NHSTA Opens Investigation into BMW Final Drive Failures

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by rdcyclist, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. rdcyclist

    rdcyclist Long timer

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    A number of us have been wondering when this would happen. Apparently you have to be pretty diligent to get the process started. This is crossposted from an Iron Butt Rally list:


    After over 145 individual complaints filed between April 2001 and August 2011, the NHSTA has finally opened its first official investigation into the failure of crown gear bearings on BMW models equipped with the Paralever style final drive. NHSTA investigation DP12001 opened 1/20/12 is centered on 1999-2005 K1200LTs for now. But, if the findings are what we all believe they will be, the scope of the investigation should be expanded. I found the only way to get NHSTA to listen and focus was to pepper its director, David Strickland, with repeat letters as well as inquiries from WA Senator Patty Murray who chairs the subcommittee over funding for the NHSTA. If you have had a final drive failure on your Paralever equipped BMW, and have NOT already reported it to the NHSTA, I urge you do it now.

    You will need your VIN, (est.) date of failure and mileage. State your model as well. While they should be able to identify from VIN, their data was wrong 50% of the time. Specify if gear oil leaked.

    www.safercar.org

    or call (888) 327-4236

    or mail to:

    NHSTA

    Office of Defects Investigation (NVS-210)

    West Building

    1200 New Jersey Ave SE

    Washington DC 20590


    In your complaint, select "Power Train" as the component and reference that you have had the same failure as described in ODI No. 10439549, and currently being investigated under Campaign DP12001.

    Send an email to your Congressman and US Senator to follow up on your behalf as well.

    Chris Cimino

    _______________________________________________
    #1
  2. WeazyBuddha

    WeazyBuddha Carbon-Based Humanoid

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    :freaky :clap

    Have not had my FD fail but am glad to hear this so I'm ready when mine fails. :lol3 (I know, I know, most don't fail)
    #2
  3. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    It's good to light a fire under bmw's butt... but i doubt anything will come of it.. :lurk
    #3
  4. Hawk Medicine

    Hawk Medicine Coyote's Brother

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    I don't know how many of you have heard about this buy I found this imbeded in my BMW mail list this morning. Don't bother asking me for more info, I'm an Airhead rider! Just thought that this might help someone down the line:



    -------- Original Message --------
    Subject: [IBDone] NHSTA Opens Investgation into BMW Final Drive Failures
    Date: Fri, 3 Feb 2012 07:46:00 -0800
    From: Chris <chris.cimino@comcast.net>
    To: 'IBDone list' <ibdone@ibdone.org>



    (IF SOMEONE COULD PLEASE CROSSPOST THIS LD RIDERS AND OTHER SITES, I WOULD
    REALLY APPRECIATE IT)



    After over 145 individual complaints filed between April 2001 and August
    2011, the NHSTA has finally opened its first official investigation into the
    failure of crown gear bearings on BMW models equipped with the Paralever
    style final drive. NHSTA investigation DP12001 opened 1/20/12 is centered
    on 1999-2005 K1200LTs for now. But, if the findings are what we all believe
    they will be, the scope of the investigation should be expanded. I found
    the only way to get NHSTA to listen and focus was to pepper its director,
    David Strickland, with repeat letters as well as inquiries from WA Senator
    Patty Murray who chairs the subcommittee over funding for the NHSTA. If
    you have had a final drive failure on your Paralever equipped BMW, and have
    NOT already reported it to the NHSTA, I urge you do it now.



    You will need your VIN, (est.) date of failure and mileage. State your
    model as well. While they should be able to identify from VIN, their data
    was wrong 50% of the time. Specify if gear oil leaked.



    www.safercar.org



    or call (888) 327-4236



    or mail to:

    NHSTA

    Office of Defects Investigation (NVS-210)

    West Building

    1200 New Jersey Ave SE

    Washington DC 20590



    In your complaint, select "Power Train" as the component and reference that
    you have had the same failure as described in ODI No. 10439549, and
    currently being investigated under Campaign DP12001.



