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      05-21-2013, 05:42 AM   #1
topcat87
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BMW F30 3-series Brake Failure

I thought my experience was an isolated incident and hope it doesnt happen again, but the rise in occurrence by fellow forumers leads me to think that this is a real cause for concern and might be a factory defect in our cars


Known Cases of brake failure

I personally experienced this, while creeping foward in a carpark exit i stepped on the brakes but it was rock hard and didnt respond. Luckily it was an upslope and gravity stopped the car before i rear ended the guy in front






Serious but non-fatal accident
Quote:
Originally Posted by E90bedi View Post
I went in to give my e90 for servicing and they gave me a f30 328i with just 47 miles as a loaner. i was driving down a hill and naturally i started braking for the stop sign. and i realized that the car wasn't slowing down. i tried to pump the brakes. and that did not help that much. i put the car in manual and tried down shifting but that didnt help much. the car gradually picked up speed from 25 mph to 45. and my last resort was the handbrake. i pulled it as hard as a could and tried to slide the car to prepare for impact that way it wouldnt injure me as much. the car is totaled. Has anyone else experience something like this? I am very surprised to see that on a brand new f30 the brakes would act like this. Any comments would be appreciated thanks!
Other cases
Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarplayax View Post
I'm having the same problem. The car is a day old, with 81 miles on it. With the brakes depressed 100%, the car feels like I'm not even pressing on the brakes. I'm extremely worried and I can't drive it at all right now. Any recommendations? This is my first BMW, and I'm almost started to regret my purchase.
Quote:
Originally Posted by renegadeavenger View Post
This same thing is happening to a new 2013 BMW 328XI that was purchased last wednesday. Brake failed twice and no one has any idea why it is failing. I really don't trust the car anymore, it may end up leading me to a collison.
Quote:
Originally Posted by richreg3 View Post
What E90bedi and renegadeavenger said is true. My 2013 BMW XI sportline is now at the dealer waiting for replacing the vacumn pump. SA said that it is unsafe to drive anymore. He told me there is another 328 XI that has the same problem sitting there for almost a month waiting for the parts to come from Germany. I expect the same to my car. FYI, my car was also built in February and I received it two weeks ago.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitoco View Post
Ok, so something similar happened to me the other day and it has only happened that one time.

I was racing an E60 M5 (V10 sound was ) and I was on his tail the first 50 meters but he then quickly flew away. Anyway, I hit around 220 km/h (140) mph before trying to slow down as I had to make it onto an off-ramp. This was slightly downhill. I hit the brake pedal, NOTHING, itīs rock hard and no bite. I was already turning but quickly realized I wasnt gonna make it so a split-second decision was made and I just kept goin straight on the freeway. My speed was now around 180 km/h (110 mph) and then quickly decreasing as the car was just rolling. A few sesconds later, brake function restored. Had it bit initially I would have had no problem decelerating enough to make it, Iīve tried them before and know how good they bite. I got the Euro M Sport brakes (same as the M Performance Brakes), what do u guys have?

And another question to all of you that experienced this: Has it happened on some occasions or has it been a constant issue? To me, it happened this one time...

EDIT: And if its the cylinder-thing, would I notice anything now or can it still function properly?
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Originally Posted by sqweak View Post
My wife spent Saturday in the 328i for her first extended seat time. She told me when she got home that she was upset and distrusting of the car after the brakes acted weird on her in a parking lot. The best that she could verbalize is that they stopped working when she was in a parking lot pulling into a spot, and as a result she wasn't able to stop before the front end scraped over a parking block.

I didn't understand what she was talking about and was preoccupied this weekend at the track in my other car. This morning, I stopped for breakfast at a drive thru and experienced what must have happened to her.

While going at low speed stop and go, on two seperate occasions separated by just a few moments, the brakes completely and totally failed on me. Stepping on the pedal gave a completely rock hard pedal, with no to minimal travel at all. (There are no floor mats installed, or anything else that could be stuck under the pedal) The car slowly creeped to a stop, it was like the brakes were just barely applied. Pushing harder gave no additional travel or stopping power, neither did pumping the brakes. I almost tapped a guy ahead of me in the drive thru line when it happened the first time. The second time it happened there was nobody in front of me but it confirmed the odd behavior. After getting out of the drive thru I tried a few more stops and the behavior return to normal long pedal travel/stopping power.

I'm sure I don't have to say that this is exceptionally concerning behavior on a brand new car with less than 400 miles on it. Has anyone else experienced anything like this? I tried searching but didn't see any results that seemed to echo this symptom. I will get it into the dealer ASAP.


BMW if you're reading this . . . please do something about it and issue a recall, if necessary.

