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My disappointment with BMWNA

Discussion in 'Diesel' started by nickgolemis, Dec 22, 2015.

    • Member

    nickgolemis

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    This is a carry over from e90post

    Posted 11/17

    For the sake of brevity, im going to bullet point much of this story as it is quite long and involved.

    I've held off on making this post for some time, but after speaking with multiple parties, internally at BMW and external, I have decided to air my laundry here to get some more insight.

    On 11/5/14 I purchased a 2009 335D from a local carmax dealership. The vehicle had 58,xxx on the clock and appeared to be in excellent condition. The carfax checked out and overall, the vehicle appeared to be solid. I did my due diligence in researching these vehicles prior to purchase, so I had a good idea of what I was getting into. Additionally, I had a friend who works at a dealership pull all the service records just to be doubly sure that nothing major had occurred with the car. Post my research, I decided to pull the trigger.

    A little background on me. I have worked in the auto industry, on the aftermarket side, for the past 8 years. I am an enthusiast through and through, decently handy with a wrench as well. I've been road racing with many different clubs for the past 12 years, traveled coast to coast while with a pit crew manning the helm for a Redline Time Attack team. Im pretty meticulous with my vehicles.

    Enough about me, lets move on to the real story.

    On 10/2/15, my girlfriend had taken out my 335d to grocery shop. 15 minutes after leaving the house, she called me to tell me the car was running sluggish and was shaking bad. I asked her if it was drivable, she said it was, and drove it back home. Upon arriving at our house, I immediately noticed what I thought to be mis-fire symptoms. CBU immediately popped into my head, as the car was approaching 70k. I pulled the codes and low and behold, smoothness regulator codes on 2 cylinders, 6 and 4.

    Easy enough I thought. I had researched the CBU cleaning process with some BMW mechanics and finally, after reading rave reviews, decided to tow the car to Knauz BMW in Lake Bluff, IL. A service advisor there, *name redacted*, had gotten rave reviews on the forums for being incredibly knowledgeable when it came to diesels and CBU. Upon dropping my car off, we spoke, he assured me I was in good hands and I left feeling confident I would have my car back swiftly.

    Heres where everything starts to go downhill.
    • 2 Days after dropping my car off the SA calls me to tell me I have CBU and 6 failed injectors.
    • I proceeded to ask him why I needed 6 injectors, when only 2 were throwing codes - 6 would lead me to believe the car would not run at all.
    The SA went on to explain that the injectors are replaced in banks of 3, meaning there are 2 banks. Common sense would lead me to believe that you could move the 1 remaining good injector from bank 1, to bank 2 and replace 3 bad injectors.

    The SA then went on to tell me that the total cost for the CBU cleaning and 6 injectors would be $7500 [IMG]

    I expressed my utter shock, and the SA agreed that this was a bit crazy. $750 per injector, $2000 for CBU cleaning and the rest was labor for changing the injectors.

    The SA then advised he has seen instances similar to this and advised I contact BMW customer relations to plead my case and see if they would goodwill any of the repair costs. The next day I was on the horn with BMW customer relations. I was give a case rep, *name redacted*, and she ensured me they would look into the case, talk to the dealer and come to conclusion within a few days.

    3-4 days passed and I finally received a call back from the SA who advised me that BMW would cover 25% of the costs and wanted to attack the problem in 'stages'. I thought this was a little odd, but I rolled with it. All the indys I had spoke to about the issue urged me to follow through any time that BMW was willing to provide goodwill assistance.

    The first stage of their attack was to replace 3 injectors, one bank. This alone left me a little uneasy, as if they did not know how to fix the problem at hand. A few more days passed and I received a call from Knauz stating that the work was complete, the CEL lights were gone, but the mechanic was not satisfied with the work. The SA stated that the mechanic had said he noticed something audibly wrong with the car. They said, something just 'didnt sound right'. I pressed the SA to elaborate on this, but he did not give much more information.

    Following this discovery, the SA went on to tell me that he had looked at the service history of the vehicle, in their system, and did not notice anything out of the ordinary. It was at this point, the SA told me he spoke to their regional representative, who was working the goodwill case, and uncovered a service that was done previously on this car by Des Moines BMW, but not documented correctly. The SA went on to state the following, with additional information being provided by the Chicago regional representative as well as an SA from Des Moines BMW.

    *4/24/14 - 58,339 - NON REPAIR SPECIAL GOODWILL - ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING (TREAD ACT)

    This service would soon lead me down a trail of conflicting information and perceived deceit.

    With information from the SA at Des Moines BMW it was uncovered that the previous owner of this vehicle had a BMW recommended service performed on the car, which lead to catastrophic failure, in which BMWNA provided 100% of the cost (goodwill) for a fix to this problem. The fix to the problem ended included:

    Machining the crank - replacing rod & main bearings as well as cylinder 6 rod as this was 2mm outside of the accepted tolerance.

