Wheel Recall ( Snowflake ) - The Definitive Truth

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0m3nc0w
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Wheel Recall ( Snowflake ) - The Definitive Truth

Post by 0m3nc0w » Thu Jul 07, 2016 7:56 am

In August 1984 BMW of North America recalled 1976-1982 bikes with 19" cast Snowflake wheels. The NTHSA-assigned recall campaign number "84V - 092" and can be viewed here:

http://www.bmwr65.org/htdocs/yabbfiles/ ... l-2117.pdf

I recently bought a '78 R100/7 and as a new Airhead I started researching my bike. I created an account here at Boxerwoks.com to post some questions and was promptly asked if I had checked my bike to make sure I didn't have the recalled front snowflake wheel. I checked my wheel, here is the picture:

Image


To my chagrin it appeared I had the wheels that could potentially lead to catastrophic failure (see image below) while cornering on a cliff at 120MPH leading to dismemberment and possibly my ultimate demise.

Image

This is what your front wheel should look like if it was manufactured after BMW pulled the defective wheels. A reinforced web was added where the snowflake "spokes" meet the hub. Small cracks would appear here prior to failure.

Image

Many in this forum (and others) told me that the recall was still honored, and many told me dealers would laugh at me for attempting to switch out a wheel based on a 30 year old recall.

I called my local dealer on May 19th 2016 and sure enough was informed that recalls that were this old were not honored, end of story. After seeing pictures of what can happen to these wheels I began to be pretty concerned and called BMW Motorrad Germany on May 23rd 2016 who in turn put me in touch with BMW Group in Germany, who in turn put me in touch with BMW USA. Alas BMW has no record of this recall ever taking place and of course there is no record of my VIN in any of their systems. Interestingly my local dealer couldn't find a record of my VIN either, so apparently my bike is a figment of my imagination and was never manufactured.

BMW USA finally got back to me and gave me the number for the BMW Recall Hotline (800) 525-7417. The first lady I spoke with told me she was extremely concerned that my dealer would tell me a recall wasn't being honored, as BMW takes recalls very seriously especially when they concern customer safety, and they NEVER expire. While she couldn't find a record of the recall in her system she said she would research it. She went as far as to say she was virtually positive BMW would take care of this somehow. I wish I could remember her name as she was great and I would give her kudos here if I could. She issued me a case number 201-614-107-388 and asked me to email photos of the bike, the vin and closeups of the wheel in question to customerrelations@bmwusa.com.

The next day I got a call from my local dealer telling me that BMW Corporate got in touch with them and they are sorry about the bad info on the recall they gave me but it looked like I was out of luck because the snowflake wheels are no longer in stock anywhere... in the world.

I contacted BMW Motored in München (+49-89-382-32857) and Werner Meier confirmed the Silver Snowflake Wheel was out of stock worldwide, however the identical wheel in gold (part number 36 31 1 238 960 - see image below). This was fine with me as I'm doing a complete rebuild on the bike and am sending the wheels to powder them gloss black.

Image

The following week I began to receive phone calls from Zach and Tim, my BMW Customer Relations case managers. I told them the gold replacement wheel was fine. They proceeded to promptly call every Monday at the same time, like clockwork, to update me on the progress of my case. This usually consisted of telling me that they are still waiting to hear back from BMW on the issue. They called with precision every week, for 6 weeks without fail. I was very impressed with the system they have in place for this, I've never had a company call me every week to tell me they haven't forgotten about me and were still working my case. This seriously goes a long way in developing customer loyalty, especially considering this is a 38 year old vehicle.

Anyway I finally got a call yesterday from Zach telling me that the replacement wheel has been approved and the dealer should have it in two weeks.

So bottom line is that BMW is still honoring this recall (if you don't mind a gold front wheel). I've done all the legwork so if your dealer refuses to help you, use the contact info below and cite my case as a reference that BMW is still honoring this recall. Get your wheel switched out at no cost and rest a little easier in those high speed corners perched next to 200 foot cliffs.

I have an appointment in two weeks to pick up the new wheel. An inner tube, balancing, weights and clips are included and covered by the dealer (ultimately the dealer is reimbursed by BMW North America).

BMW Recall Hotline: (800) 525-7417
customerrelations@bmwusa.com
Last edited by 0m3nc0w on Thu Jul 07, 2016 8:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

khittner1
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Re: Wheel Recall ( Snowflake ) - The Definitive Truth

Post by khittner1 » Thu Jul 07, 2016 8:31 am

The gold snowflakes were only used on the '79 and '80 RTs, so I'd have to think that there aren't many of them left, either.

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0m3nc0w
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Re: Wheel Recall ( Snowflake ) - The Definitive Truth

Post by 0m3nc0w » Thu Jul 07, 2016 8:41 am

I'm not sure how many are left in stock, I'm just thankful there was one with my name on it.

Better hurry while supplies last.

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Zombie Master
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Re: Wheel Recall ( Snowflake ) - The Definitive Truth

Post by Zombie Master » Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:07 am

Good story.
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Duane Ausherman
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Re: Wheel Recall ( Snowflake ) - The Definitive Truth

Post by Duane Ausherman » Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:37 am

Congratulations for your diligence in this matter. It ended as it should and I hope that others will find success too.
Ask the Indians what happens when you don't control immigration.

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0m3nc0w
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Re: Wheel Recall ( Snowflake ) - The Definitive Truth

Post by 0m3nc0w » Sun Jul 17, 2016 12:43 am

The replacement gold wheel came in today! Pressed out the bearings and off to powder coat everything gloss black.

Image

Texer
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Re: Wheel Recall ( Snowflake ) - The Definitive Truth

Post by Texer » Sun Jul 17, 2016 9:15 am

Nice shop. Nice lighting in the picture.
1970 R75/5
1974 R60/6
1980 300TD

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Ken in Oklahoma
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Re: Wheel Recall ( Snowflake ) - The Definitive Truth

Post by Ken in Oklahoma » Sun Jul 17, 2016 12:19 pm

0m3nc0w wrote:The replacement gold wheel came in today! Pressed out the bearings and off to powder coat everything gloss black.

Image
Nice wheel! It looks so good I'd like to have it hanging on the wall of my den here in Boise!

When I bought my (used) '78 R100S Touring (in Dallas, about 1986) it had the (now) recalled wheel. But nobody seems to have heard of such a thing as front snowflakes breaking. Fortunately for me the wheel didn't break and I didn't die. Later, when I moved from Dallas to Big Cedar Oklahoma, getting a new wheel was problematic. I believe at the time the new wheel had to be fitted by an authorized dealer. And the nearest dealer to me was about 300 miles away. (Yeah, I know, a short drive for y'all, but not me as a charter member of Airhead Candy Ass Riders Association, or ACARA.) At the time good used post-recall wheels were available from the breakers and so I got one that way.

From this thread it appears that post-recall front snowflakes are in short supply (except for the golden ones, apparently).

Ken
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khittner1
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Re: Wheel Recall ( Snowflake ) - The Definitive Truth

Post by khittner1 » Sun Jul 17, 2016 11:22 pm

"Golden Snowflake"----sounds like a name for a Bond girl . . . and she's about to be baked in black powder coating by Omen Cow . . .

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Zombie Master
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Re: Wheel Recall ( Snowflake ) - The Definitive Truth

Post by Zombie Master » Sun Jul 17, 2016 11:54 pm

Is the baking a problem for the casting?
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