My BMW experience--MUST READ
I hope this forum is appropriate for my post/experience.
Just so you all know, I was an avid BMW owner and driver prior to my last few months.
I feel it’s important that I give a background, so I may illustrate my loyalty to BMW, and it’s cars.
In 2006 I purchased a brand new 550i off the showroom floor, at the time I was 25 yrs old, and it was my first BMW. I feel in love with the car, immediately. I loved how the car handled; I loved the v-8 and the power it provided. I drove this car for 10 months and decided I wanted a 2007 M5. I obviously took a haircut on the sale, but I didn’t care, I wanted to step it up.
I eventually found the M5 I wanted, I threw down my down payment, and took her off the lot. Prior to leaving the lot, the sales rep explained the smg transmission to me, he went into detail how the smg functioned and how it should be driven.
NOW, fast forward a few months, and the problems started. At approximately 13,000 miles my car would lurch forward/reverse frequently whenever engaging “drive” or “reverse.”
The car was obviously under warranty, therefore, it was repaired and returned to me. The service tech told me that a hydraulic valve wasn’t working properly. I was happy with the service and I kept motoring.
At approximately 32,000 miles, while I was driving on the highway, my “transmission” sensor flashed, as did all my sensors, then I lost complete control of my car: the car lost all acceleration, power steering failed as did all electrical. Concurrently, a loud THUD occurred under my center console. I was able to steer the car to the right shoulder of the highway. I had the car towed to my dealership, and in for repair. The service dept explained that my fly wheel needed to be replaced, and a few other components within the car were also damaged. The car was in for service approximately 2 weeks. As I expected, my warranty covered all the repairs. At this point, I am becoming concerned with the frequency of issues I am having with this car. However, I am assured the car is repaired.
Fast forward again to 56,000 miles. Again, my smg components are damaged and the car needs to be repaired. I contact BMW-NA, they pull up the work history, and they decide to repair the car free of charge, because the issue with this repair is the same as the last repair at 32,000 miles. I was impressed with how BMW-NA stood behind their prior work, and this made me feel much better.
Fast forward again to 66,000 miles. Two months ago, I experienced a massive malfunction while on the highway with my family. I was driving at an approximate speed of 70mph’s when a LOUD BANG went off under my center console. All the wheels locked up and my car started to skid, after a 20-40 feet the wheels began to spin again, however, I had lost all control of the vehicle including: power steering, acceleration, and electrical. This experience was very scary, I felt as if I was in danger due to the possibility of being rear ended and involved in a major car accident. The car was essentially dead. I had the car towed to my dealer and I contacted BMW-NA. BMW-NA contacted the dealership where my car was sitting, BMW-NA asked the dealership for a diagnosis on the issue and repair. After BMW-NA got the information from my dealership, they contacted me and stated “We cannot repair your car due to the issue not being related to the past repairs.” To be honest, I was happy, because this meant that the repair would be somewhat affordable and it wasn’t the smg/transmission which would have been the 4th time! I contacted the service manager and asked him “what is the damage and what will it cost?” The service manger stated that he wouldn’t know the extent of the damage till he removes the smg box and takes a look at the transmission more thoroughly. At this point, I’m really surprised, because BMW-NA already told me that the problem wasn’t related to my smg or transmission. Before I contacted BMW-NA, I asked the service manager to detail the damage with an approximate cost of repair.
Within one week, I was contacted by the dealership service manager, he explained that the damage was EXTENSIVE. The bell housing, clutch assemply, RT CAT, and converter. Total estimated repair cost: 19,000.00 dollars. I contacted BMW-NA within 10 minutes and explained to the woman the damages. I explained to her, that all the damage is components they’ve repaired before and inspected. BMW-NA said that they would contact the dealership for clarification. At this point, I’m really confused, how could BMW-NA contacted me prior to understanding the exact cause of the issue, and prematurely telling me that they would not cover the repairs due to the present damage not being related to past repairs.
