By on June 14, 2014

jalopm3

We love to trade barbs with Matt and the rest of the crew at Jalopnik, but sometimes they’re just plain right about things, and this is one of those times.

Two BMW M3s were crashed at a recent press event, and Patrick George wants to know who’s responsible. He and Matt are catching a lot of heat for investigating the crashes; the phrase “witch hunt” is being tossed around and it’s being suggested that he is doing the industry a disservice.

I’d suggest that the job of an automotive journalist is not to do the industry a service. It’s to do the reader a service. This is forgotten many more times in this business than it is remembered. Should two crashes be swept under the rug? What if these cars are crashing under situations that average buyers might accidentally duplicate? What if these cars are crashing because they are being incompetently driven by people whose opinion is being taken as fact by potential buyers?

Here at TTAC we’ll join in the call for the two journalists to volunteer their identities and explain how the crashes occurred. It’s real-life data that potential buyers could actually use, as opposed to puff-piece garbage about the new carbon-fiber roof or improved MP3 compatibility. Why shouldn’t they come forward? When I crashed my Lincoln in January, we showed pictures and told the story. It didn’t make my crash any worse, or my injuries any more painful — but it might make someone think twice about waiting for their snow tires to be installed. The same is true here. Unless these two cars were crashed under perfect-storm magic unicorn conditions that could never happen again, the buying public should hear about how it happened.

Unless, that is, we want to accept the idea that we only print “approved” news in this business. And that’s not true, is it?

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98 Comments on “Jalopnik’s Right This Time...”


  • avatar
    Stovebolt

    Well said!

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Nearly identical damage on the white one and the blue one. Hooligan journalists who hit the same barrier while racing each other, maybe?

    Shouldn’t be too hard to figure out; someone will squeal.

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    This is one of the times agree. Just admit you either hooned it up and caused an accident it’s a press car, you put it through the paces and you screwed up, no harm no foul OR the car is dangerous in a certain situation. Regardless it is fair to know. I remember a decade back an editor was killed during a track test. These things happen, lets learn from them rather than trying to keep it hush hush for the sake of good press copy.

    • 0 avatar
      namesakeone

      I think you are talking about Don Schroeder of Car and Driver; he was killed while top-speed testing an AMG Mercedes after it left the track and burst into flames.

  • avatar
    3Deuce27

    Reg. “Unless, that is, we want to accept the idea that we only print “approved” news in this business. And that’s not true, is it? ”

    Accept? People keep buying the auto print media and read the internet sites conjoined with industry. Been that way since I first started reading car mags when I was five or six, back in 1952. Didn’t take long for the budding post-war auto magazine publishers, editors, journalists to see where their bread was buttered. So since the public buys the quasi lies or obfuscations, people have accepted this situation to a subjective degree. Same with the corporate daily news. Lie to us, low and no information is comforting, and supportive of our disengagement.

    As for the crashed M3 subject…who cares? People crash cars all the time for all kinds of reasons and there is really no excuse for any of them, and anyone can do it, we are human, after all. Why do you need to put a name on it?

    And… “What if these cars are crashing because they are being incompetently driven by people whose opinion is being taken as fact by potential buyers?” Careful with that one, Jack, there be quick sand there.

    If it was caused by some failing of the M3 due to a manufacturing or design error, that is noteworthy, but it is unlikely that is the cause of the two M3′s condition, so this looks like a witch hunt, and for what purpose?

    • 0 avatar
      TonyJZX

      Jack crashed his own car and I dont think it was his fault.

      If a member of the press crashes someone elses car and tosses the keys back and hopes its swept under the carpet, then yes, its something that should be written about.

      The “auto press” isnt exactly Woodward and Bernstein and it sometimes creates its own drama and really, do you expect a story like this is going to be ignored?

      • 0 avatar
        don1967

        “Jack crashed his own car and I dont think it was his fault.”

