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BMW refuses to cover their own poor workmanship.

Discussion in 'Warranty questions' started by nowaybeyobies, Apr 14, 2010.

    nowaybeyobies guest

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    I just bought a 2006 325i that is CPO. I took it to the local dealership to have a curious noise looked into. At certain points while accelerating I can hear the engine squealing. This became noticeable after the first few days of driving the car enough to recognize it on a regular basis. It turns out this was a result of poor workmanship from the previous out of state dealership that had done the scheduled maintenance and repair of the car. My local dealership tells me that in 08/2008 while replacing the steering column, this other BMW dealership pulled out the firewall boot and didn't put it back in place. Apparently, the absence of this boot fit correctly into place exposes a hole from which the annoying engine noise enters the cabin through. While the good news is there is nothing wrong with my engine, the bad news is that to go back inside the steering column to correct this, the dealership is asking upwards of $700.00. The service adviser here tells me "this is considered a flaw in workmanship and not a defective part, so its not covered under warranty". Feeling completely disappointed in his lack of initiative and effort to help me with this issue, I decided to call the dealership responsible for this problem, BMW of Henderson NV. Speaking with the service manager there, I kindly requested they cover the expense for fixing the firewall boot as it was due to their defective workmanship to begin with and he tells me that because of the elapsed time from when it had happened until now, it's not covered. Considering a firewall boot doesn't wear out or gradually come loose over time, how does this kind of poor workmanship that directly impacts my driving experience and enjoyment of vehicle ownership have an expiration date on avoiding responsibility? Why am I being asked to pay for something that is the mistake of the BMW dealership of Henderson NV? Regardless of the time frame, on principal alone, shouldn't the cost come out of the pocket of this dealership and mechanic who did not do their job correctly? How does this dealership find it acceptable to avoid responsibility past a certain period of time, especially when the car in question is still under warranty? Simply because this annoying background noise coming from the engine was not brought to attention until now, how is this kind of sub standard work on the part of BMW excusable? I am posting this because I trusted BMW and their official dealerships were held to a higher standard of workmanship and accountability. I am disillusioned by my experience so far and am looking for any advice or comments that could possibly help my situation.
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    bcweir

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    Sorry to hear that! Don't give up hope! Be positive!

    I can think of four options you have here. Please consider them in the following order:

    1) Try another dealership. Not all dealerships are the same, and my understanding is that such an apathetic dealer is thankfully the minority. Be kind, respectful, polite and honest in explaining the problem. Take a break to cool off if you need to, in order to improve your chances. If the vehicle is still under warranty right now, it should be honored by any BMW dealer. BMW reimburses dealers for warranty work, so this shouldn't cost you one cent.

    2) If that doesn't work, you still have another option: BMWCCA retains Ombudsmen. You can contact one here at this link http://bmwcca.org/index.php?pageid=ombuds. Ombudsmen are responsible for mediating disputes between BMW customers and BMW service providers. They don't work for BMW, but they can mediate and sometimes resolve differences like this.

    3) Ask for a "goodwill repair." It's not something that BMW advertises, but in some cases, BMW is willing to foot the bill for work that either isn't covered by a warranty or falls into a grey area. They're not going to volunteer this information, you have to ask for it if the situation warrants it.

    4) Don't discount the power of the BMWCCA community. You'd be surprised at how willing the rest of us are to help. You're a part of a very large family now. We'd like to help in any way possible.

    nowaybeyobies guest

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    I really appreciate your response bcweir, as it really makes me feel welcome and heard. Those are encouraging words and I will use the resources you listed here in further pursuing this. Cheers!

    ForcedInduction guest

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    OP - Your points are well taken and the appropriate response is for the original dealer to suck-it-up and pay for the correct repairs. While I understand there is a time factor involved, the original repair was improper and that's the bottom line for me as you were not the owner at the time of the repair and the vehcile is a CPO vehicle. Hopefully BMW NA will step to the plate to assist you but their record with customer service tends to be sketchy in my experience...
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    bcweir

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    Now now, ForcedInduction, be positive.

    We don't need a hot pot (nowaybeyobies) stirred anymore than it already is. I think his patience has been cooked enough for one day.

