The Center for Auto Safety is the nation’s premier independent, member driven, non-profit consumer advocacy organization dedicated to improving vehicle safety, quality, and fuel economy on behalf of all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Learning of Other Complaints:
For $20-40, you can get a computer printout of complaints &/or service
bulletins from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Include make, model & year as the more specific the request, the less
expensive the printout. Write Technical Reference Division, NHTSA, 400
7th St SW, Washington DC 20590 & allow 3 weeks for delivery. To access
complaint summaries for particular makes, models & years, visit NHTSA’s
Internet website at www.nhtsa.dot.gov.
Technical Service Bulletins
(TSBs): BMW publishes TSBs to help dealers diagnose
& repair problems on vehicles. Some dealers will let you view TSBs.
You can access TSB summaries via NHTSA’s Website at www.nhtsa.dot.gov.
NHTSA’s Technical Information Services, which can be contacted through
NHTSA’s Auto Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236, can also send a
particular TSB once you identify it from NHTSA’s Website or its computer
printout. ALLDATA provides free access to TSB summaries & sells copies
of TSBs listed on its Website, www.alldata.com/consumer/TSB/yr.html.
For your use, we have listed some of the more comprehensive TSBs on your
vehicle. Check the above sources for other TSBs.
Recalls & Investigations:
Call NHTSA’s toll-free Auto Safety Hotline at 800-424-9393 or 888-DASH-2-DOT
(in Washington DC 202-366-0123) or visit NHTSA’s website at www.nhtsa.dot.gov.
Small Claims Court:
Go to small claims for advice on
using small claims court to recover repair & other expenses. The Lemon
Book (Moyer-Bell 1990) by Ralph Nader has an entire chapter
on small claims court strategy, a state-by-state index & a chapter
on your legal rights to help you better argue your case in court. You
can order the book for $17.50 from CAS Publications.
If you have to sue BMW over a lemon, go to CAS-Lawyers
for a list of attorneys specializing in lemon law.
Complain to BMW:
Write Tom Purves, CEO, BMW of North America, 300 Chestnut Ridge Road,
Woodcliff Lake NJ 07675 or call BMW at 800-831-1117.
Using Better Business
Bureau Arbitration: BMW uses BBB in some states to arbitrate
original owners’ requests for repair reimbursement, an order that BMW
“buy-back” your car, or both. Program is not legally binding on consumer,
so you may reject bad decision & go to court. Program is limited to
states where arbitration is required under state lemon law. Call 800-955-5100
for BBB program or go to BBB
Autoline. The Lemon Book has a chapter to guide you
through BBB Arbitration and can help get “buy-backs” & reimbursements.
The Lemon Book is available from CAS for $17.50 from
Secret Warranty Disclosure
Four states (CA, CT, VA & WI) have laws requiring automakers to disclose
any secret warranties on their cars. Contact your state attorney general
for information or to support such laws. Little Secrets of
the Auto Industry (Moyer-Bell 1994) by CAS is devoted to
secret warranties, how to find them & use them. Little
Secrets is available for $17.50 from CAS
Supporting BMW Recall
Efforts: Help us force the government to protect consumers
by writing your Senators and Representative in Congress, urging them to
contact NHTSA & the Federal Trade Commission on your defects in your
BMW vehicle. Your local library has names of your representatives; write
them c/o US Senate (or House), Washington DC 20510 (or 20515). Find and/or
e-mail them at www.house.gov/writerep/
Support CAS’ Efforts:
File a complaint with CAS which will be
used to pressure BMW to take responsibility for defects in its vehicles.
Become a CAS member by making a tax-deductible
contribution to help us in our fight on your behalf against BMW and the
other auto giants.