        Jack deserves credit for admitting his accident instead of hiding it, and on that basis he is entitled to go on this “witch hunt” to expose the BWM-wrecking journalists. But make no mistake that Jack WAS at fault for his accident. He chose to go driving on summer tires in a snow storm, and he chose the speed for that unfamiliar snowy corner. To let him off the hook would be a double standard in the context of this column.

        • 0 avatar
          Hillman

          It has been my experience that when an accident happens everyone involved is at fault to some degree. Of course the law does not agree but when you think honestly about any accident you realize there were was you could have avoided problems.

          • 0 avatar
            Zykotec

            That may be correct in many instances, but surely not in all accidents. Unless you count driving in front of a texting teenager as something we could actively avoid. Or not driving through intersections because some people don’t understand what red means.
            I was almost hit straight on by an old man who came into my lane, and besides not driving that road on that day, there is more or less nothing I could have done to avoid a crash, although I was damn lucky and managed to reduce it to a small offset/sideswipe type of crash, instead of hitting the brakes and taking a full frontal. Cars were totalled, but no serious injuries in any of the cars, because I paid attention, took a chance at swerving and got very lucky.
            In the same way there probably isn’t much the guy in the Hyundai could have done to completely miss a 15 foot long Lincoln coming sideways towards him, but he could probably have reduced the severity of the impact to some extent.

          • 0 avatar
            JD23

            A couple of years ago, a moron in a U-Haul truck drove into my car while it was parked (legally) in a parking space next to my apartment. Aside from not living in that apartment, is there anything I could have done to prevent that accident?

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            @Hillman
            Moral-equivalence imbecility.
            I’m slowly and carefully driving down a row of parked cars to exit a lot, watching for back-up lights, pedestrians and gap-shooters from other lanes.

            Kid angry w/girlfriend in dad’s car jams it into R and shoots backwards just as I’m passing. First thing I’m aware of is a bang then a weird grinding sound as he nails the left rear quarter of my Silverado.

            I suppose that’s my fault for neglecting to be delivered stillborn 50 years earlier?

          • 0 avatar
            WheelMcCoy

            Thank you Zyktotech, JD23, and Kenmore.

            I’ll add that my car was hit while parked on the street. I suppose it is partly my fault since I could have left the car at home and taken a bus or taxi.

            A friend was side-swiped by a deer. I don’t think it was my friend’s fault. The deer did not signal. :)

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            I’m not done crying yet… my baby was so pristine.. gleaming dark blue, chrome, badges and factory graphics removed; fat, raised-letter Michelins on flat-black steelies with dog-dish caps; ginormous aftermarket towing mirrors giving instant know-all of what’s behind and to the side, and the RVM relocated to a crossbar in the roof, completely out of my sightlines. It was my command post!

            And now I find that I was equally culpable in the wound that combined with 2008 gas prices pushed me over the edge to trade it for a sippy-car.

            I need a second for seppuku.

          • 0 avatar
            Hillman

            I see I hit a nerve. How many times do people follow too close, not scan intersections, etc. Yes, it is the persons fault for running the red light but how many drivers scan the intersection to watch for drivers not stopping?

          • 0 avatar
            Zykotec

            Like I said, I think for some accidents, the people who get hit, even by a driver at fault, could have avoided it. Especially when it comes to intersections, roundabouts and yielding errors in general. Some errors in traffic are just to great to anticipate even for a careful driver who actually pays attention.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            @Hillman
            ‘s okay… after 50 years of public school/media indoctrination in moral equivalence even a forum like this is just plain gonna have a few cretins who blame the victim.

            Sorry you pulled weekend duty.

          • 0 avatar
            chicagoland

            No way, is ‘everyone’ at fault for all accidents, period.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            “Yes, it is the persons fault for running the red light but how many drivers scan the intersection to watch for drivers not stopping?”