After a week of waiting for an answer from BMW-NA, I finally got a call. BMW-NA explained that they were going to escalate my claim to the “Marketing” department.
After a week, I did get a call from BMW-Corporate, she heard my story and understood the damage and past repair history on my car. She explained to me that a “Marketing” manger would look over my claim and deliver a final verdict. After waiting 2 weeks, I finally got the answer from the “Marketing” manager. The answer I got from the “Marketing” manager was just a bit better than being punched in the face while he picked my pocket. His “Final” decision was to offer me 2,500.00 dollars toward my repair. I obviously explained to his “Executive” secretary that I was really disappointed furthermore, I felt cheated. She was kind and actually listened to me with genuine concern; at least I felt she was empathetic. However, the apathy shown by the “Marketing” manager is something else. I explained to the executive secretary that I have been an amazing loyal customer to BMW, furthermore, I feel that the issue with the car is the same issues I’ve been having, but on a catastrophic scale. I explained to the secretary (I had to interface with her because, she explained that the “Marketing managers” don’t interface with customers) that I have spent close to 180,000 thousand dollars with BMW, and given the damage with this car, I feel that I should at least be given the benefit of the doubt, or an option to have the car bought back. She explained the decision was final, and that 2,500 dollars was the best they could do.
Listen, I do understand that every car manufacturer has a few “lemons” that come off the line. I understand this all to well, I also understand that MY CAR is the exception to the BMW rule. I know that BMW makes a hell of a car, however, again, my car is that exception.
This whole episode has helped me come to a few conclusions:
1. BMW obviously does not stand behind their work and they’re not going to make a customer happy, especially if it doesn’t make financial sense.
2. BMW will not admit an issue in a car, especially if the repair costs are HALF the estimated value of the car.
3. BMW will hide behind the so-called “Marketing” managers.
4. BMW will NOT stand behind their FLAGSHIP car.
5. BMW will blame the driver for the mechanical issues in a car that has recurring issues.
6. No matter how loyal or how much you have spent with BMW, if the bottom line of theirs is affected, BMW will NOT stand behind their product.
What I find most distressing, is that I have NEVER had any issues (besides the cigarette lighter breaking) with my car other than the issues stated above.
BMW, has chosen to blame me for the issues, this leaves me high and dry with a repair bill equaling an economy car cost, and full of stress.
I guess it’s true, the true colors of a company come to the surface when an issue arises. Unfortunately, BMW’s colors are few shades of green, only.
Please, do keep in mind, I do believe that BMW makes great cars 90-95 percent of the time, but the 5-10 percent of the time when they make an inferior car is when a company should be admired or scorned, during these times is when the integrity is tested.
BMW FAILED MISERABLY HERE. If anyone does care to know, I did secure an attorney, and I will be following through with a lawsuit. At this point, if BMW called and offered me a free repair, I would reject it. I have no time to deal with a company that treats it’s customers as I have been treated. Never, will I buy a BMW again nor will my family, and all my friends and acquaintances will hear of the treatment I received.
I do hope that BMW-NA and the “Marketing” manager reads my post. I truly hope that they can get an accurate pulse on THEIR CUSTOMERS. I feel that BMW-NA and it’s “Marketing” managers have lost touch of what customer satisfaction is and why they’re in business.
I hope this post helped anybody in my shoes or with concerns. I do suggest that if your car has any issues, while under warranty, ASK FOR A COMPLETE INSPECTION AND IF YOU HAVE A RECURRING ISSUE, ASK FOR A COMPLETE REPLACEMENT. Otherwise, BMW will not stand behind the repairs or product beyond the warranty.
If anyone has questions, i would be happy to answer them. However, some information may not be disclosed due to attorney instructions. If i have offended anybody, please accept my apology. The purpose of this post is not to offend anybody, the intent is to show my experience and the false sense of security I had for BMW.