want to drive directly to the store to obtain a wrist brace!

Anyone else have this issue and if so what type of reponse/compensation have you received from BMW?


  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    If the alignment and tire pressure is okay, there should be no undue wear.

    Sounds sort of like the steering wheel position sensor is slightly miscalibrated and the car is trying to return the wheel to straight-ahead, when that setting is off - sounds like you are fighting the electrical steering assist motor. A lot of the self-centering is the suspension geometry, but is sounds like there's some in the power steering logic as well.
  • flame2flame2 Posts: 12
    I leased a 2011 535i on June 29. Have had nothing but problems. First was the hard pull to the right, experienced immediately after car picked up. First week in July, dealer told me BMW North America aware of problem.."working on a fix". The following week around July 10, transmission failed,dealer said it was a broken transmission line...another INITIAL FACTORY DEFECT. Took BMW 3 weeks to replace parts, after dealer called all over world to locate new line and gaskets. Still no idea when allignment to be fixed 1 month after lease began. I am returning this car to BMW, as I cant trust vehicle anylonger, AND, until I threatened to hire lawyer, BMW customer service was NON_EXISTENT interms of helping me. The service reputation one hears about with BMW, is a lot of BS. Hopefully in the next week's time I'll get my money back, and move on. Its very sad that their engineering dept and Customer service dept, have performed so POORLY, since I still think "potentially" this is a great vehicle. However, I am VERY RELUCTANT to try another 535i since this allignment problem seems to exist with many of their cars
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    As I understand it, there is no "Alignment" issue with the new 5-Series, just a software issue with the steering control software. Not that this makes a car any easier to drive, just pointing that out.

    Funny thing, cars produced all over the world seem to experience more problems than the norm when in their first model year, so much so that many-many folks wait until the second model year to purchase a new(ish) model. It seems that the new 5-Series is no different. Also as a general rule, first year cars suffer from a lack of spare parts, and it seems you've been hit with this one as well.

    Personally, I'd say if you like the car, hang in there and ride out the issues.
  • Well, after loosing the transmission and that aggravation I have a hard time voting on keeping.
    I posted my drift to the right issues on Bimmerfest and hoping a little cross talk will bring a solution. Mine is annoying and takes some JOY out of the drive. One 528 poster got a solution with tire rotation and alignment.

    Others say a software fix. Seems a little sloppy to only have a 2,000 mile alignment warranty )true check your manual) and then have no fix.

    I was hoping a central solution so I did not have to go in and hear about crown of road and all roads different etc. My 2007 328 was spot on for 36,000 miles with no alignment. In fact what happened to that kind of steering in this new 5 series? A great looker and interior but that steering really is like a Lexus.

    Post your solutions and experiences please.
  • NO I have had the same thing going on with my Car for two months as well. Glad to see it is not just me and that this is a BMW issue. Now I will make sure they get it fixed or they can take mine back as well.
  • flame2flame2 Posts: 12
    As mentioned previously, the changes BMW made with the new 535i has resulted in several quality problems, notably front end alignment. They have dropped the ball in dealing with this initial factory the dismay of many who love the car,including me. The car has been returned to BMW!! To the blogger who advised me to "stick with it", he has no idea re the aggravation and turmoil suffered by me over the past 2 months, trying to get a "fix" on the car, with NO ACTION BY BMW.Return your car now if you can. Good Luck.
  • wengelwengel Posts: 13
    To Flame 1:

    What process did you go through to return your car? I have contacted BMW USA with my concerns and requested to return my car - have heard NOTHING back. I am now researching the California Lemon Law as a back up plan.

    I am very disappointed as I love my car...but the pulling to the right has gotten worse with only less than 1,000 miles on the car and $65K less in my bank account!