            She did stop. But since the cellphone was consuming the vast majority of her brain capacity she then accelerated through the red light and into the side of my car. I accept some of the blame though because if I would have cut the A-Pillers out of my car I would have had the visibility to see this developing.

    • 0 avatar
      Kaosaur

      @JD23, that reminds me of a time several years ago where I was helping a “friend” move across country. They had a problem neighbor who made trouble for everyone on the streets near them by parking 3 Range Rover LR4s directly in front of their neighbors driveways constantly.

      We had a 16′ truck in said “friend’s” driveway for 2 days packing stuff and let the assholes know ahead of time when D-Day was. Of course, moving day comes and their car is sitting directly outside of the driveway. I should add, their driveway is always empty and there’s plenty of parking space for them – it’s a private community, private streets, everyone has a 4-car+ driveway and ample parking space around their house.

      Their door was knocked on and phones called – no response. Being private streets and them being an owner, a tow truck won’t come and the security company won’t move their car.

      “Friend” who was driving said “screw this and screw them” and backed the rental truck right out of the driveway and through (literally) their Range Rover, crushed it against the brick wall surrounding the raised garden on their property and got on with the move.

      With no damage to the rental truck, might I add.

      • 0 avatar
        hybridkiller

        “I see I hit a nerve.”

        No, what you hit is a bunch of people with more life experience than you. Either you are very young, or you (so far) have simply managed to avoid anything that spoils your tidy little world view.

        “It has been my experience that when an accident happens everyone involved is at fault to some degree.”

        Try to remember that, just because you haven’t experienced something doesn’t mean no one else has.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        I’d give your “Friend” a trophy if I ever met him, sometimes you just gotta make your own path through moronic neighbors.

      • 0 avatar
        JD23

        My situation was quite different; I lived in an apartment complex and was parked in my assigned parking spot, which was the only place I could park near my apartment. The people who hit my car claimed that they had knocked on my door that morning, but it was a Saturday and I had been in the shower. Upon not receiving a response, they apparently decided they would just drive the truck through the parking lot, regardless of obstacles.

        I happened to venture outside to leave for the day soon after the damage had occurred. They initially tried to shirk responsibility claiming they had tried to contact me. I’m guessing I would have been justified in punching the guy in the face, as long as I had attempted to provide advance warning. The best part was when the older fellow, who had been driving the truck, threatened to “come after me” if I misused his information, as we were exchanging insurance cards.

        For several weeks, State Farm, which was the insurance company for both of us, used the three Ds – deflect, delay and distract – to avoid processing the claim. State Farm claimed that the people who hit me would not respond to their inquiries and the claim could not proceed. I think there were some other issues at play; the imbecilic U-Haul drivers seemed incredulous that a kid half their age with a new car that was roughly the same as their annual income would actually want a smashed bumper repaired and attempted to make the process as difficult as possible. On the bright side, I was able to experience the excellence that is the Chevy Aveo as a rental while my car was being repaired.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @3Deuce327
      I think you’ll find there is very few accidents that can be attributed to an “act of God”.

      Other than an “act of God” it will be human error. The unfortunate fact of incidents/accidents to human might be remote to the accident and not physically involved as in a failure due to an engineering defect. But a human is always near.

      I’ve been involved in incidents and incident reporting as part of my job for a number of years now.

      I have yet to come across any incident that wasn’t attributed to a human.

      In the case of these BMWs we are restricted to limited information to state for sure where accountability lies and how much accountability can be apportioned to any individual.

  • avatar

    BMW 3 drivers are the absolute worse around here.

    The M3 drivers aren’t bad cause they drive slow so everyone can see their car. But when challenged to a street race- they take more risks.

    The “regular” 3 drivers are ALWAYS showing off cause they want to drive fast enough to make you think they have an M3.

    • 0 avatar
      don1967

      It does seem like a disproportionate share of obnoxious road behaviour (like driving across solid lines to pass three more cars before merging) is committed by BMW drivers.

