Friday, 21 September 2012

What is it about BMWs?

A BMW, it seems
If I'm honest I am not a big fan of BMWs. I can't imagine every buying one: while I know at least two really nice people who drive them, I experience an awful lot more unpleasant people driving them. They seem to be more pushy, nasty drivers for some reason. And for that matter, there isn't a BMW model where there isn't another car I'd rather have.

However, even as a non-fan, I have to have admit that BMWs are superbly engineered - which is why I am so baffled about their attitude to security. Recently in the news there has been a lot of fuss about BMWs with those automatic key fob thingies being easy to break into. Despite being aware of this, apparently BMW don't feel it's their responsibility to sort things out. Which isn't good.

Of itself, this is a one-off concern. But the fact is it's not the first time BMWs have been identified as being easy to break into. A good number of years ago, my car was broken into in a car park in Windsor. (You may think Windsor is a nice place, but I've only had cars broken into twice, both times in Windsor.) The thieves smashed a window to get a few cassette tapes and the (rubbish) car radio. My car wasn't a BMW - but I learned something interesting that night.

A policewoman came out to examine the scene. In conversation she pointed out that, in a way, it was a pity that my car wasn't a BMW as they were so easy to break into. Apparently, she said, there was a fault in the automatic locking mechanism, and if you bashed a BMW just there (she indicated on a nearby example) the locks popped open. For her benefit I won't say whether or not she actually demonstrated it, but it was painfully easy. Of course that was back then - this doesn't work on today's cars. But even so, as Lady Bracknell might have said, to mess up one locking mechanism is unfortunate; to mess up two is careless.

Image from Wikipedia


  1. I know one person with a BMW that's nice - but, like you, I find most of the rest of them to be dangerous, and bloody nasty basically: they seem to think speed limits apply to non-BMW owners only, and that the outside lane of motorways should be exclusively for their use!

    Google says:

    mercedes drivers are jerks:6
    bmw drivers are jerks:1,950
    audi drivers are jerks:9

  2. 'Unknown' is me - peetm.

    For some reason, even though I select to sign-in with Google, I can never seem to post a comment to your blog that way.

  3. My whole street except mine got broken into several months ago. I guess they didn't like tiny blue yaris's whos back seat was filled with 24 rolls of kitten soft toilet paper ( there was a special on in the local pharmacy. Just like to say I don't have a toilet paper fetish.) Now I just hide my yaris away out of sight in the garage. ( not from the thieves..but from the neighbors ..the shame of it)

  4. Cars with personalities...there's a thought. I've often mused about why a car seems to mirror the personality of its owner. The BMW owners you've already mentioned but what about the over priced, underpowered Mercs or the big Land Rovers or Porsche Cayennes; it won't be fair to commit to print what I think about each of these as some of my best friends seem to own one (or more) of them, but it's always occurred to me that the more humble a person the less likely they are to have one of these monsters and will contend themselves with a rather old banger or a quiet no nonsense economy car, or even a small unloved people carrier.

    I'm sure others will have more to say about this but it's a fair issue as all those car leasing companies will tell you about their most popular company cars, and have statistics to support which make and model is safest.

  5. It's funny Brian, there was a middle aged, fairly timid manager at BA who drove a BMW and I heard him explaining to someone how he drove it 'hard' and not aggressively. I couldn't quite discern the subtle difference myself.

  6. I suppose hard is using it to the limits, aggressively is using it up to the limits on someone else's tail...

  7. At Windsor? How ironic! Anyway, I’m not really a huge fan of BMW too, but I cannot deny the fact that they’re a good kind of car. I’ve been driving a Lexus car for almost 2 years now, and I’d say it’s doing a great job serving its purpose. Its security features are quite outstanding!

    Prince Moss