    My SA at Knauz noted, that in his 17 years on the job, he has never seen a service such as this written up with such lack of detail and notation in the BMW internal records system. He went on to add that it appeared as though the dealership in Des Moines purposefully did not record this repair for reasons unknown.

    So now what; well, the job that BMW goodwill'd to fix a prior problem has now failed. 1.5 years and 12k miles later. So where does that leave me? Currently, up a creek without a paddle.
    • BMWNA will no longer goodwill any portion of any repair associated with this vehicle
    • BMW Des Moines will not hold good on their warranty of 3 years and 50k miles on all services performed at their facility as stated on their website.
    • Knauz BMW stated that this work should have never been completed in the first place, and that the initial service should have warranted a complete engine replacement.
    • Knauz BMW stated that they will not even attempt any fix, other than complete engine replacement
    • BMWNA will not explain their reasoning for retracting their initial offer and not offering any compensation at this point
    • Member

    nickgolemis

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    Part 2

    So after 35 days of not having a car, this is where BMW left me. I have email documentation of much of this from the service manager at Knauz in addition to the SA at Des Moines BMW.

    I like the brand, I like the car. I own another X5d. I want to be a brand promoter, but they're not leaving me with much to work with here. They're essentially hiding behind a technicality, but I do not feel that is right or fair.

    The customer relations department at BMWNA has been utterly deplorable. No one can give me straight answers, almost everything is conflicting, and no one other than a pencil pusher will even contact me. They're excuse is that; anyone other than those who answer the phones are NOT customer facing.

    Why wont BMW stand behind their work? Im just at a complete loss for words. They clearly know that whatever happened, and only they know, lead to a failure because they assumed responsibility for it by covering 100% of the costs (the 2nd repiar). I understand that each dealership is independently owned, but this befalls on BMWNA as they are the ones who authorized the 2 repairs orders which have led to a subsequent failure of the same parts. I just want a running car, and the piece of mind that im supporting a brand that will stand behind their engineering and the faults that they can potentially make.

    tl;dr BMW made a repair to my vehicle, that lead to catastrophic failure in which they paid for a repair, that again, failed in 12k miles - now they will not provide any assistance to replace the motor.

    Update - 12/22/15

    Just talked to the service manager at Knauz today. He informed me that the piston on cylinder 6 was lower than normal.

    My question was, how did you know this without complete disassembly of the engine and measuring the pistons at TDC? - He had no answer

    I also asked why BMW rescinded their offer of 25% goodwill for the injectors. His answer was that the injectors did not fix the problem, which is why they reverted the work.

    Well, thats the complete opposite of what the SA told me when I picked up the car. The SA told me that the injectors fixed the problem 99%, but they found something audibly wrong. The SA stated that once the injectors were replaced, the drivability was back to almost normal and there were no check engine lights.

    So what is it BMW? What actually happened, is happing and will happen? Ill continue to be the squeaky wheel. No one can get their stories straight.
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    Ugh, what a horror story - you've really gotten the bad-luck end-of-the-stick on this whole deal. You could try the club's ombudsman, maybe that would be a route for someone else to approach BMW NA. If BMW corporate doesn't budge, then I'd guess there's no good remaining options that don't cost a lot of money and time. Buy a new engine - ugh (obviously expensive). Sell/trade-in the car (take a substantial loss). Lawsuits against the Des Moines dealer &/or BMW - also, ugh, and, dependent on what a lawyer advises on how much of a case you have, and hopelessly expensive and time consuming (lawyers fees, drawn out legal timeframes, who knows when or if the car would be repaired/running again). Going a completely different route and swapping in some other kind of engine altogether (small-block chevy, etc.), unknown end result, time consuming & expensive, etc. Even if you might come across a 335d junkyard engine for a swap, there's all the unknowns there also. Maybe others will have some more hopeful suggestions - sad to hear such a sorry tale!
    • Member

    nickgolemis

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    Tis and so true. I've been in contact with the ombudsman, they told me they attempted to do what they could, but the outcome was not in my favor. The ombudsman stated they were given great detail on the situation from those within BMW, but could not share that information with me. Why?

    Anyways, I think I might just buy the injectors myself and change them. Possibly have a buddy who owns a shop replace a rod, we'll see.

    Currently, I have the Illinois Attorney General working making some headway with BMW.
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    I really wonder about the Des Moines dealer here - why would something so substantial be documented so little and with such odd language? Do they have something to hide? Did they actually do the work? Is it possible they screwed the other customer with only a partial repair, reporting and charging more to BMW than spent, and pocketing the difference (assuming dealerships are refunded goodwill repairs by BMW)? Furthermore, why didn't that show up in the pre-purchase review your (presumably BMW dealer) tech friend did, which likely would have had you opting to avoid the purchase in the first place?