      I cringe at the thought of my 4,000-pound Hyundai accidentally ramming into one of these ultimate driving machines, but then of course I smile just a little bit.

    • 0 avatar

      In Massachusetts, if you have X number of accidents or moving violations over a certain period (I’m being vague because I don’t remember the specifics) you have to go to a safe-driving class to get hectored by agents of the state and pass a silly “test” in order to keep your license.

      A friend of mine had two or three accidents in quick succession during a very snowy winter and had to go, a couple years ago… she reported that the class was overwhelmingly made up of unlikeable twenty-something guys who owned BMWs that they’d bought used, mostly M5s and an assortment of 3s, most of whom had been repeatedly cited for driving like idiots.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Around here (flyover country), the 3 series drivers have diluted the pool of dickish drivers in BMWs a bit.

      Maybe the supply of people who are too self-important to drive properly varies by region?

      The 3 series is a glorified Civic, and even has some of the same trunk lines. My local BMW dealer shares a showroom with the Honda dealer, and I bet they’ve converted enough Civic sales to 3-series sales to sway the demographics of BMW owners in my town.

      (They must have a hell of a leasing/finance department.)

      The guys with the 5 series and S classes still try to kill me on a regular basis, though, because they’re “too important” to be safe or courteous…. But I’m glad to see some positive changes for the brand, even though I wouldn’t be caught dead in a BMW myself.

      • 0 avatar
        JD23

        “My local BMW dealer shares a showroom with the Honda dealer…”

        You don’t happen to live in Central Illinois, do you?

      • 0 avatar
        jc130

        oh, me either, or I always said so, but my girlfriend is very partial to her 528, and will never drive if I am with her. Do I feel like a total nozzle behind the wheel? A bit, but the things you do for love…

    • 0 avatar
      talkstoanimals

      Ah – I was hoping I’d find some of that vintage anti-BMW driver sentiment that keeps me from posting here much these days. Thank you! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go out and run some errands in my glorified Civic. Funny, I never realized back when I owned Civics that I was going to get dumber and actually think I liked BMWs later in life… What a shame.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Why so much hate for Civics?

      • 0 avatar
        Zykotec

        I don’t think it’s a BMW problem. All german ‘premium’ car brands have this to a certain degree, but BMW’s stick out more because they have slightly interesting designs. And because they invite to spirited driving, there may be a little more of that spirited driving happening behind the wheel of a BMW. Unlike my brothers Type-R Integra, which offcourse only inspires to drive safely and consideratley ;)

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          The E30 isn’t all that common anymore, and it seems like the people who have them love them and will take good care of them. The E36 doesn’t seem to be that desirable. But the E46 has aged well design-wise, and has now reached a point at which it can be a viable cash car for teenagers and people my age (early twenties), or a cheap investment for parents who want to buy their kids nice cars. So most of the irresponsible driving that I witness occurs in E46 Bimmers.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        LOL, I thought I was defending the BMW brand by disagreeing with their image a bit… :-)

        But, no, I’m not a fan of the brand – and that came through load and clear. Spending more for BMW when a commodity car does exactly the same thing and is actually built for long-term ownership seems irresponsible, even though I’m in their target demographic and can afford one. I expect value proposition won’t become appealing any time soon, either.

      • 0 avatar
        don1967

        Nothing wrong with liking BMWs “later in life”, except that the statement itself reeks of I-have-arrived snobbery… exactly the sort of stereotype you are protesting here.

        Having owned Hyundais since 2008 I am familiar with negative automotive stereotypes. But there’s some truth to them. I DO have an inner cheapskate. And maybe you have an inner douchebag. So what? We can laugh at ourselves.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      I believe this whole incident is a perfect example of the BMW power of douchebaggery, get behind the wheel of a particularly fast one and you become one

      • 0 avatar

        Lie2Me

        Hence…Corvettes being a greater killer of middle aged men suffering from male pattern baldness than skin cancer.

