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Automatic transmission of 2006 550i

(2006 BMW 550i)
in New York, NY on May 01, 2010
Car bought new in dec 2006....2006 automatic bmw 550i.
From the beginning the car made a grinding noise when driven from a cold start when speed was 35 to 40 km per hour. The transmission settles into fourth gear at this speed. The grinding noise disappears after 20 minutes of driving. The sound is much worse when driving up an incline at the same speed...namely 35 to 40 km per hour. If I switch to manual mode of transmission the car cannot be shifted manually into fourth gear at the above speed. The transmission merely reverts to third gear.
This problem has stayed stable since I bought the worsening nor improving.
I was told by employees at the dealer(who were not supposed to divulge any information)that recalls were issued for this problem and that only some of the 550i's built between Jan and Mar 2006 had this transmission problem....the first 550i's were built in the above three month period which is when the 550i's were first introduced for sale to the general public. Allegedly the cars on the recall list were fitted with new transmissions.
Is there any way that I can find out if my car's serial number was on this list? My dealer refuses to acknowledge that there is a problem, merely replying that this noise is normal for 550i's built in this three month period!
I am awfully frustrated.

Irwin Rodier
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