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Don't buy a new model BMW

I had the magnificent Guggenheim-laureate R69s. It was #62 off the line 
and over 34 yrs of ownership I was able to come face to face many 
important improvements made by The Factory over the 8-plus yr model 
lifetime. Many of these changes were corrections to serious mistakes 
like flexing crankshafts, absence of breather on rear end (after 30 
years making rear-ends, who wudda thunk....), and the quiki-snap-off 
jug flanges. So the good news is that BMW are committed to debugging. 
But the bad news is... read on.

Consumer's Union (publisher of Consumer Reports) records what they are 
calling "average problem rates" (not sure exactly what that is) for car 
manufacturers. On page 16, Oct 2005, they have a chart showing 17 
manufacturers. The average problem count for new models is 42 problems, 
declining to 30 in the second year of the model and then 25 for the 
third year.

Honda is best with 20 for first. second, and third yr models. If you 
are real low, hard to improve your stats and there is some residual 
differences of opinion about problems.

BMW is LAST on the list, with 78 problems for first yr models, barely 
declining to about 70 for second yr models and to 32 for third yr 
models (takes BMW 3 yrs to begin to wise up??). Sure sounds like buying 
a new-model BMW car is a really bad idea.

It may be that BMW engineers are more committed to introducing SOTA 
changes but I don't think much more so than Honda. Any why not sell new 
models at a big "guinea pig" discount? it is also possible but unlikely 
that the engineers and/or management over at 'rad is altogether 

Well, I guess it is fair to say that BMW often have buggy new models 
but maybe I was wrong in thinking they are so committed to debugging. 
This news will be puzzling to those of an authoritarian outlook in life 
who believe engineers, ESPECIALLY BMW engineers are Perfect geniuses 
and should never be second-guessed. Seems even engineers make and sell 
their mistakes... for two years or more.

When I bought my 1999 R1100S in 2004 (with 9300 miles... um, gear 
shifter rubber still sharply chiseled) and got to know the model, I was 
delighted and reassured to find that The Factory had largely "got it 
right" the first time with this model and there were fairly few changes 
through the 5 yr model lifetime as compared to my understanding of 
other models. Well, the seat mounting arms were too long, maybe to 
provide some "give" to the seat... but I bet they bent under heavy 
"loads" and so were shortened (must have confused Corbin for a while; 
I'd be glad to hear other theories behind the change. Some may argue 
some recent changes are more major improvements than they seem to me. 
And some needed improvements just never got made (breathing and 
concomitant ECU changes).

Soooo, that's sad news for those with strong new-model lust (we all 
have it to some degree). Sometimes, we can just bolt-on upgrades but 
sometimes they are not easily accessed. If, contrary to BMW's new car 
model stat record you do fall to temptation, I'd recommend taking care; 
be ready with documents to defend your eligibility for warrantee work 
should push come to shove.