    I should also point out he's only tried ONE dealership -- hardly enough evidence to convict the entire brand, and he's only been turned away one time. Why don't we put away the rope and the gallows until he has least tried a couple of alternatives?

    A positive outcome starts with a positive attitude. Besides, he's still got four options - that's still sufficient "ammo" in his battle with the BMW service department.

    Cheers nowaybeyobies. Good luck!
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    bcweir

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    ForcedInduction guest

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    Please refrain from inappropriate comments. You are entitled to your opinion as are other BMW members on this forum. Your interpretation of my comments is inaccurate and inappropriate.
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    benchmarque

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    The CPO program has been very good to me, and it sound like the standards of the dealer that sold the car to you are below those of the program and its intention (I purchased my car from a dealer that was different than the one that sold it to its first owner).

    For example, the driver's side window failed to operate after a week or so of ownership, and was repaired without question. After I moved to New Jersey, I had Inspection 1 performed by the dealer in New York City where the car was purchased. I discovered after I got home that the service indicator was not properly reset. Via my responses to the survey I received from the service visit, I immediately received a call from the service department, who actually sent roadside assistance to my house to fix the problem, saving me the trip. My car continues to receive warranty coverage from a local dealer, even though it is a 2004 e46, purchased in 2006.

    But an example that is more closely related to your problem is that after around the same time as the window failure, I discovered that one of the wheels was a similar, but different style than the others! This may sound crazy, but in New York City it is really difficult to have a clear view of your entire car; everything is always so close together and there are many, many obstructions. After showing the picture to my sales person, who then showed it to several others, I still had to point out the problem. Anyway, the wheel was swapped without issue.

    If you have not received/taken your dealer and/or BMW NA survey for your transaction, you should be able to get someone's attention via the survey, at the very least. Theoretically, these surveys are important to the dealers, who do not like less than the most positive responses. You should also receive a survey for every service visit, so you'll have future opportunities to call them out as well. I would definitely start a "paper trail" with BMW NA as soon as possible, regardless of the surveys.

    Basically, you are supposed to have bought a new car that has a reasonable amount of mileage. Whether it has been properly cared for is irrelevant, as the car should have been "reset" in order for it to be certified in the first place.
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    bcweir

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    Wow. Somebody has a really TOUCHY motor

    Hopefully BMW NA will step to the plate to assist you but their record with customer service tends to be sketchy in my experience..

    Both quotes are directly lifted from your text in both instances. I edited NOTHING in your responses.

    My assessment that you seem to have a pretty negative opinion of BMW's customer service after a new member's ONE experience with one dealer was pretty accurate.

    You wrote "their record with customer service tends to be sketchy in my experience." That's unfortunate. But to start someone who's already pretty stressed with a ALREADY negative experience, is not only NOT HELPFUL, it has the added potential of prematurely poisoning his experience with ANOTHER dealer who might be 180 degrees different in his willingness to help. At least give the second dealer a chance to help before you label them a "negative experience" (your own words not mine).

    Yes you are entitled to your opinion. I might also add he's only visited one dealer. Do we really need for a new member to be as negative as you are at this stage?

    It's like going to the SECOND service manager and saying "I know that all you BMW service guys are thieves out to rip me off, based on what another BMW owner told me, but let me tell you my problem anyway..." I think if someone came up to me and ripped me a new one, THEN asked for my help, I might not be willing to buy them lunch either.

    I want to thank benchmarque for sharing experiences that are both positive, explaining things that were fixed under the CPO program, and geared more towards helping a new member with his issue, instead of further poisoning an already painful atmosphere with an alternative BMW dealer who not only has no knowledge of his first experience, but little justification to be labeled "a negative experience" before even speaking with the customer.

    I stand by my suggestion to be positive and not prematurely drape every other dealer with the same ugly cloth. Your comments were interpreted the way you wrote them, and there's nothing inappropriate or inaccurate about that.
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    CRKrieger

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    Evening the score.

    Y'know bcweir, just so's I don't have to feel beholden to you (from that other thread), I completely agree with you here. ;)
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    bcweir

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    Thanks CR.

