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Discussion Starter #1
Fuel Strip Sensor Failure and how BMW Responds

I am not alone in suffering a fuel strip failure on my R1200R 2009. You know who you are; the failure is not subtle and can, as in my case, result in a crash with injury and property damage witnessed by my riding companion.
I bought my 2009 used from an owner of the nearest BMW Motorcycle dealership. It had just over 14k miles when purchased. During negotiations for purchase I specifically asked the seller if the bike had an issue ever with the fuel strip sensor.
He said no.

I asked, thinking as the owner of the dealership he could approve, if he could warrant the bike for a couple of months as a gesture of goodwill, since I have been using their dealership to service my 1150 for 6 years--on work I could not do myself.

He said "No, It's a Used Bike," I just fill up at 180 miles."
Within 3 weeks of purchase the fuel strip failed and I ran dry at 180.8 miles on the odometer. I called the dealer and asked if, since I asked about this issue, and now it's happened, could they help somehow with the repair costs? I truly would have been very satisfied with credit for the part or labor. His response, and since he is an owner I have to believe that this is the philosophy of the dealership, his response was "Tell him it's a used bike, No."

As Don points out " BMW has given them carte-blanche to replace the strips. No documentation needed," and "This REALLY depends on the dealer. One of those hidden secrets of BMW land."
This dealer emphatically said no. True, I was not the original owner, but he sold me the bike and had every convenience to do goodwill and repair it. He choose not to. He did not suggest writing BMW or calling corporate, just No, It's A Used Bike.

I paid $296 for the repair/replacement. That replacement lasted about six weeks then it was responsible for a crash when it failed. The dealership replaced it under warranty from the prev strip. I told them what happened. The owner was there, never spoke to me of the failure, preferred to drink saturday morning coffee with the other old flati that hang there on a Saturday morning.

On the r1200rforum.com forum a member who drove her 2013 roadster out of the dealership only to have the strip fail within 20 miles, encouraged everyone with a failure to report it to the NHTSA.
The efforts to encourage all of you with failures to fill out this simple form has been well documented on this as well as the advrider and bmwsporttouring forums. It is out there on BMWMOA.com also.

What I also did was contact BMW Customer Service reporting my failures as well as putting in links to the various threads around BMW centered forums that discussed the notorious repeated failures of this ill-designed and poorly performing essential component of the dasboard.

I think because I told them that a crash occurred because of this failed essential component, and that property damage also occurred I began to get calls from them. To at least two people I reported the sequence of events of the two failures. I also mentioned that I had a minor sprain to my wrist. They were very concerned about that. After a few calls, they offered to reimburse me for the replacement of the first fuel strip. As there were two failures and the second one with the crash and the sprained wrist damaged beyond repair my Cee Bailey screen and bracket, I asked for replacement of that also. They wanted receipts. I have them receipts. The total cost would be about $520.

Here is where BMW corporate stands behind their customers. Here is where BMWNA stands behind their product.

They deny payment for the windscreen

Hello Mr. XXXXXXXXX

I checked and I will not be able to get payment approved for the windscreen.

Please sign and Notarize the attached release for the fuel level sensor payment. Return this to my address below and I will have a check processed.

Thanks,

Kind Regards,


And check out the "release"

GENERAL RELEASE

IN CONSIDERATION OF a one-time Goodwill payment in the amount of Two-Hundred-Ninety-Six and 28/100 ($296.28) Dollars, the receipt and sufficiency of such, which is hereby acknowledged, the undersigned releases and fully

discharges BMW of North America, LLC ("BMW NA"), BAYERISCHE MOTOREN WERKE AG ("BMW AG") and each of their predecessors, successors, subsidiaries and affiliated entities, parents, partners, dealers, officers, directors, shareholders,

agents, servants, employees, representatives, attorneys, heirs, successors and assigns, past and present, and each of them (hereinafter collectively referred to as the "Releasees"), from any and all claims, demands and causes of action of

any and every kind and nature, including, without limitation, claims for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, non-disclosure, fraudulent misrepresentation, negligence, personal injuries, product liability, breach of express and implied

warranty, emotional distress, loss of use of the vehicle, property damages, attorneys fees, damages, costs and expenses, whether known or unknown, suspected or unsuspected, which the undersigned now owns or holds or at any time

heretofore
has owned or held against the others arising out of, resulting from, or in any way related to the all repairs up to the “Date” below in the undersigned's 2009 R 1200 R motorcycle, bearing vehicle identification number

WB1039801xxxxxxxxxx.

