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      08-20-2011, 08:12 AM   #1
bardofoc
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Hit & Run ding.

While washing my 128i yesterday afternoon, I noticed an aberration on my rear bumper. In the right hand corner, there appeared to be a bulge protruding out from an otherwise smooth and undamaged finish. I was surprised by this anomaly’s sudden appearance. I initially thought someone had dinged my bumper, but that scenario didn’t seem right. Like I said, the damage is in the form of a bump or a ‘bubble’ that had been caused by an impact inside the bumper. If this had been caused by a collision between my car and another object, one would expect to see an indentation in the bumper and not a rise. I was then certain this had been caused by a malfunction or a defect within the car. But, now, I am not so sure either way. There are three reasons why I am not convinced this was the result of a collision.
1) A lack of indentation at the point of impact
2) Other than a slight crease around the bubble, there are no cracks, holes, scratches, or scrape marks
on the bumper
3) Just as important, there are no paint marks that rubbed off from the car that collided with mine.

The damage on my car is very minimal. If I was rear ended or backed into something, the impact must have been at 0 MPH. I searched the Internet to see if there were any complaints about BMW bumpers. I located threads on two other forums. One was about defective X5 bumpers. Quite a few users at that site complained about a wrinkling effect on the top of the rear bumper caused by the bumper popping out of the clips. But, that seemed to be related to the vehicle’s tailgate. The other thread had a scenario much more similar to mine. The owner of a 2008 3-Series complained that something similar to the shape of a nail head was pushing out from his rear bumper. He thought that was strange since his car had obviously not experienced a collision. It turned out that a plastic rivet got loose and fell down inside the bumper. In both cases, the owners were immediately told by the dealerships that their cars had been rear ended, so no repair work would be done for them. In the case of the 3-Series owner, after it was determined that the problem was due to a factory defect, he was told that he would not be given a loaner since the repair was for body work and not mechanical.

My 2011 128i is a little over 6 months old. If the protrusion I write about occurred because of something that happened to my car, I can live with that. However, if this is a result of a factory defect, I believe BMW SHOULD repair my bumper. But what I find more pressing is that if this cause was not a single incident, then my bumper may continue to deteriorate. A lot of the X5 owners stated that the bulk of the repair cost was attributed to reattaching the bumpers after they came loose once the wrinkling began. It is still too dark outside to take a picture of my bumper, but I will post an image later today. I would still like to hear feedback from other members in the meantime. I am going to take my car into the dealership next week regardless. I just have a feeling that I am going to end up knee-deep in a fight with the dealership, so I want as much of an advantage as I can get.
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      08-20-2011, 10:39 AM   #2
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Pics?
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      08-20-2011, 10:44 AM   #3
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pics or it didn't happen
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      08-20-2011, 11:14 AM   #4
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No defects on my 2008 model.
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      08-20-2011, 12:45 PM   #5
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tl;dr

you should just post a pic
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      08-20-2011, 01:44 PM   #6
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A picture is worth a thousand words. Show us a pic if you want useful comments
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      08-21-2011, 01:01 AM   #7
bardofoc
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Okay, I know the original post was irrelevant without images. So, I added two to demonstrate what I was talking about.
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      08-21-2011, 04:26 AM   #8
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I think you'll find that something or someone has pushed your bumper in against the structure behind which has pushed out the blister you now see.
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      08-21-2011, 06:32 AM   #9
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I think you'll find that something or someone has pushed your bumper in against the structure behind which has pushed out the blister you now see.
+1 must have happened while you were parked somewhere and didn't notice till now.
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      08-21-2011, 08:09 AM   #10
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Looks like a slow speed hit. Sometimes, you can get that without scuff marks on the bumper.
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      08-21-2011, 09:43 AM   #11
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[quote=bardofoc;10263882]While washing my 128i yesterday afternoon, I noticed an aberration on my rear bumper. In the right hand corner, there appeared to be a bulge protruding out from an otherwise smooth and undamaged finish. I was surprised by this anomaly’s sudden appearance. I initially thought someone had dinged my bumper, but that scenario didn’t seem right. Like I said, the damage is in the form of a bump or a ‘bubble’ that had been caused by an impact inside the bumper. If this had been caused by a collision between my car and another object, one would expect to see an indentation in the bumper and not a rise. I was then certain this had been caused by a malfunction or a defect within the car. But, now, I am not so sure either way. There are three reasons why I am not convinced this was the result of a collision.
1) A lack of indentation at the point of impact
2) Other than a slight crease around the bubble, there are no cracks, holes, scratches, or scrape marks
on the bumper
3) Just as important, there are no paint marks that rubbed off from the car that collided with mine.