    Please advise how you achieved returning car. Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.
  • Have you heard anything about the pulling to the right problem? I am about to pick up a 2011 528i in about 2 weeks and am concerned about this matter. With much thanks. JerryS
  • flame2flame2 Posts: 12
    I followed my state's lemon law procedure, sent the appropriate form to BMW North America, certified/return receipt, and requested a refund. They finally called about 10 days later, asking if I would take another vehicle, but ultimately, after I threatened to have my attorney pursue the matter, they opted to refund my money. They sent the paperwork needed, I returned it and am waiting for their check. Obviously they have a problem with this beautiful car...too bad for me and others who were "strung along" for months with no credibility or action by BMW.
  • flame2flame2 Posts: 12
    This is a real problem for BMW. Suggest you test drive car before you accept it from dealer. If I had done this, it might have saved me a lot of aggravation, although dealer and BMW told me it was a" fixable software problem", and strung me along for 2 months without addressing problem. I returned the vehicle to them. Be careful!
  • wengelwengel Posts: 13
    Good News!!! Well I took my BMW back to the dealership yesterday so that I could have the number of repairs required to begin the process to meet the Lemon Law. Ironically as I was driving back home in the loaner car BMW North American called me (I had placed 2 calls to them in the previous 2 weeks) and indicated they have a fix for the steering problem. They indicated that it is a software fix and a calibration to the steering column (not a major tear apart of the car - as I specifically asked this question). My car is currently having this done. When I pick the car up today or tomorrow I will update all with hopefully the successful outcome! I still plan to request some kind of compensation from BMW for the aggravation…not sure what this is yet, I will figure it out once I know the car is for sure fixed.
  • has anybody had the issue on 2011 5 series that when the audio is on, you can hardly hear the voice instruction of the nevagation? originally, the audio should be automatically dime down, but for the 2011, it won't!!!

    we have been back to the dealer for several times, and they just can't fix it, and when the BMW north Amercian engeneer came, he simply said it is under acceptable range!!!

    anybody has the same problem in this forum? How do you deal with it?
  • wengelwengel Posts: 13
    Well Good News just turned to BAD. So the software fix I think was bogus. They are now doing something with my struts (sp?) and switching my front tires around. They said if that doesn't work than they will try the software (if it really exists). This is beyond crazy and frustrating. Called BMW USA and again told them this was unacceptable - pending a call back from them.

    With regards to the navigation…yes, I have this problem too. The voice is useless - but haven't had time to worries about it with the other things going on mechanically with the car.
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    Is there a separate volume control burried in the many layers of menus? Have you read the manual to see? There's lots of stuff you can do with preferences, and this may be one of them.
  • flame2flame2 Posts: 12
    wengel...Sounds like they finally woke up...but I'm still cynical re the "fix". Suggest
    you be a Tough Customer when they are ready to release car to you, and make certain that its really fixed by taking it on a road test with dealer agent in car. Please let me know how you made out, as I am regretfully thinking about getting a 335 sedan. Still burned up re my 535i problem. Car has already been given back to dealer.
  • the chef engineer tried everything on my car, they even reinstall the center control system of the car, but nothing works. I mean, this is not as critical as other guys' problem, but still frustrating when you think you spend nearly $60k on a brand new car with a problem like this.
  • Well good news and bad news! Picked-up car last night and the steering is much better, however car is still drifting to right (better than the "pulling"). Evidentially they switch the struts around (not mechanical - so some what clueless what this exactly means) so maybe know they will apply software fix that they originally indicated they were going to do. Called dealer as soon as I got home to let them know car was still not 100% and they came to my house this AM picked-up my car and left a loaner for me. Will see how the next round goes. But feeling better about it actually getting fixed verses having to return my car as I thought. As at the end of the day..I do love the car.
  • Thanks for keeping me up to date! Appears to me that BMW is struggling with this al-lignment problem. So far their story appears way delayed and as evidenced by what they did to your car, seems to me that they are not sure exactly how to fix problem.
    Where is the so called "software fix" that was mentioned to me 7 weeks ago???
    Why did your dealer release car to you with out it being 100%, and why wasnt the phantom "software fix" applied to your vehicle? I think they are reaching...not sure what to do. Glad I returned my car...this certainly cast a very poor reflection on BMW engineering and factory quality control. I stopped believing their huge media blitz re the new 535i, about 1 week after I received the car....and I'm still an unbeliever. Good luck anyway, and please continue to let me know your outcome, but HANG TOUGH!!
  • So here’s the update for the day! I got a call (message) that my dealership is now applying the “so called” software fix after they have already switched my struts, switched my tires from side to side and did something with the springs. Well see. 3 calls into BMW USA this week…no return call.

    Stay tuned for more news!
  • Like I said previously, they are "reaching" when it comes to solving this problem. I dont think they want this to leak out to the general public, thus the way their Customer Service dept is acting, ie: No Replies, is same as happened to me. They hope you will disappear or just accept the car's shoddy performance out of sheer frustration! Just received my refund check and am relieved to be past this debacle, although, if you read the magazine articles re to 535i and get sucked in by their ads on one but a few of us has a clue re the problems with the car and quality control issues in general at BMW. Continued good luck...look forward to your epic
    ending on apositive note in some way for you. My journey is over thank god.
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