The undersigned recognizes that in executing this General Release that this instrument shall be effective as a bar to each and every action, claim, demand or cause of action released hereby.

No action taken by the Releasees, either previously or in connection with this General Release, shall be deemed or construed to be an admission of the truth, falsity, fault or liability of the matter pertaining to any action, claim,

demand, or cause of action referred to herein or relating to the subject matter of this General Release.



The undersigned will keep confidential the existence and terms of this General Release. The undersigned agrees not to reveal the facts leading up to, the terms or the conditions of this General Release in any communication form

including, but not limited to, word-of-mouth, print, broadcast or Internet.




By: _____________________________
John XXXXXXX
Date: __________________


State: __________________

Sworn to and subscribed to me
this day of , 20 .

____________________________
Notary Public in and for the
State of __________________.
My Commission Expires _____________.

"Of any and every kind and nature without limitation..."
Really? Anything at all it seems. No mention of a fuel strip, just a release of BMWNA its lawyers, officers, gardeners, crazy aunties and tropical fish from any responsibility for anything related to this bike. And for $296.

No thanks, BMW.
Is this the way to do business? Is this how all those loyal and repeat customers expect they will be treated after they come to the defense of fuel strips and final drives and clutch splines and switches and ABS that others have repeated and expensive problems with?

I hope potential first time BMW buyers see this

This is not your daddy's BMW.

I tell you, I feel sorry for the actual machines to have their reputed quality and reputation, their reliability, thrown under the bus like this. And by such corporate legalese?

Caveat Emptor

John
 

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That is absolutely terrible all around! May I ask how the fuel strip failure caused your crash? I'm not doubting it at all. I just want to know what to watch for myself if it should happen.
 

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Have you considered writing to BMW in Germany?
 

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BMW failure

I will say it and write it again - 'like the product, hate the company'.

L of S
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This is an entry to the r1150r forum where I was asked the same question

Many have posted that they've run out of gas, with the fuel strip telling them they had gas and no yellow warning light on. This has been reported happening at very inopportune moments, in the middle of a busy intersection, on a busy interstate in the middle lane.
Those reporting the failure report that they felt their safety was very much in question.
In my case I was southbound on I 55 near Granada Ms. My odometer read 202, miles to empty read 119. Thats impossible. I knew the sensor had failed and planned to fuel at the next exit, like 5-6 miles away.
Also, I was carrying about 2 qts of gas so if I ran out I have some to get me 10-15 miles.
At 75-80 mph I felt the engine sputter but then catch. That is a warning sign I've unfortunately learned because in a minute the engine will stop.
With this warning I started to look at the shoulder, saw a place to pull off ahead and as I did the engine quit
My plan was to go to neutral after engine breaking in 6th slowed me down. Also I had to get off the interstate. You get one chance to do this right. No power no second chances.
I guided the bike toward the shoulder when suddenly I felt the entire bike vibrating severely under me. I though somehow I had blown both tires. It felt like that.
Turns out it was deeply grooved rumble strips. I was distracted enough to not pull in the clutch so 6th and the rumble strips slowed me down so quickly that when the bike came to an abrupt stop or very nearly a stop I lost balance. Fortunately there was a concrete vertical barrier, about 40" high and as the bike fell to the right I put out my right hand to catch the wall, stop the fall.
I wasn't strong enough to do this and my right wrist had a minor sprain and the cee baileys was toast.
This happened, ultimately, because of the fuel sensor failure.
_____
Just curious though, since I have been told to improve my riding skills, how would anyone here handle the situation of losing all power at speed, on an interstate, then hitting a road hazard that keeps on going as you come precipitously to a stop?

