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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?
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Comments

  • 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: 9,148
    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 defect...to 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 TV....no 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.
  • Wow! I just had the same experience while test driving the 535! I told the salesman riding with me that the car was pulling to the right and seamed to driving a little rough. I had a better experience a few weeks earlier driving the 528, which I actually like a lot.

    Good post!
  • Well beware of the 528I...as that is what I have and as you can read back through this trail has not been a pleasant experience.

    Just got my car back again after BMW having for a week and which they applied the "so called" software fix and which BMW Corp Technician signed off saying "all good". Well I'm here to tell you....not so good, the car still pulls to the right!

    Still no return call from BMW Corp after 3 messages. Not sure what will happen from here as waiting for the dealership Service Manager to call me. Sending certified letter today to BMW Corp requesting buy back.
  • bfvbfv Posts: 5
    I see many consumers complaining about alignment problems. Thereafter, I read many reviews about the car from so called "Pros", NONE of them mentioned about car pulling to the right side. I wonder how much they get paid to generate a descent review??? This is quite FRUSTATING.....as before you visit dealership, you waste hours going through the reviews......fall in love with the car....only to find out its faulty !! :mad:
  • So the story goes on. Finally got a call from BMW Corp this evening after 5 messages and they called to tell me to quit calling them!!! Amazing! Told me to deal with the dealership I bought the car from and the dealership could call them if necessary.

    Taking car back tomorrow....doing a test drive with the Service Manager and Sr. Service Tech to proof that I am not crazy and the car is still jacked.

    I am very curious if only cars manufacturing during a certain period have this problem, as I really love the car but not willing to have my car be BMW Corp's science project to figure out a fix for their corp purposes.
  • Dang, I should have reviewed this alignment issue before I drove out the new 2011 528 last Saturday. I complained to the sale rep about "steering pulling to the right" during test drive. He told me that it just needs software fix or adjustment. I assumed that the "QUALITY" BMW has the resolution already for this DEFECT. Apparently they don't. The issue still exists after I took the car home. I am really disappointed and mad. BMW is supposed to provide quality cars to consumers. They should have stopped selling this type of defect vehicle until the issue is fixed. What a shame to them.
  • I also purchased a 2011 528 bmw and have the same pulling to the right problem that the rest of you are talking about. I was told that it is a software problem and the dealer will have the software at the end of the month. But my car also has ANOTHER PROBLEM! The settings in the display screen have changed to Dutch instead of English and this is the second time in less than a month that this has happened. They said a software problem, seems to be what everything is today. They fixed it and it was fine for 2 weeks and now happened again. I want to CUSTOMIZE my BMW to speak ENGLISH!!!!!I Has anyone else had this problem??? Please respond. :mad:
  • Just so you know BMW does not apply the "so called" software fix until they have played with the struts, tires & springs on your car...if the car is not corrected after that than they apply the software fix.

    My car (2011 528i) seems to be much better, but I still feel their is problems with the stering column. Really not sure what to do at this point.

    BMW Corp will NOT get involved...as I mentioned before they told me to stop calling. Might be because they BMW North America Customer Service already has an "F" rating with Better Business Bureu (I am not joking). Thank god for my dealership which is awesome. They are completely working with me to get resolved or indicated they will be my biggest supporter to help get the car returned.

    To all that have bought a 2011 5 Series - I seriously hope you bought from a creditable and customer service orientented dealership, because BMW NA will do NOTHING to help you!!!
  • The software fix is out - on my repair order it reads "Puma Case #XXXXXX set up for IRAP Session"...this is lingo is Greek to me, but that it what BMW calls it. Additionally, prior to installing the software fix...they (again quoting from my work order) "Performed front axle adjustments, removed and reinstalled both complete front springs struts with new positioning specs".
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,101
    Is this a NEW software fix, or the same one you previously reported? I'm curious to know if owners are finally getting satisfactory resolution to this issue.

