I was told (by Jay at BMWNA) that my car is too old (1997 BMW 540i 6, produced September 1996), has too many miles on it (114K), and I'm not the original owner, so I would not be able to get a new cluster with BMWNA picking up 100% of the parts cost.
I asked Jay why other 1997 BMW owners had gotten their clusters replaced while only having to pay for an hour of labor. Over and over again, despite my best arguments he kept saying, "We look at this on a case by case basis". The guy is seriously like a broken record. No matter what I said, that was his answer.
Like worldtraveler said, it seems BMWNA isn't playing ball anymore. I got the same message from Jay at BMWNA. I talked to Jay twice, tried to negotiate. I was very nice but he just stone-walled. Why would I pay 50% of the part ($300) + an hour of labor ($125 at my dealer) = $425 when I can just get it repaired at www.vdorepair.com
, which claims to have better then OEM parts for $199?
It's an economic decision for BMWNA. Likewise it's an economic decision for me to get their crappy cluster fixed elsewhere.
I haven't yet written a letter or anything, but maybe I should document the cases in which people with 1997 540s have gotten the part replaced and then make the case that they're discriminating against me.