      • 0 avatar
        zamoti

        It’s totally true. I recently purchased a used one and I’m WAY more of a douche/dick on the road than I was before. However, it’s not that I didn’t want to be a douche/dick, it is simply that my old car wasn’t fast enough for me to do it (but I certainly did what I could given my resources).
        So I suppose it’s less of a transformation and more actualization of potential. I am now the dick I’ve always hoped I could be.
        I’d like to thank the academy, my parents, my wife and of course my kids for supporting my dream of being yet another asshole in a black BMW who drives too fast and is in the end a mediocre driver who relies on power instead of skill.

    • 0 avatar
      dude500

      Driving both a 335xi and a minivan, I’ll give you a different perspective. For some reason in NYC, other drivers are more aggressive AT ME while I’m in the BMW. I frequently find myself being boxed in.

      As an example: I can be going 65mph on the Major Deegan on the left lane passing a Camry going 55mph on the right lane, and without fail the Camry will speed up. I also find that if I’m on the right lane being passed by another vehicle, the vehicle will, without fail, park itself on my left side (i.e. it does not complete the pass, but just stays there). This does not happen when driving the minivan, even when driving in anger.

      This is why the replacement for my BMW will be a Q-ship like a Chevy SS or the older Impala with the 305hp engine.

      • 0 avatar
        WheelMcCoy

        I’ve seen many mini-vans jiggle in their lanes because the driver is distracted by kids and pets. Perhaps that is why cars complete the pass of a mini-van (or SUV), but not on a sedan.

        Recent internet buzz depicts BMW drivers as less likely to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and more likely to cheat on their spouses. The cars are expensive to buy and expensive to maintain. I’m guilty of making BMW jokes, but I do concede BMWs are nice cars with great driving dynamics.

        I’ll add that not all BMW drivers are douches. Some drive normally because they care about the badge, and not about driving dynamics. I also followed an enthusiastic BMW driver one time – it was fun and he was only was enthusiastic when he had room. The ones to keep away from are those who “make” room by weaving and cutting people off.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        BMWs have the power to bring out the worst in people, on either side of the wheel

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      BTSR, I can see VAG’s North American headquarters from my balcony. You wanna see the worst? Imagine some VAG “Suit” drving a VAG product with manufacuturers plates on it. They didn’t pay for it and they don’t care. Their levels of rudeness make BMW drivers look like Mr. Rodgers in comparison.

      • 0 avatar
        DrSandman

        Well said, Neighbor. (Herndon, VA resident as well.)

        To be fair, not all VP’s of VAG commit douchbaggery. One EVP’s kid and my kids share a daycare, and I like him and his wife personally.

        But it does seem that there is a tragedy of familiarity. Honda drivers cut me off. Taxi drivers impede all forward motion by clogging the left lane. BMW drivers can be counted on doing something unsafe. Audi drivers can be counted on being oblivious to anyone else on the road. Unfortunately, it’s probably only 10% of drivers of each marque that do this, but it sticks out in one’s memory, tarring all owners/lessors of that brand.

        • 0 avatar
          NoGoYo

          I live out in the country, so I have to deal with more aggressive “lifted diesel F250 with Confederate flag front plate and/or rear window mural and stickers about hunting/being a redneck/being a member of the NRA/hating Obama/etc” drivers than BMW drivers.

          • 0 avatar
            crtfour

            Same here. I’d honestly rather deal with the BMW drivers. I would swear that one these truck drivers flipped a switch or something causing black smoke to go all over the place when he passed me in my Toyota truck.

  • avatar

    I’ll keep an ear out. Do we know it was journos? Did BMW maybe have a dealer event following the press drive?

    (Wasn’t me. I mostly don’t get invited to these things.)

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    The new M3 could have snappy tendencies. And did they warm up the tires before going ballz out? Hard sidewalls on 35 series may not be so forgiving on extra wide tires, limiting contact patch at 9/10ths.