    I look at it like this:

    If "now" was fed up with BMW and deadset on going negative, he'd have probably left a profanity laced missive as a parting shot before switching to an Audi, Mercedes, or a Porsche. No point in fixing a problem if you're ready to jump ship to another brand, right?

    The impression I got was that despite the disagreement, I think the guy really loves his car, and by extension wants to love BMW like the rest of us love our cars too.

    Telling someone "their record with customer service tends to be sketchy in my experience" already sets a negative tone for his next encounter with BMW. He's already anxious and disappointed from his first encounter. I just want to know what would be accomplished by telling an already frustrated customer that someone else's experience was negative. Are you trying to persuade him to fix the problem, or are you trying to persuade him to change brands?

    It's said that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. I'd like to hope that all of us can change the direction of this guy's unfortunate, and probably first encounter with BMW from something negative into something that ends in a very positive experience for all of us in the BMWCCA community.

    nowaybeyobies guest

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    Thank you bcweir, very kind of you to post this illustration. I can't say for sure but that would seem to be the part in question. I believe they scoped they area to pinpoint the problem with their final report reading "Firewall boot for steering column pulled out allowing normal engine noise to be heard through hole. Not covered under warranty." I didn't see any of the illustrated parts actually named "firewall boot". Maybe it is part #6. I'm taking my car to a different dealership to have them look at it and will take along this picture of the assembly. This helps to point out that whichever part the firewall boot happens to be, one of those parts is missing or was "pulled out" to cause the noise.

    Thanks again!
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    bcweir

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    Glad I could help.

    Check the text of your CPO warranty. It's supposed to cover "parts and labor" and "defects in workmanship." If the boot is not torn or otherwise damaged, they SHOULD be able to just apply some sealant to the passenger compartment side of the firewall, press in the boot into the hole in the firewall, and it's a done deal.

    Is your CPO warranty a "bumper to bumper" warranty (this covers EVERYTHING) or is it just a drivetrain warranty (engine, transmission, driveshaft, rear end differential)?

    I can't believe they are trying to split hairs over what should be half an hour of labor, tops (just an estimate if we're talking about just pressing on and sealing a steering column boot, assuming that's all that needs to be done).

    Because I didn't have the last 7 digits of your VIN, your bodystyle, or your production date, I kind of guessed at your model from the realoem.com website. BMW is constantly making running changes to their models (that is, they don't necessarily wait until the next model year to make changes to their cars), however, realoem.com is usually pretty accurate as long as you put in the correct last 7 digits of your VIN OR your production date (production date for your BMW should be on a label on your driver's side door jamb, in the form of a month and year of production).

    VERY IMPORTANT: from benchmarque

    When benchmarque says "reset the car," this means that when BMW first certified the car for a CPO resale, they perform ALL needed inspections for service on the car. Any service due at the calendar intervals or mileage intervals is performed on the car, so that, in terms of "wear and tear" on the vehicle, the car essentially needs no more service than a newly delivered, factory fresh vehicle would.

    cwbiii guest

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    I've had great luck with my dealershp experiences whether CPO or otherwise, the dealership I use (in MA) has been fantastic. I had several fixes that have been covered even though they technically did not have to. I would say use the system they have in place to give the dealer a less than sterling report card if that is what you feel ... they don't really like the backlash from that.I've been lucky and have never had to use that approach. (Use that stick wisely and you will not wear it out!)
    Chuck
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    bcweir

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    Going right along with what cwbiii says, don't underestimate the power of the survey

    You'd be surprised at what BMW NA can do to rein in balky dealers that cost them customer loyalty. Among the most powerful is the power of the purse string -- ie. withholding the supply of certain high-profit models (these are usually spelled with the letter M) from dealers that rub their customers the wrong way.

    Nothing makes a dealer pay attention like cutting into their pocketbook, especially when cutting off the supply of a car a customer wants could send them into the arms of a rival BMW dealer across town with a less confrontational philosophy about customer service.

    nowaybeyobies guest

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    Different dealership makes up for bad experience

    Problem resolved!

    I visited a new dealership and they went out of their way in helping my situation and I can't say enough to express my gratitude!

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