Investigation and pending class action lawsuit against BMW concerning defects in BMW 3 series vehicles manufactured between 1999 and 2005.
The investigation revolves around claims that the BMW 3 Series vehicles manufactured during this time period may contain a manufacturing and/or design defect that severely compromises the safety, durability, and performance of the vehicle. A class action lawsuit has been filed which alleges that the manufacturing and/or design defect includes a weak or insufficient floor panel in the unibody of the vehicle that causes, among other things, cracking in the floor pan and misalignment, cracking or the complete or partial failure of the rear subframe of the vehicle. The class action lawsuit further asserts that the rear mounting points for the subframe rip out from their spots in the sheet metal because the rear differential transmits the torsional load from the engine through the subframe, then into the chassis. The constant loading and unloading weakens the insufficient sheet metal, causing it to fatigue and separate from the chassis.
The class action lawsuit further asserts that BMW first learned of this problem in the E36 vehicles, and tried to correct the problem in the E46 by placing a cross member on the front two mounting points of the subframe. Although the cross member keeps the front mounting points from having problems by placing the bushing and the stud in double-shear, thus reducing the twisting action on the sheet metal, the cross member creates an unfortunate side effect in that the load from the front of the subframe is transmitted to the left rear of the subframe, causing failures of the chassis, which then affects the safety of the vehicle. The cross member is defective in that it experiences movement, which then causes damage to other parts of the vehicle, including the floor plan. The cracks may initially develop during the warranty period, but not become visible to the naked eye until the warranty period has already expired.
In March 3, 2009, Hon. Judge Dean D. Pregerson granted preliminary approval of a proposed class settlement, under which BMW will reimburse E46 owners or lessees in full for their sub-frame repair expenses. As part of the settlement, BMW has also agreed to implement a National Sub-Frame Inspection and Repair Program. All current owners and lessees of a 1999-2006 BMW 3 series vehicle will be notified of the sub-frame problem and will have one year to present their vehicle for a free inspection and repair (if needed).
Name (Stock Symbol)
BMW Group (BMW)
The BMW Group (known by its more common name Bayerische Motoren Werke AG) manufactures and distributes, through subsidiaries, automobiles and motorcycles worldwide.
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