  • avatar

    To the mystery crasher’s credit–I showed up as this event was ending to work at the June Sprints and it was nasty wet outside. I don’t know when, where, how or who re: this one since I didn’t do the press event, but it got pretty wet at times here.

    Of course, not driving for the conditions is a bit incompetent, but it rains so infrequently where I live that I’ll admit that I’m *absolutely* incompetent in the rain. I can’t fault the guy for borking a car in the wet, however, I do think it’s in the best interests of everyone if he discloses that in the write-up.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Did the Motor Trend scribe who totaled that ATS ever offer a mea culpa? (Don’t recall who it was..Scott Burgess, or did this happen before he joined MT after the Detroit News punted him?)

      Whoops — answer down-thread..it was Scott Evans.

  • avatar
    Toad

    I noticed the Jalopnik piece mentions that one of these wrecked BMW’s showed up “at my shop today.” Will a “new” car with that much damage get repaired and resold as a CPO “executive car?” I’d think they would be scrapped but that might be optimistic.

    • 0 avatar
      Zykotec

      The Blue one looks slightly less ‘written off’ than the white (the whole rearend, and rear suspension is crooked), but I’d guess they are more worth in parts than as complete cars with such damage.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      You would be surprised how hard it is to total a brand new $70K car. Chances are, they will be fixed. You can do a LOT of repairs for $50K or so. Really, even if totaled they will probably get fixed and sold with a salvage title.

      *I* wouldn’t want one after a whack like that, but some folks love a bargain.

  • avatar
    Japanese Buick

    I know that in my many years as a C&D reader they have wrecked at least two Audi long term test cars. One was a four wheel driver in the snow over 10 years ago (I think it was DED that did that one) and the other was an S8 they wrecked in 2009. Both times they wrote extensively about it, accepting responsibility and talking about the repairs and their cost.

    My opinion is that if one of the majors had done it, they would own up because their position is relatively secure and it would make a good story. If that’s the case BMW may even be withholding the info to let them have the “scoop” of writing about it first.

    If some podunk “Wheels” editor from the Shelbyville Times did it, it would probably end their career so they desperately need to keep it quiet.

    I suspect it’s the latter.

  • avatar
    chuckrs

    That’ll buff right out.

    Oh, come on, somebody had to say it.

    It sounds like this is a combination of light car/big tires and torrential rain and the journos should man up and warn their readers about it – or whatever else it may have been. I’m amazed at how many people don’t respect conditions and their own limitations enough, assuming their performance car or SUV can defy the laws of physics.

    If they came clean, we could then provide them with a complimentary poster like this one:

    http://www.despair.com/mistakes.html

  • avatar
    mitchw

    Did somebody ‘accidentally’ switch off the traction and stability controls?

    Respect thyne limits, buffet racers.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Everyone knows traction control slows you down, so yeah this sounds like a good explanation. Guy who thinks he knows how to drive, has done tons of these press events thus turns off the nannies, then its starts raining and the next you know he is into a barrier HARD.

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    It was me. I crashed these fine BMWs. But it was not the cars’ fault. I overate at the buffet, drank a fifth of Smirnoff (I wanted to have the full Russian experience of driving a new M3) and then put 10 dead hookers in the trunk when the owner’s manual clearly states that 3 is the limit (it’s not a Bentley for Christ’s sake). And they were fatties. After crashing the first one, and explaining how good my review would be, BMW helpfully escorted me to the next one. Neatly packing the dead hookers in the trunk. Anyway, the cars were amazing, like an e30 M3 mixed with a unicorn mixed with a young Marilyn Monroe mixed with super pure molly. Wait, sorry, that was the party that BMW threw for the journalists after the test drive. But the new M3 is still amazing. It has a roof made out of plastic reinforced by fibers! That technology was amazing in the late 1940s and in some applications is arguably superior to steel. Anyway, Ferrari, are you noticing how positive this review is? I will crash the f*ck out of a 458 Italia. But I promise not to run any objective, metered tests on it.

