City traffic investigators are studying a YouTube video that appears to show an employee of Pacific BMW taking a new 1 Series M coupe — the interior still covered in plastic wrapping, a sales sticker on the window — for a high-speed drive down a residential street in South Glendale.
The video was removed from YouTube, but car enthusiasts were able to save and repost it on several forums, including, once again, YouTube. Forum visitors on Friday called for the driver’s termination and listed the phone numbers of managers at Pacific BMW on South Brand Boulevard.
Pacific BMW released a statement Friday afternoon, saying the dealership was made aware of the YouTube video on Aug. 16 and “immediately handled the situation with the parties involved.”
The dealership also said it is working with the Glendale Police Department and does not condone or tolerate the way the car was driven in the video.
“We have discussed the incident with all current employees to reinforce our safe-driving procedures and standard driving rules,” according to the statement.
New cars are not supposed to be driven at high speeds for their first 1,000 miles during what’s called a break-in period. The dealership did not respond to questions about how the driver’s actions might affect the car in the video.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price for a 1 Series M is roughly $46,100, although options and dealer mark-ups can push the price far higher.
City spokesman Tom Lorenz said traffic investigators expect to identify the driver soon and will consider pressing misdemeanor charges related to unsafe driving.
City officials are concerned this may not be the first time the driver in the video has raced down residential streets, Lorenz said.
Other YouTube videos posted by bugeye2003, who originally posted the BMW 1 Series M video, show cars being driven down other residential streets at high speeds. In one video, the driver has the camera on the speedometer as the car reaches 95 mph, though the dashboard blocks the view so it’s difficult to tell where the vehicle is traveling.
“It appears to be the same man,” Lorenz said. “This person has the will to drive recklessly.”
The investigation should be complete next week, he added.
Residents who live near the dealership said they’ve seen employees speeding in pricey sports cars down their streets before.
“What if they killed a little kid walking around?” said Abraham Vazquez, who has lived near the dealership for 20 years.