Do chime in if you have a similar incident

Last edited by topcat87; 05-22-2013 at 06:03 AM.
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      05-21-2013, 06:09 AM   #2
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That is a big deal, thank you for sharing.
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      05-21-2013, 09:33 AM   #3
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Thank you for finding the other thread and consolidating these.

As I feared in my thread, this is sounding like a pattern of similar behaviors.

Notes:

Seems all reports relate to 328. By my count, 4 328xi (3 members in thread + 1 member reporting another 328xi sitting at his dealer with same issue) and 3 328i (other thread OP, myself, and last poster in other thread). Topcat, what flavor is your F30?

Besides the other thread OP who gained speed going down hill and hit a tree, most reports including mine relate normal stopping power at speed but failure at low parking lot/driveway speeds where multiple repeated applications of brakes are likely.

Many are relating a Feburary build date. Can anyone advise how to look up build date for our cars? The only date I can find on mine are stickers affixed to the headlights that read 14-feb and 18-feb. The window sticker has a date of 20130413 next to the "sold to" dealer section of the sticker
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      05-21-2013, 09:42 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sqweak View Post
Many are relating a Feburary build date. Can anyone advise how to look up build date for our cars? The only date I can find on mine are stickers affixed to the headlights that read 14-feb and 18-feb. The window sticker has a date of 20130413 next to the "sold to" dealer section of the sticker
http://bmwvin.com can decode your VIN and give a build date. It looks a bit dodgy but its safe - free to register.
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      05-21-2013, 09:50 AM   #5
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Found http://www.rubmw.ru/vincode/eng/ as well, which had many positive feedback on other forums. Info on there matches bmwvin, both say production date is 23-Feb-2013. So add another to the feb build column.
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      05-21-2013, 10:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sqweak View Post
Thank you for finding the other thread and consolidating these.

As I feared in my thread, this is sounding like a pattern of similar behaviors.

Notes:

Seems all reports relate to 328. By my count, 4 328xi (3 members in thread + 1 member reporting another 328xi sitting at his dealer with same issue) and 3 328i (other thread OP, myself, and last poster in other thread). Topcat, what flavor is your F30?

Besides the other thread OP who gained speed going down hill and hit a tree, most reports including mine relate normal stopping power at speed but failure at low parking lot/driveway speeds where multiple repeated applications of brakes are likely.

Many are relating a Feburary build date. Can anyone advise how to look up build date for our cars? The only date I can find on mine are stickers affixed to the headlights that read 14-feb and 18-feb. The window sticker has a date of 20130413 next to the "sold to" dealer section of the sticker
mine is an April '12 build. I guessed in this one year their still using the same parts?
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      05-21-2013, 10:35 AM   #7
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Could it be as simple as a dealer not servicing the brakes correctly and introducing air into the lines?
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      05-21-2013, 11:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KneeDragr View Post
Could it be as simple as a dealer not servicing the brakes correctly and introducing air into the lines?
Don't think so. IIRC air in the lines would result in spongy pedal feel, instead of a hard pedal. It also wouldn't matter what speed you were going, which is counter to myself and several others who have reported no problems at normal speeds but issues at lower speed.
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      05-21-2013, 02:18 PM   #9
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I'm one of the guys in the other thread. My brakes failed TWICE, as the dealer did not fully diagnose the issue. The issue is related to a step missed during manufacturing. It was explained to me that the vacuum pump is a lubricated part, and during manufacturing, a plug was not removed from the camshaft that provides oil to the vacuum pump. BMW NA is replacing the car.
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      05-21-2013, 02:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarplayax View Post
I'm one of the guys in the other thread. My brakes failed TWICE, as the dealer did not fully diagnose the issue. The issue is related to a step missed during manufacturing. It was explained to me that the vacuum pump is a lubricated part, and during manufacturing, a plug was not removed from the camshaft that provides oil to the vacuum pump. BMW NA is replacing the car.
Wow ...that's crazy to hear. So the damage was bad enough that they couldn't fix it or were just trying to keep you happy? Was this a lemon law result or they just offered? Glad to hear BMW NA is making things right...
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      05-21-2013, 03:30 PM   #11
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this is a serious matter. I'm anxious to see how BMW responds to these documented complaints and future ones. Good luck to everyone affected and I'm glad nobody has been hurt.
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      05-21-2013, 06:09 PM   #12
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Happy to report my dealer has responded with appropriate urgency and concern to my call this morning. I had BMW Assist send a flat bed to pick up the car and deliver to dealer, and they sent a porter over with a loaner X1.

Additionally, BMWUSA was looped in to a twitter thread where I mentioned this thread and called me to get more info. They are escalating to the executive support team and will follow up.