    • 0 avatar
      yesthatsteve

      You, sir, win teh Internets!

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      >>Anyway, the cars were amazing, like an e30 M3 mixed with a unicorn mixed with a young Marilyn Monroe mixed with super pure molly. Wait, sorry, that was the party that BMW threw for the journalists after the test drive.<<

      This. The people that gush about recent BMWs without getting invited to the press junkets are dangerously susceptible to suggestion.

  • avatar
    JGlanton

    There must be a bajillion 3-series here in So. California and I don’t notice any hooliganism from them. Their driver demographic actually seems pretty conservative to me.

    The worst hooligan drivers are boys in lowered asian coupes, young men in large pickup trucks, and the occasional soccer mom racing in her Escalade/Suburban/Tahoe to get her kids from band practice to baseball practice in time.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      Completely agree. There are even mega-tranches of 3s throughout the land of “Smell Our Dairy Air” bumper stickers, Wisconsin.

      They have never stood out as douche-holders in my experience. Loud, lifted trucks are by far the reigning local menace, usually older rotted ones. And women drivers of the plastic Pontiacs still on the road.

      Heh… just today we were cut-off in a roundabout by a couple of fat 40-somethings hanging their wattled arms out the windows of a purple 1st generation Geo Tracker. But I doubt that’s statistically significant :-)

      BTW, doesn’t my second sentence say something significant about the brand?

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        BMWs are still rather sparse in Wisconsin and as a whole they drive fine, but in areas where every other car is a bimmer (L A, Atlanta) they feed off each other’s douche energy and quickly degenerate into roving packs of porcupine needles

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I drive my 3-series quickly when conditions warrant, but I don’t think I ever could be accused of driving like an idiot. I got that out of my system a long, long, long time ago. Frankly, I am amazed I survived college. I do tend to be a bit more aggressive in the Abarth, but you just have to in that car – it’s the law… :-) I like my cheap insurance too much to go too nuts on public streets in anything.

      I will say that compared to the level of discourse I have enjoyed on sundry Saab, Volvo, and Peugeot mailing lists and forums over the years, the idiot level on the BMW forums never ceases to amaze me, and it is mostly the kids under 25 or so who are the biggest contributors. e9X 3′s are now cheap enough and fast enough to attract the “must mod my car” fast and furious retard set. But on the other hand, the local BMWCCA chapter folks I know are a lovely bunch. I will freely admit I drive a BMW in spite of the image, not because of it.

      • 0 avatar
        JD23

        As a frequenter of Audi forums, I can tell you the Audi situation is not much better. The “stance” and “stretch and poke” set is just getting their hands on early B8s and doing some horrific things.

    • 0 avatar
      svan

      It’s the even numbers. In Toronto, I find, some BMW pulls a dick move, and it’s 50/50 a 4 or a 6. M drivers are the finest, nicest drivers in comparison.

  • avatar
    dougjp

    However, think…..if the journalists did come forward and tell the stories of what happened, what percentage of those stories would you believe? And how much further ahead would you be?

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Most of the posters are using incorrect terminology.

    Legally the term “accident” is no longer used. It implies that no one was at fault.

    The correct terminology would me “MVI” or “MVC”. “Motor Vehicle Incident” or “Motor Vehicle Crash”.

    With that being said I tend to agree with author. The who, what, when, where, how, and why of journalism needs to be upheld.

    Automotive journalists have degenerated into a group of sheep that regurgitate what ever the car companies offer.

    Journalists are supposed to put sharing the truth with the public first and foremost.

