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E46 M3 SMG Malfunction Petition/Letter to BMW N.A.

Discussion in 'E46 M3 (2001-2006)' started by Darren, Jan 24, 2009.

    pnovacon guest

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    I'm In

    Peter Novacon
    Osterville, Ma 02655
    2004 M3 Coupe
    • Member


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    I Agree

    C Chin
    Danville, CA
    2003 E46 M3 Coupe

    I consent.

    erogers005 guest

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    I consent.

    Ed Rogers
    Lafayette, CA
    2002 E46 M3 Coupe

    swaldo guest

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    I consent

    Steve Waldo
    15270 W. Hoffman Rd.
    Hammond, LA 70403
    2003 M3 Convertible

    m3bmwsmg guest

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    David Yeager
    Morgantown, WV
    2002 M3 Coupe

    I consent

    kball guest

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    I need some help with this issue

    To make a really long story, short, I'm getting screwed by BMW dealer and BMW NA on this issue.
    Even though dealer failed to diagnose this problem in 2004 when the issue first popped up, both the dealer and BMW NA refused to help me with the repair, of the Hydraulic pump when they finally diagnosed it as that, back in Sept of 09 (after many many visits and relay replacement band-aid fixes over the years).
    Therefore, I went to a reliable local indy mechanic who replaced the pump for me (HCU). Six months after the replacement, it went again. (it almost cost my wife her life in the place where this re-occurred)

    BMW (dealer) refused to honor the warranty without checking it themselves. First they said it's my tranny that's gone. Then they backed off that, and said it's the Transmission control unit. Now they want me to spend another $1400 to replace that. They've now had my car for almost 4 weeks.

    That's when I found this post and thread. I sent a copy to the Service Manager at the dealer, and he said he contacted BMW NA about it, and according to him "no one there knows anything about this."
    I'm already out $2600, and they want another $1400 which apparently won't fix the problem either. Even if I spend the money, putting the dealer back on the hook again, they're going to come back and say, "it's your tranny" and I'm back to square one again.
    I need help and need help now.
    Does anyone know how to contact Darren (the thread originator) to find out who we might contact at BMW NA about this? They are the ONLY ones who can fix this once and for all.
    I live in Southern California, inland, so it gets about as hot as it gets in the US, here. This problem is NOT going away.
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    Given the very low activity on this topic (about 20 replies in almost 1.5 years), I expect BMW NA long ago decided this was a tempest in a teacup and stopped monitoring this thread--if they ever truly were.

    At this point your best options are the time-honored weapons in a consumer-satisfaction dispute: persistence, documentation, unrelenting but civil pressure and, if all else fails, a lawsuit. Few companies will rush to part with thousands of dollars to reimburse a dissatisfied customer, until it's been proven they are at fault or it is in their best interest to pay even if they are not at fault.

    The Customer Relations line at BMW NA is 1-800-831-1117. Give them the quick background and ask where to send a letter to present your case--get the name of a specific person. You will need to document (copies of invoices) every single service appointment related to this issue over the years, no matter the outcome, and use them to construct a narrative of how the situation could have been avoided if properly diagnosed and repaired at the outset. You may have to go back and forth several times with this. Start by asking for full reimbursement but be prepared to consider reasonable counteroffers (e.g., 50%). Send all correspondence certified mail, return receipt requested, and keep records of all phone conversations (names, dates, times, summary of call). Try to keep all communication in writing from this point on but insist on having any necessary verbal interactions confirmed in writing. Be polite but stand your ground.

    If California has a lemon law you might want to at least consult with an attorney to ascertain how that may be leveraged in this case. If you can afford it, merely having all correspondence to BMW NA funneled through an attorney's office can work in your favor--"ESQ." on a letterhead carries some weight.

    Good luck.

    kball guest

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    Further to "I need some help with this issue".