    Exasperating to be in such a catch-22 situation. I hope you're not saying the 3 injectors Knauz replaced need replacing again? $2250 for 3 injectors is bad enough, wouldn't $4500 be like 1/3 of kbb? Why the heck is the #6 cyl. outta spec (was it really fixed before?), and, how did they determine that without having things so far apart that it wasn't worth the labor at that point for carbon cleaning &/or getting at the other injectors. $1k labor for injector replacement, ok, I get it, a full days work - but, that much for the injectors, sheesh.

    Not that it's practical or affordable, but, given the history, I'd be curious to take a look at the #6 piston, rod, bearings, and the whole crank. "Catastrophic failure" is pretty comprehensive, a little more specific understanding on what went wrong would be a bit more reassuring as to whatever money and time that's put towards something actually resolves the problem(s). Seems easy to speculate that something failing catastrophically' engine-wise might have the potential to screw up a whole bunch of stuff besides just bearings, crank, & one cyl. connecting rod.

    Getting a good look at one injector might address some curiosity - I don't know the specifics of diesel injectors (besides being made to tolerate & deliver mega-psi fuel pressures), but you have to wonder if, at $750/per, it might be possible to figure out what fails, why, and how to fix it. Of course, none of that gets your car rolling and you back into it anytime soon. Hard to suggest any path that's affordable with a reasonable promise of delivering a reliable engine - where's a totaled 335d when you need one. :confused:
    • Member

    nickgolemis

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    You really hit the nail on the head MGarrison. I had the same questions pertaining to the dealership in Iowa. However, when I confronted my, now 3 case representatives at BMW NA, none had answers nor did they seem willing to look into the situation. The whole ordeal is shrouded in mystery, which only leads me to believe that those in 'the know' are doing so in order to deflect any wrong doing. Presumably, because if they were to admit anything, they (BMWNA) would be liable for the repairs.

    The 3 injectors that Knauz replaced were removed, and replaced with the original injectors. Knauz said this was necessary, since the injectors did not fix the problem. I agree, why would their 'fix' fail within 12k miles. Thats pretty pathetic if you ask me, especially for an OEM.

    If you look at the actual process involved with replacing the injectors, its not that extensive. Pulling the plastics probably takes the majority of the time. $750/injector is just asinine. How does BMW think they'll have any brand loyalty if they expect people to pay that price for one. singular. injector. I can get 8, 1000cc injectors for about $800 from almost any aftermarket producer. Regardless of that, the whole situation sucks.

    I had the service manager from Knauz contact me last week, on behalf of my 3rd BMWNA customer relations specialist, due to the fact that he was not very 'technical'. The service manager a knauz told me the opposite of what the service advisor told me in regards to the injectors fixing (or not fixing) the problem. So the Knauz service manager is waiting to speak with the tech who happened to perform the work on my car, who just so happens to be out for the week at training.

    The saga continues. Attached is a screen shot of the dealer service records immediately prior to my purchase of the vehicle. Nothing there stands out to me...

    Attached Files:

    • Member

    rmorin49

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    Any update? I traded my 335d just before the 4/50 warranty expired because of reports like this in the Diesel forum on Bimmerfest. CBU and related problems scared me away from diesels. With the price of gast today diesels, at least new ones, don't make economic sense unless you drive a whole bunch of miles.

    I sure hope you can get a resolution that works for you.
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    nickgolemis

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    No updates as of yet. I have a case open with the IL attorney generals office. I happen to have some very good family friends that work there, so they are expediting and focusing as much attention on the matter as possible.

    My problem is not even really related to CBU, at least now anyways, its more a matter of BMWNA and the dealership in Iowa, trying to wash their hands of a problem that they never fixed correctly.

    On another note, I just got my X5D back from Knauz after I took it in for a few problems.

    1) Diesel Fumes in the cabin - they could not replicate this, but they changed the microfilters
    2) Transmission shifting too much in low gears - they were able to replicate the issue, as the car would shift 1-2 just fine, then jump to 3 and realize it was in the wrong gear and drop back down to 2. It was really annoying. BMW reset the adaptations and noted that the case was 450mL low on fluid.
    3) I had a flat spot in my powerband at 2k - they were able to replicate this problem and isolated the cause as a permanent failure of the MAF. However, I was throwing no codes, but I was getting particularly bad gas milage and the car felt down on power. A new MAF fixed all these issues. Truck feels great now.
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    MGarrison

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    Glad to hear that, at least!

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