    Send an email to your Congressman and US Senator to follow up on your behalf
    as well.



    Chris Cimino

    _______________________________________________
    IBDone mailing list
    IBDone@ibdone.org
    http://ibdone.org/mailman/listinfo/ibdone_ibdone.org
    #4
  5. Bill 310

    Bill 310 Poser Emeritus

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    Well there is nothing like a little investigation in an election year.

    I posted the note from Chris on our local Sport bike forum and added these two factoids

    This is really good news for BMW owners. I have had rear drive failures on my 2001 GS, 2003 GS Adv and my 2008 K1200GT. My LT was written off before it had a chance to fail.

    Fortunately they all were covered under the warranty due to BMW's 3 year / no mileage restriction on CDN bikes. This is BMW making marketing a no cost marketing benefit as a result Canada's 5-6 month riding season.

    As Chris outlines in his email below, the initial investigation will be on the K1200LT's, expect more bikes to follow.The classic photo of the GS's rear drive on fire and melting is one of the great pieces of motorcycle photography.

    Canadian recalls generally follow the US it seems.

    So the issue that "never existed" is finally being investigated.


    A couple of notes

    2009 IBR

    The four BMW final drive failures that occurred in the 2007 Iron Butt Rally are having
    an effect on hardware choices this year. Another K1200GT rider, Jeff Earls, will actually be carrying a spare final drive with him. Long time BMW rider Eric Jewell has taken an even more effective step to minimize the risk of having his ride end with a final drive failure; he sold his BMW and purchased a Honda ST1300. Tom and Rosie Sperry, who have been riding BMWs 2-up for many years, have adopted the same strategy. After experiencing a final drive failure on their K1200LT following the last Iron Butt Rally,
    they switched to a Honda Gold Wing.
    While BMW continues to claim that there is no significant problem with its final drives, a number of long-time BMW riders disagree and are switching brands. BMW’s reputation for building the most reliable motorcycles has been damaged within the long distance riding community.




    There's a *very* extensive article in the September 2008 Motorcycle Consumer News magazine on the final drive failures.

    Limited summary:

    - BMW uses two different final drive systems: the older Paralever design, which is still used on the K1200LT, and the 2nd-generation "EVO" Paralever, introduced in 2004 and, used on most current bikes. EVO design is easily identified by the 50mm hole in the rear axle.
    - From 1980 to 2000, BMW final drive failures were rare
    - Starting in 2001 an increasing number of final drive failures started appearing on K1200LT and R1150GS models
    - Most of those were on 1st generation Paralever bikes, although some were on EVO Paralever bikes.
    - Of 38 Paralever-equipped BMWs in the 2007 Iron Butt Rally, 14 were R1200 EVO models. Of these four didn't finish due to final drive failure -- a 29% failure rate.
    - In Sept 2006 BMW revised the service recommendation for final drives to include final drive oil change at the 600-mi service (previously was considered lifetime lubricated).
    - In 2007 BMW increased the size of the pinion gear needle bearing on EVO Paralevers, and added a magnetic drain plug.
    - BMW didn't publicize but extended the final drive warranty to five years on bikes sold after January 2007
    - Owners can check final drive status by putting bike on center stand, grabbing back wheel at 12 and 6 o'clock positions and rocking back and forth. Repeat at 3 and 9 o'clock positions. On EVO bikes up to 1 mm of play measured at the wheel rim is considered normal. More is abnormal and might indicate an impending problem
    - A better inspection inspection method is draining final drive oil and inspecting magnetic plug for metallic particles. If any uncertainty, the final drive must be removed and gears/bearings inspected and gear lash measured
    - A survey on the BMW LT forum resulted in 174 reported final drive failures
    - A separate survey resulted in 80 people reporting failures, of which 11 were EVO Paralevers
    - So far no reported crashes resulting from final drive failures
    #5
  6. Beemerlover