    Thanks for your advice. I'm afraid you might be right.
    At this point, I'm not even concerned about reimbursement for the past wrong repairs. What I'm concerned about is owning a $20,000 piece of metal that is worthless and un-fixable.
    The ONLY way this is going to get fixed is if BMW NA admits there is an internal problem with the HCU and replaces that problem part within it. Or even possibly re-programming the module, so it doesn't just shut down, when it overheats (or thinks it is).
    The dealer is incapable of replacing a small part within the HCU. All they can do is swap it.
    So far BMW NA is not helping at all.

    kball guest

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    Open letter to Darren

    First I want to thank-you for starting what at least looked like an honest effort to get something rolling with BMW NA.
    That said, I also want to point out, that there have been no updates to your thread, by you, since very early last year. Even though people have continuing to express their support, you have done nothing here to further the cause or let people know what's going on, or not, as it were.
    Not only that, as the self proclaimed "hero" of this small movement of M3 owners who have had this problem, you have not even tried to enter your $.02 worth, since I tried to contact you about this over 2 weeks ago.
    I've sent you a private message, an email and even left a phone message for you, and you couldn't even bother to reply to any one of them.
    Next time decide to get on your soap box, perhaps you might think about actually following through with it, and if it is ultimately unsuccessful, letting people know, despite your efforts, that is the case.

    kball guest

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    This is now bordering on comical.......

    So my M3 has now been at Sterling BMW in Newport Beach, CA, for going on 6 weeks. Why you ask? Because they can't figure out what the problem is with my tranny popping out of gear. After telling me back in September it was the Hydraulic Pump that needed replacing (after umpteen visits and diagnoses over the past few years). Because they wouldn't play ball with me on the price (they were the ones that misdiagnosed the problem with the car while it was still under warranty), I had that pump replaced by an indie mechanic.

    When that failed (or I'm assuming that's what failed) again, 6 months later, and they wouldn't warrant the part for the indie mechanic, now they said it's either the Hydraulic control unit, or the tranny itself.
    So there my car sits, waiting for another E46 M3 to come in, so they can make sure it IS the control unit.

    You see, apparently the control unit is programmable ONLY for the model of car it's going into. Once it's put in, if the problem still persists, and it's NOT the control unit that caused it, they're going to have to eat that part, which they don't want to do, because it's now programed for an E46 M3.

    So rather than pony up, and take responsibility for their (in)decision, they're making me wait for another owner to come in, and unknowingly donate his control unit to me for a few days, so they can test it without pulling one off the shelf.
    How's THAT for service?!?!

    Aviator172 guest

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    E46 M3 SMG problem

    Has there been any development with BMW NA on this issue. I have the same exact symptoms listed. I havent heard anything about the HCU temp sensor on any other forums than this one. THe dealer is telling me I need a pump because it is loosing pressure, but I only have problems when it is extremely hot. Is the pump pressure related to temperature?

    Darren Spiegel

    gilespjr guest

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    2006 M3 CSL - Hydraulic Pump Failure

    A few months ago, I purchased a 2006 M3 with SMG and ~ 22,500 miles. The first mechanical failure was the hydraulic pump. After a ~ $3200.00 dealer repair, I have a car that making mechanical noises when shifting between first and second gears and second and third gear. The dealership claims these noises will dissipate over time because the pump is part of the car's "learned value" system. In clarifying, the dealership explained the car will learn the driver's input and make adjustments. Artificial intelligence, hummm. Regardless, my hands are tied... must have the car. So, I am very interested in the status of the thread. What's the status?

    I consent.
    P. Giles
    Martinez, GA 30907

    adsingl guest

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    This thread is pretty much dead

    If you notice, the original poster hasn't replied since his first post. I'd try M3Forum.net or some of the other boards. There are reports that some folks have unplugged the temp sensor and fixed their problems, but I have no first hand knowledge. What I'd tell you is this: First thing, you absolutely have to get your SMG codes read, AFTER your last service, repair or code reset, so you know where you are currently. There are ENDLESS opinions on SMG problems, it is a complex system in that like most servos, problems and error codes, seem have the possibility of more than one fix. But if you get an error that indicates the pump is running too long, or it is cycling too often, AND your Pentosin fluid is full, and you don't have a leak in the HCU/servo, it is HIGHLY PROBABLE you need either the accumulator or a whole HCU. I don't know how to tell if only the accumulator would fix a problem.

    Good luck
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    I Consent

    Edward Hasch
    708 Summerset Green
    Franklin, TN 37069

    2003 M3 Coupe

    I Consent

    ForcedInduction guest

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    Clearly this is a serious safety issue. To accelerate a proper resolution I would suggest that every person who has experienced this issue file a formal complaint at nhtsa.gov as they are the federal auto consumer safety agency. It only takes five minutes to report these safety issues online. NHTSA has the power to force a recall and proper repair of these safety issues.

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    I consent.

    Charlie Idyk
    545 Ruby Ave
    Hemet, CA 92543

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