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  • sorry to hear about your continuing alignment problem, and the sorry state of affairs
    re BMW North America's horrible customer service, which I also experienced. I was
    lucky...returned my 535i Lemon, and got my money back after almost 8 weeks of
    trying to get straight answers. I think that we should all alert the media re the alignment problems, and the shoddy way we all were treated by BMW NAmerica.
    Their reputation is not deserved, despite the advertising blitz they are doing. Public deserves the Truth, so lets get going by calling, writing, emailing all the auto mags, and newspaper features that have built up the 535i and BMW...the truth hurts, but it
    may bring about a dramatic change in their quality control, as well as their Customer
    Service. Its worth a try, especial;ly since the 535i SHOULD be making all of us Happy, instead of angry, frustrated and sad...it is potentially a great car.
  • I'm interested to find out if BMW has been able to 'fix' anyone's 2011 BMW that is pulling to the right. Also, would like advice on process for getting BMW to buy back the car. I too bought a 2011 BMW 535i and it is now in for repair for the third time. The first time, wheels were aligned and tires rotated. (2 days) No change. The second time, struts and springs were replaced, a software fix applied, wheels aligned, tires rotated...(5 days) AND no change. At that point they said they had done all they knew to do and I asked in writing for a 'buy back.' The reply was that they had to be given four chances to repair it before the Lemon Law applied. It is now in for the third time and the steering shaft is being replaced. I am very uncomfortable with all of these experimental repairs. I also have issues with the voice on the navigation system being too low and the radio has words for the channels instead of numbers (random words like 'air', 'the', 'station', 'luke', etc.) The Lemon Law in Oklahoma is 'four times in for repair' or a total of 30 days (within one year of purchase). I agree with another post that we shouldn't have to be subjected to BMWs engineering science experiment after spending this much money on a new vehicle. If anyone's story has ended in success, please advise. BMW's commercial just came on the TV and states "Everything is perfectly engineered -- everything is perfectly balanced." Maybe the media would be interested in our story!!
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    I don't think there is a 'national' lemon law, so call your state people or read the text of the one that was adopted by your state (assuming it has one, most do). It will state what has to happen, and how to step through the right hoops to make it happen. Keep good documentation, it could take awhile.
  • ado5ado5 Posts: 3
    This is my worst nightmare experience with BMW 2011 535I: I bought it from southern California BMW dealer in the afternoon. The next morning I found there are so far 5 defects:
    1. windshield water leaking
    2. Bad leather seat (small hole on the driver's leather seat edge)
    3. Uneven gap between hood and bumper
    4. Missing haft of the black sticker on the driver side, don't even know when the car was born
    5. The trunk is hard to close (try 5-6 times before it can be closed)

    I think this car subjects to "buy back" or "lemon". If anyone can provide information to help me out "how to" process for "buy back" or "lemon".

    As today, the car is in the dealer service. Service consultant told me that he has to wait for BMW North America coming over to inspect the black sticker. He also told me that he has to order the leather seat, which will take at least a month to deliver from Germany.

    I am very upset with the situation. I do not know why BMW delivering the worst 50K car to the consumers...
    Thanks,
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    Most lemon laws are triggered by a problem being unfixed after multiple attempts, or the vehicle being out of service at the dealer's for more than x number of days. Your one attempt to resolve delivery issues (it's always a good idea to check the car before you sign on the bottom line, and a good dealer should have fixed the obvious things before he offered it for delivery!) does not constitute grounds for activating the lemon law. Now, if they can't fix things within the prescribed timeframe, then you have grounds to return it. Until then, there is no legal recourse until you've triggered the steps in the law. That law should be available on your state's DMV website or attorney general's page.
  • I recently returned my 2011 535i to BMW north america, and received a refund. I followed the Lemon Law procedure in my state...the most important thing is to NOT let the dealer discharge the car to you, until you see that EVERYTHING has been fixed or replaced to your 100% satisfaction. In this way, you can maximize the number of days the car was "out of service", which is usually a requirement of Lemon Laws. LEAVE CAR at Dealer/repair facility..do not take it back until all has been rectified. Consult your state's Motor vehicle dept to follow Lemon Law, and prepare for a semi long effort(mine took almost 2 months). If I was you I'd try and return car NOW....I just got a Jaguar, and am very pleased.
  • Dont listen to the dealer telling you about Lemon Law details...talk to someone at your state's motor vehicle department to get the straight scoop...they also usually have a booklet or online download with details. Also...DO NOT let the dealer release car to you before you road test/inspect car to see if ALL defects were fixed, otherwise...let them keep it and start repair "process" all over again. This will help your case if you seek to give car back...the more time "out of service" the better. Sound to me like you have a real lemon...try and return it..I did, and am quite happy with another top quality car just leased. Good Luck
  • ado5ado5 Posts: 3
    BMW service dealer called and told me they have fixed the trunk, the hood, and water leak. They will need to order the leather seat, it will take awhile because the part is not available now. It will need to be made and shipped from Germany. BMW North America rep will come to the dealer, inspect the car and check the black sticker. They do not know if the Rep will replace the new sticker or not. Service dealer told me they do not keep the car and order the part for couple of months because the car is still able to be driving. They told me that I have to pick up the car next week. I am not sure what I should do... seeking for advise.
    Thanks,
    Ado5
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    A small defect in the seat covering is not a safety hazard or something that will change the way it drives or handles. Things happen. You hope they are small and fixable. You also hope that they are caught before delivery, but that doesn't always happen. If everything else has been fixed, I'd chill.
  • ado5ado5 Posts: 3
    The black ticker contains information like the car's birth certificate. Without that sticker, it is hard if I want to sell the car in the future because buyer will think the car got into some kind of accident and the door has been replaced. I don't think BMW North America can issue the sticker. It has to issue from German where the part is made.
  • I bought my 2011 528i 4 weeks ago. On my trip home I noticed the vehicle pulling to the right, I called my sales person during my ride home and told him. He said bring it in tomorrow. I did and service said the same thing, they are having this issue with this car. They did not even look at it. Then took my name, said they would call me once they have a fix and sent me on my way.

