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



  • 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...
  • 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 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 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.
  • 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 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?
  • Test drove the 535xi 2 days says that BMW fixed the software problem at the factory for all cars built after august, which includes the x drive models. Judging by the message posted about the pulling to the right issues, this seems to be accurate.
  • flame2flame2 Posts: 12
    I am cynical re what the dealer says....all three dealers either downplayed, professed ignorance of the problem, or said BMW was "working" on the problem, for over 2 months, in my case. Also BMW has yet to acknowledge they had ANY problem with allignment of 5 series, in fact they have ignored problem via their customer relations people. I'm glad I am in a Jaguar now, even though I initially loved the 535i. To prove my point...when I enacted my state's Lemon Law with BMW North America, I gave them a choice....Replace the car in a reasonable time-4-5 weeks, OR refund my money. THEY chose Not to replace the car. That says to me that they rather not take a chance on another 5 series with factory defects, then keep me as a customer...they knew that i wouldnt stand for the same shoddy quality and piss poor customer service again...even though I still have another BMW...a 335i coupe, and was a loyal BMW customer, until my situation evolved. They were that unsure of the quality level of the new 5 series. Keep in mind that my new 535 Also had a ruptured fuel line about i week after i got the car, which took them almost 3 weeks to replace???. BE CAUTIOUS. Drive your specific vehicle before you actually commit to the purchase. There was a recent news article that mentioned that BMW wants to increase sales by 50%, and they are obviously willing to let quality control and customer service slide to achieve their sales goal.
    I had occasion to replace my front headlight(for the THIRD time) on my 335i the other regular service person at the dealer looked so depressed. Its obvious that quality control that BMW was noted for is no longer the case. Just look at recent Consumer Reports Reliability study...BMW, as well as audi and mercedes finished at the BOTTOM of the study. I hope they take notice and improve.
  • I got an interesting message from my dealer today. I have a 535i x drive on order and it arrived in the port a week and a half ago. When I questioned why it had not been received yet, I was told all 5 series in the port are going through a service campaign. The service campaign requires that all 4 tires be replaced.

    I wonder if this has to due with the pulling issue or if it's a new reason altogether. Any similar experiences?
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    Tires, especially on an all-wheel drive vehicle, can have dramatic impacts on tracking, handling, and comfort. It would be interesting to review and correlate problems with a specific brand/model of tire. The last two cars I've bought came with Goodyear tires...I never really liked them. My guess is that the vehicles sold in Europe probably don't come with Goodyears.
  • sambo49sambo49 Posts: 42
    edited November 2010
    That is rather interesting...the dealer told me the exact same thing about their new shipment of 2011 535xi. I do not know where your dealer is, but the one I visited was in Suitland, Maryland. The stated reason for the "service campaign" was that the "factory ran out of the proper tires for the cars, so they decided to ship them with alternate tire/wheel combinations and follow up with the proper tires at to the port... :confuse: " This all sounds rather peculiar.
    In any case, I decided to hold off on ordering the car. There are too many complaints, lack of good reviews (consumer reports actually pokes fun that this is no longer a "sport sedan", car and driver rated it 4 in a comparison of 4 similar sedans,...), horrific steering and the hesitation before acceleration are enough to make me want to sit this one out for now.
    Good Luck with your new car!
  • I received my 2011 BMW 550i last week. Have driven it every day including a trip from LA to San Diego.

    No steering or transmission issues whatsoever. Car drives wonderfully. My one gripe is that the steering feels a bit looser than my 2008 335i. But this is my first 5 series so I don't know if that's always been the case.

    I bought the 550i with the sport package and it looks gorgeous inside and out. Drives like a dream. Love this car.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Interesting, my 2002 530i had much stiffer steering than my 1999 328i; I preferred the 5er.
  • I so wish I had come to this site before purchasing my 2011 535i. I test drove the car, around the block and about 5 miles on the interstate and never noticed the pull to the right. However, on my drive home, 100 miles away, it was very noticeable. I took the car back to the dealer a week later, test drove it with a mechanic who tells me that there is a problem with this model and that BMW is aware of it. They couldn't work on it that day, so I had to bring it back the following week. I left it at the dealer over night, drove 100 miles back home. The service rep said he would phone me in the morning to let me know what time to pick it up. I never received a call, so around 2:30 I phoned them - it was "just now ready". I drove back to Raleigh - with a loaner - and picked up the car. I was told that they could not fix the problem with the car pulling to the right, but that it was "much better now". Was advised that BMW is working on a software fix and should have it shortly.
    Here is what the invoice states:

    On the way back home (did I mention 100 miles), the pull to the right is still there and NOW the steering wheel has a vibration in it. I feel like I'm driving a 10 year old used car instead of a $65,000 brand new car. I have about 1,500 miles on the odometer (which the service tech told me was a good thing so that it would be covered under the warranty). - seriously??

    I'm headed out of town for the weekend, but I plan to take the car back next week and let it sit there for 20 days and invoke the NC Lemon Law. This is ridiculous - BMW is "aware of the problem". Big whoopty do. How about the $350 tire that will need to be replaced? What about time running back and forth to the dealer only to hear "BMW is aware of the problem". What about making a payment on a car that looks good and drives like a pinto?
    My advice to anyone even considering purchasing a 535 2011 BMW - After ready the stories of what folks have gone thru - buy at your own risk. You've been forewarned.
  • toney2toney2 Posts: 3
    I'm in the US Army and I'm currently stationed in Germany. I bought an 2011 535 a couple months ago. I noticed it pulling to the right so I took into a local BMW dealership in Mannheim. I thought I would get the car in a couple of days, but it's been almost a month. Initially they told me that it was an isolated problem and should be fixed soon. They told me they re-aligned the car 4 or 5 times, switched the rims and tires, replaced the struts and shocks, and they told me they removed the bumper to properly align the car. None of this stuff worked. I went to the dealership and asked what would be the next step in fixing my car. They said that a lead technician would be coming from Munich to fix it. Well, I told them about how many people were having this same issue, and they said that this was the first time they were hearing about it. IThey told me that they would be sending my car back to the factory where it was built, to see if they can remedy the problem. The whole time I'm thinking, I'm in Germany, if they can't fix it no one can. i talked to my salesman and told him that I would be getting rid of the car asap. I'm waiting on a response from him and the dealership.
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