.................................................. .....................QUOTE]



OP;
Don't bother going to the dealer - this is not a defect (IMHO).
I had the exact same bulge on my back bumper on my 2008 128i 2 years ago.
What happened was that, while my wife and I were shopping, a lady backed into the back of my 1er. She didn't notice it, but a bystander stopped her before she could get away and told her what she had done.
She was in the process of writing me a note to put on the windshield when we came out.
I noticed the little bulge (identical to yours) and told her I'd get it checked out at the dealer for repair estimates. BTW, other than the bulge, there were no marks on the paint to suggest that my car had been hit by another vehicle - the paint and finish on the bulge were still pristine.
But apparently there is a rebar (I'm not sure if that is the correct nomenclature) which is behind the plastic bumper which deploys which had some damage and caused the bulge to appear.
The bumper does not have to be replaced, but the rebar and bumper will need to be repaired.
The bumper was brought back into shape with some sort of heat process. The entire repair cost $850 Cdn - which the lady paid for.
Your damage looks identical to mine, so I suspect someone also backed into you at a low speed and may never even have noticed the bump.
BTW, you need to get it repaired as the integrity of your rear bumper has been compromised from a safety perspective.
Good Luck.
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      08-21-2011, 10:58 AM   #12
bardofoc
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Thanks for the (unfortunate) information, carnut. That is the exact type of insight I was looking for.
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      08-21-2011, 11:15 AM   #13
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Yup, looks like someone has hit your bumper. That sucks man.
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      08-21-2011, 03:59 PM   #14
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ya, its definately a hit, mine has the same right now from when someone backed into me at like 2 mph : (.
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      08-21-2011, 04:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
Yup, looks like someone has hit your bumper. That sucks man.
+1
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      08-21-2011, 08:27 PM   #16
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Man that stinks. What did BMW design that? Is it a defect for the bulgur to come out after a small bump?
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      08-21-2011, 11:43 PM   #17
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That is an excellent question. What really annoys me more than the blister is the protruding 'rebar' mentioned by carnut. I don't know why BMW used this design, but I am thinking that it has to be a safety issue.
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      08-22-2011, 06:22 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bardofoc View Post
That is an excellent question. What really annoys me more than the blister is the protruding 'rebar' mentioned by carnut. I don't know why BMW used this design, but I am thinking that it has to be a safety issue.
To me, it looks like a hit from a screw or bolt head that was holding on the license plate of the person that hit you. It is unlikely that the actual bumper (metal part, rebar is used in construction, not automobiles) could have caused that mark to the outer bumper cover, unless the offender hit you just the right angle.

re·bar   [ree-bahr]
noun Building Trades Informal .
a steel bar or rod used to reinforce concrete.
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      08-22-2011, 10:53 AM   #19
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LOL Yeah, I know what rebar is used for. Both sides of my family are rife with cement masons, my father included. I really hope you are right about that long crease being caused by the other car, amanusco, and not by some device located behind the outer panel. You've actually given me hope that the repair process won't be as difficult as I fear. I'll find out once I revisit a local certified BMW repair shop later in the week. My fingers will be crossed until then.
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      08-22-2011, 11:28 AM   #20
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Its funny because I don't see any rebarb in the parts diagrams! Now that you KNOW someome has hit your car (and ran) I wish you would change the subject header to reflect this. Just gives our cars a bad name with defects when there is clearly no defective parts.


I bet teh side egg create impact tray got crushed - when your car got hit. I believe there is a sensor for teh airbags in those side pannels too. Better call your insurance agent bc you are looking at least at a $1K repair.

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http://www.realoem.com/bmw/partgrp.d...21&hg=51&fg=17
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      08-22-2011, 12:33 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bardofoc View Post
That is an excellent question. What really annoys me more than the blister is the protruding 'rebar' mentioned by carnut. I don't know why BMW used this design, but I am thinking that it has to be a safety issue.
Has zero to do with BMW..

The damage that you see is not to your bumper...its too your "bumper cover".. (im not being an a$$hole with semantics..just trying to explain)

Ever since OEM's went to pretty aero stylized front and rear facias, your "bumpers" were nicely covered up by the purely cosmetic bumper covers. What do you think actually absorbs impact in an accident...surely not that piece of plastic.. All of the structure is hidden nicely and is made from aluminum and steel and prtected by more plastic and foam.

The protusion you see is from the force of the car that hit yours, squishing the cover against the support which lies underneath..

and be happy we have those covers... or else we would be stuck with a big old chrome bumper like on a chevy caprice....or worse a cadillac !!

sorry for your loss...good thing is is that it s a relatively easy fix.

the big lump of metal indicated by #1 is what did the damage
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      08-23-2011, 06:18 AM   #22
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Thanks for that break down Dackelone and Drivehard. Now I understand the damage a whole lot better. You actually brought up a good point Dackelone that I hadn't considered, so I just changed the title of the thread to reflect the actual topic.
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