They didn't teach this in the MSF
 

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Seriously, write to the President of the Motorcycle Division at BMW in Germany and copy it to the NHTSA in the US. Demand a recall
 

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Where's Ralph Nader when you need him?

L of S
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I don't know where ralph is, and that's probably a good thing.

Dr Dave: when I had my chats with bmwna I asked if this is somthing that just winds up "in corporate in New Jersey," or "does it go to Germany." The rep said that likely just corporate in NJ, but "the engineers always want to know about these things."

There are many who are spending a lot of effort criticizing my riding skills. Constructive criticism is fine, but it's not always that way. They are killing the messenger.
My main beef is the way BMW and the dealer handled it. It felt very adversarial and people contemplating the purchase of a motorcycle that costs thousands more than a similar non-bmw machine should not trust that the mothership is on their side.
YMMV of course, but this is my mileage.
 

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DrS. OF COURSE, they won't forward it to Germany. It will get them in a scheisse-load of trouble. Send it to Germany, discuss what your dealer told you. . .
 

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The most important thing here is you are alive and relatively unhurt. I will not criticize your riding skills. It's tough to react in moments like that. If I was thinking straight at the time the only thing I would have been sure to do is grab the clutch lever.

About contacting BMW in Germany it should not be that difficult to contact the corporate headquarters there. If you need help I could do some googling tomorrow night.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
OK, I'll write them once I find the address. Thanks

I have said numerous times, maybe not here but on various other forums that whether or not my ( lack of ) riding skills contributed to the crash is NOT the issue, yet people continue to harp on that. The issue is the fuel strip and BMWs response to it.

I know my point of cause and effect can be argued, but I suspect that the koolade is strong enough that even if I made no mention of the crash the venom would continue to flow.

eg--from the r1150r forum
What an ass...

Your bike never ran out of gas. You just crashed it because you thought it might be running out, and you panicked. Self-assured Doctors usually hurt themselves in Beechcraft Bonanzas, but you chose to be different.

nice huh? Definitely furthers the discussion. He goes on to postulate that I had bad gas and that's why I stopped.
Yeah, and the aliens and asteroids and Planet X didn't help either.
Geez
 

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I am not one with a tendency to litigation......but perhaps a class action lawsuit would bring quick remedy to all with the goal of an accurate and reliable fuel sensing system.
 

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That's actually not a bad idea. If anyone knows a law firm who does defective vehicle class actions. . .
 

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Dr S, if that's the sort of forum member on other sites I'm glad I'm just a member here. From your brief description of your accident you didn't do anything wrong. Anybody can criticize with hind site, what if I did this, what if that happened etc etc. The important thing is you made it to the hard shoulder safely. Not that you are one, but novice or unskilled riders should not be criticized, they should be educated.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Agree, Dave. The attacks were really classless on r1150r.org and on BMWMOA.
I was threatened with libel.

I was a bit surprised by the venom.
As a good friend and fellow BMW rider pointed out, at least for the BMWMOA forum, I entered their clubhouse and challenged their sacred cow.
And the main point is the fuel gauge, even if I am the worst rider ever, It's Still The Fuel Strip and how BMW is handling it.
Both of those sites and their threads make for an interesting read, though I need to be up on my beta blocker before. It seems to be dying down a bit.:clap:


The constructive criticism I finally received was that it was not a good idea to stay in 6th because the rear wheel could lock up. And you're right, hindsight is 20-20. (or as a Nurse I work with said he heard around his home in Cajun Country, Houma, La. Hindsight is 50-50, and that may be more accurate!:001_smile:)
 

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My strips on my 2008 R1200R have also failed (12K miles). The dealer wants $300 to replace. Nope, I have two trip meters and will now be setting one for gas consumption. This would be great fodder for a class action suite.
 
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