    My bigger concern is that my car hesitates when accelerating after decelerating or stopping. Especially when I am in freeway traffic, I slow down and then want to speed up and there is nothing for a second or two. It sits there thinking what it should do and has nearly caused me to get rear ended when I changed lanes and could not move out of the way from the car behind me. Wife will not drive the car anymore. Took it into the shop for the second time on both. I will let you know what they say. Anyone else have this hesitation issue? Thanks
  • flame2flame2 Posts: 12
    Re pulling to the right...this seems to be an overall problem with many models in the 5 series. I waited almost 2 months for bmw to address problem....but they failed miserably in fixing the car and also failed in terms of customer service and caused needless aggravation. We ended up utilizing our state's Lemon Law, and returned the car to BMW for a refund. Dont believe the advertising hype about Quality and Service at least in the 5 series. Suggest you consult Lemon Law in your state and return car as soon as you can...no point having a car of this price range, and be afraid to drive it. I got a Jaguar, and so far I love it.
  • I have been driving a 2011 535i for a week and have not noticed vehicle pulling to the right or left. Mine drives straight.
    Is this a real issue or only exists in a few cars? Anyone else driving a 2011 5-series NOT have this problem?
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    None of the test drives from all over the world mention this, so I don't think it is in all units. Now, what percentage have the issue, I can't say. I did see a recent (last month?) issue from Australia that indicated some new 5-series have a glitch with the fuel sender, which could get caught and give false fuel level indications. Reminds me of my old Audi A6 which ended up having the fuel senders redesigned and replaced twice before they got it to work (it was a fuel issue - ours has much more sulphur in it than that in Europe). Note, this kind of issue sometimes is tire related. My guess is that the tires aren't the same all around the world.
  • el168el168 Posts: 9
    I just drove my brand new 2011 5 series home (100 miles highway) and found NO Problems with car pulling to the right or pulling to left!
    Must be only a couple guys here claiming that issue.
    Ride was smooth and quiet! Straight and no pulling or alignment issues at 75-80 miles/hour!
  • el168el168 Posts: 9
    My car does NOT seem to have any problems! I ordered mine from Germany so maybe the issue has been resolved?
    It drives perfectly, nice and straight!

    BEST 5 SERIES ever!!!
  • el168el168 Posts: 9
    Too bad you had to buy a Jaguar! This car is fun to drive, especially in the DS mode. Maybe you can give the new 5 another chance?
  • I took delivery of my new 535i in early August. I brought it back to the dealer in the first week to check the alignment (attempt #1). It checked out fine. The pulling right is subtle, but there. Just had the fuel pick up sensor replaced (10/27/2010), per the recall and had the technician drive the car (now at 3000 miles). He agreed it is pulling and thought BMW had a service bulletin on the issue. I am now supposed to bring the car back in week to have the struts replaced, per BMW's recommendation (attempt #2). He said if that did not fix the issue there were a series of other possible fixes. That does not make me feel very confident in BMW's fix. It's a shame, I really like the car. I won't tolerate half fixes. I will pursue the lemon law after fix attempt #4 and get my money back.
  • zess1zess1 Posts: 1
    Purchase my 2011 BMW 535i in late July 2010. After driving the car for a few days, I noticed the car drifting to the right. Called Fort Lauderdale BMW and shared the issued. They responded that BMW was aware of the issue and were working on a Solution. A week later I receive a phone call advising that a software fix was not going to be available until Mid September. 1 month and 1 week later the car was taken in for the supposed software update that would take care of issue. Car was at service for 4 days with no success. 1 week later car back at service for strut replacement and tire rotation. (2nd attempt). At the completion of the 2nd repair attempt the car is still drifting to the right. The service representative advised me that they have done everything they could as per BMW's instructions and I should address the issue with BMW Customer Relations. This is where the fun begun. Out of 11 phone calls I have only received 1 phone call back. They then coordinated with the dealership an test drive with the field engineer. The Drive was 15 miles long and engineer is correcting to the left the whole time. He then suggests to go back to the dealership and re-run the software update. 45 min later update completed with no positive results. Dealership will not tale car in for service on the same issue. Case was escalated to BMW executive offices. Today I was advised that no buy back or trade over was going to be made and if I would like to pursue it further I should seek legal advise. Not the kind of answer you want to hear from BMW... Stay tuned...
  • Wow. Check the lemon laws in Florida. North Carolina law states 4 attempts to fix the same problem with no resolution. There are far too many complaints on this issue in the BMW forums. I am not confident the strut replacement or software update will fix the problem. I have not seen any postings in the forums stating either/or both the fixes solved the problem. Keep us posted on. Good luck.
  • el168el168 Posts: 9
    I have the 528i (delivered in early October). This is the same car as yours except I don't have the dynamic handling option or upgraded tires. Maybe Active steering problem/ dynamic handling????

    I drove about 300 highway miles and it runs fine. I also slowed down and took my hands off the steering wheel for a few seconds, no alignment problems with my 528.
    I'm quite happy with this car, are there any other people here without problems?
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