    Beemerlover Been here awhile

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    I can't believe the Flamers haven't jumped in on this since everybody knows that BMW FD's NEVER FAIL and anybody who claims otherwise is a lying crybaby & a whiney little bitch! :D

    Seriously though, I think it's great that something is finally being done on an official level. If there, in fact, is no basis for these complaints, then it will be found to be a non-issue and that will be the end of it. Otherwise, BMW will be forced to diagnose and correct the design defect that's responsible for the problems.
    #6
  7. Bill 310

    Bill 310 Poser Emeritus

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    Well now that it is being examined, I expect that the BMW family fratricide will be put on hold. After all those who claimed that it never happens will be possibly gain something of value.

    The Goldwing and FJR ship jumpers will remain bemused and continue riding.




    #7
  8. mrt10x

    mrt10x Dumba$s Jarhead

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    A couple of questions??

    Five year warranty on Final Drives sold after 2007?? True??

    The test for play in the final drive as described.. you grab the wheel and try to move it how??
    #8
  9. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Hold the wheel at 3 and 9 / 12 and 6 o'clock and try to move it towards you and away from you.. there should be no lateral movement.
    #9
  10. mrt10x

    mrt10x Dumba$s Jarhead

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    Perfect ..thanks
    #10
  11. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Be sure to break out the worry beads while doing this :lol3
    #11
  12. mrt10x

    mrt10x Dumba$s Jarhead

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    Well with 5 or 6 faulty fuel strips, and a rear ESA shock that went at 15k, and both of the rubber boots on my final drive having pulled away from their housings on a couple of occasions, I am not real confident that my FD is in it for the long haul. :huh
    #12
  13. desmoface

    desmoface Been here awhile

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    I've always been a fan, but have to admit, the rumors of final drive failures have always kind of scared me. I know the faithful will downplay the problem, but where there's smoke, there's usually fire.

    Steve
    05 st3
    00 sv6fity
    #13
  14. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    :nod This has been tried many times before.:deal

    Jim :brow
    #14
  15. configurationspace

    configurationspace delooper

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    With the abuse I've put my FD through, I'm just happy it hasn't failed yet. :lol3
    #15
  16. bemiiten

    bemiiten League of Adventures

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    BMW has quite a backlog of shortcomings that should be addressed. :deal
    • Servo brakes
    • F650 Fork slider breakage
    • Faulty fuel strips
    • Rear wheel flange breakage
    • Fuel pump controller failure
    • Final drive bearing failure
    • Immobiliser faults
    • Premature failure of R1200GS U joints
    #16
  17. Beemerlover

    Beemerlover Been here awhile

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    The thing is, as long as people keep on buying them as fast as they can be built & delivered, why should BMW do anything at all about any of these well-documented issues? Ya gotta admit, their business plan has worked pretty well so far...
    #17
  18. swimmer

    swimmer armchair asshole

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    ftfy
    #18
  19. lemieuxmc

    lemieuxmc Banned

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    "The thing is, as long as people keep on buying them as fast as they can be built & delivered, why should BMW do anything at all about any of these well-documented issues? Ya gotta admit, their business plan has worked pretty well so far... "<!-- / message -->

    Ford sold a lot of Pintos too... oh wait, people bought those because they cost less than other comparable cars. Pretty much nobody knew about the camshaft lobes wearing out and the "catching on fire when rear ended" problems till later!


    WARNING NOTICE!
    This is a facetious and sarcastic post which some Advrider readers, BMW corporate executives, Ford Pinto Owners Club members, and a few rabidly sycophantic BMW owners who have only owned hex-head or oil-head bikes with no previous motorcycling experience may find offensive.
    #19
  20. DELTATANGO

    DELTATANGO Motorcyclist and Dog Walk

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    Don't whine to the fukin government.

    Just buy a Honda like I did.
    #20