    All we see is a bunch of spoiled lazy assholes trying not to loose the keys to the corporate press fleet and the front row seats at the buffet table.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    There was a similar incident a couple of years ago when Motor Trend’s Scott Evans crashed a press-car ATS, and I think Mister Baruth thoroughly explained what he suspected was the cause. I actually like to hear journalists stories and mess-ups. It’s not that I want these accidents to happen, but rather that when they do, hearing about them reminds me that these journalists aren’t Driving Gods; they’re regular, flawed, learning people like the rest of us. My respect for Mister Baruth grew tremendously after he was transparent with us about his accident in the Town Car.

    So, yes, I’d like to hear what happened with these M3′s.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      “My respect for Mister Baruth grew tremendously after he was transparent with us about his accident in the Town Car.”

      How else was he to explain massive injuries, the total loss of a car that he had wrote about (Panther Love!), and others that would eventually see him? It was also covered in a newspaper article.

      • 0 avatar
        Jack Baruth

        I think it could have been easily “covered up”. I’m not George Clooney: My name could be in a small town newspaper every day for a year and nobody would notice.

        As was recently pointed out in these pages, the editor of Roundel was prosecuted for statutory rape and almost nobody knows or cares.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Don’t recall if the article mentioned TTAC in any of its incarnations, or Jack’s role at TTAC. Perhaps in the article Comments?

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    On the actual subject of this post, I don’t think it is anyone’s business who crashed those cars but the journo’s driving, BMW, and the relevant insurance company, if any. Two guys (and they were certainly male) got free goes in VERY high performance cars on a track, and they outdrove their ability. Big surprise. And shocker number two, a high performance car can potentially bite you at the limit – surprise again! Is everything supposed to be so dumbed down and artificially limited that you can’t hurt yourself?

  • avatar
    AlfaRomasochist

    This has nothing to do with the article but: earlier this week I was in Denver, and as I pulled into the hotel parking lot I saw a McLaren 650S parked in front. “Wow!” though I. “A McLaren!” Rather than pull into the parking garage I decided to do a slow drive-by in my rented Subaru XV Crosstrek.

    As I drove past the driver stuck his head out the window and gave me the stinkeye, apparently he was starting to pull out when I drove past. The point of the story? If the driver wasn’t the august TTAC editor pro-tempore it was his evil twin. OK, evil-er twin.

    So Jack, drive any cool cars lately?

  • avatar
    rmwill

    Seems very middle school to whisper/gossip about which douchebag hack auto writer(s) drove beyond his/her means and wrecked, or alternatively caused a wreck. These are street cars, not harness equipped track cars. I would love for one objective source to out the know nothing sanctimonious non-writers that purport to be expert drivers and reviewers. We need some “truth” here folks.

    I will go first. The Detroit News’ Henry Payne is probably the worst excuse for an auto writer currently working. That’s saying a lot, given the poor crop currently working.

  • avatar
    Scott_314

    As I came roaring out of the famous “double-S” bend, driver and machine in perfect harmony, I flicked the buttery-smooth shifter and pinned the metal to the floor. What happened next can only be described as “epic”.

    The car launched like a rocket down the straightaway, total confident in its acceleration profile. Third, then fourth, then fifth. Then sixth. Still power to go but I was rapidly approaching the apex of the infamous “Champion’s Turn”.

    The massive brakes started hauled me down to a stop, but ALL OF A SUDDEN A DEER JUMPED RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME. I yanked the wheel and the electronics took over, certainly saving my life. The deer bounded away, just before anyone else could glimpse it, blissfully ignorant of it’s near death, . But the car couldn’t avoid two obstacles per the laws of physics, and the Champion’s Wall took another victim. The safety features kept this driver safe enough to walk away, but the car did not survive. This time.

    That’s my effort!

  • avatar
    JD23

    What about the hand-stitched semi-aniline leather seats with adjustable side bolsters that kept you firmly ensconced in teutonic splendor as you rounded “Champion’s Turn” at nearly 100 mph?

  • avatar
    jc130

    Reminds me of when the great moto journalist Kevin Ash was killed in South Africa at the BMW R1300GS launch. I can’t remember exactly, but it was believed to be solely pilot error.


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