All in all, I have no complaints thus far with the response from BMW.
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      05-21-2013, 09:17 PM   #13
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Do we know if this was isolated to German or SA built cars, or both?
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      05-21-2013, 10:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PK2348 View Post
Do we know if this was isolated to German or SA built cars, or both?
I think it's being found in 328xi's manufactured in Munich, in February.
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      05-22-2013, 05:41 AM   #15
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Updated first post so its easier to read

Quote:
Originally Posted by sqweak View Post
Happy to report my dealer has responded with appropriate urgency and concern to my call this morning. I had BMW Assist send a flat bed to pick up the car and deliver to dealer, and they sent a porter over with a loaner X1.

Additionally, BMWUSA was looped in to a twitter thread where I mentioned this thread and called me to get more info. They are escalating to the executive support team and will follow up.

All in all, I have no complaints thus far with the response from BMW.
Thanks for keeping us in the loop
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      05-27-2013, 05:31 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarplayax View Post
I'm one of the guys in the other thread. My brakes failed TWICE, as the dealer did not fully diagnose the issue. The issue is related to a step missed during manufacturing. It was explained to me that the vacuum pump is a lubricated part, and during manufacturing, a plug was not removed from the camshaft that provides oil to the vacuum pump. BMW NA is replacing the car.
Car is still in the shop. They actually delivered it back to my house Friday morning, but as they were pulling it off the shop foreman called the driver to tell him to return it. Turns out, despite me alerting them to the need to address the camshaft that they didn't do so and had just gotten word from BMWNA that it needed to be done. They took the car back, but can't find the part in the states. I have asked them to ask BMWNA for buyback approval if they cannot fix expediently. Because of the holiday weekend, they don't expect an answer on either fix or buyback until Weds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarplayax View Post
I think it's being found in 328xi's manufactured in Munich, in February.
Mine is a 328i, non-xi. It is from Munich and February though.
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      05-27-2013, 06:13 PM   #17
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You need to keep track of the time it's been in the shop. Lemon law may apply if they are unable to get the parts they need in time. BMWNA is allowing a buyback for me, after the dealer failed to fix the problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sqweak View Post
Car is still in the shop. They actually delivered it back to my house Friday morning, but as they were pulling it off the shop foreman called the driver to tell him to return it. Turns out, despite me alerting them to the need to address the camshaft that they didn't do so and had just gotten word from BMWNA that it needed to be done. They took the car back, but can't find the part in the states. I have asked them to ask BMWNA for buyback approval if they cannot fix expediently. Because of the holiday weekend, they don't expect an answer on either fix or buyback until Weds.
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      05-28-2013, 07:58 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarplayax View Post
You need to keep track of the time it's been in the shop. Lemon law may apply if they are unable to get the parts they need in time. BMWNA is allowing a buyback for me, after the dealer failed to fix the problem.
Yup, on top of it. The dealership has already done the math and acknowledged that it's worth discussing buyback due to anticipated time to fix.

Are you replacing with another 13 or waiting for a 14 build? I am thinking the latter, if we should get to that point.
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      05-28-2013, 08:59 AM   #19
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This is an interesting thread as I have had the same problem.

My wife drove the car during January-March as a daily driver and complained a couple of times about problems with braking. I really didn't think much of it, so didn't do much. Thought that perhaps it was due to moist on the brakes after initially starting to drive or something.

Then one day I had the car and after work drove from the parking lot. When braking to stop to get onto the road, not much happened. It did brake, but not by much. Luckily there was no traffic, so no accident!

I can't remember if the pedal was hard or soft.

I asked the dealer to look into this, but they couldn't find anything wrong. He told me that the issue most likely was due to us not using the brakes much, as he could see that on the brakes. I don't know if that could be true however.

As far as I know, they didn't change anything and we haven't had the problem since.

My car is from April or May 2012 production I think, but a 320d EDE.
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      05-28-2013, 10:48 AM   #20
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Wow blimey, first I've heard. Mine's a UK spec 328i from Regensburg built May (production week 20/05/2012). Also glad to hear nobody has been hurt.

Is it weird I had a dream a few weeks back where I was driving my car, went for the brakes and they were rock hard with no real braking force?!? I remember absolutely shitting it in my dream (I remember the dream so that's enough to say how much it shocked me) so in real life - I imagine a change of underwear is required.

I hope that for myself and others, this fault is isolated to Munich February production. That's rather scary.

Good job we get the good ol' mechanical lever handbrake in the F30 eh?
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      05-28-2013, 12:02 PM   #21
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This is very frightening and I can't wait to see how BMW responds.
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      06-07-2013, 08:08 PM   #22
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My wife also bought a 328i and 3 days later lost the brakes. We took it in and they replaced the vacuum pump. Drove it for about 2 hours and lost the brakes again! We are being told that the cam was machined incorrectly and the vacuum pump was not getting lubrication.

How is BMW responding to the other people with this problem? BMW has now had our car longer than we have and still plan to keep it for another week!
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