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Dealer Feedback / Vehicle Problems
Have you had an exceptionally great experience with a particular BMW Center? Have you had a bad experience at your BMW Center? Frustrated by problems or defects with your vehicle? Post your stories or comments here.

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  #1  
Old 07-23-2003, 04:38 PM
cynicalwry cynicalwry is offline
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VOB BMW of Maryland has the worst service

On June 23rd I was driving to drop my friend off at his house and after coming up the driveway, my brakes failed. I had to push the brakes half way down before they responding. Being very concerned and confused, I drove slowly home and started looking up any other related issues on the web.
On June 24th I got in my car and drove to BMW Excluservice in Rockville, MD. Thinking that my warranty was over (being that I had 56,000 miles on the car) I was recommended this shop as having factory trained mechanics that mostly came from dealerships. Here I met Hector and he began to diagnose my problems. Thumbing through the paperwork I brought him he saw that I purchased the car used and that I had a 100,000-mile CPO warranty that should cover my brake problems. We looked up the fault codes on the computer readout and he carefully explained what each one meant and how that could affect the problems I was having. He said he would love to fix my car and take my money, but wouldn’t feel right about it being that I had a warranty.
I took my car to VOB BMW in Rockville, MD (just a minute down the road.) Talking to my service advisor Doug was not going anywhere. He said I should probably talk to Brian. Brian used to be my service advisor but moved up the ladder to service director after Mike Winter moved the BMW of Sterling. I brought a typed up paper that had all the fault codes and talked to Brian in detail about my car and how it was responding. He said he would try his best to look at it as soon as possible.
The next evening I got a phone call from Doug. He said that my car would not be worked on at all due to the aftermarket accessories I had. He complained about the PlayStation and Xbox that were in the trunk. Both of those don’t have any of the wires hooked up to them and never have. It is a very unfinished project. His complaint was the power draw that these were creating on the car and said that was affecting the entire car’s computer. He said he would be unable to do any testing on the car due to power flocculation.
The following morning (Thursday I believe) my father and I both showed up at the dealership to talk to Brian. He again said he would not work on the car because of the aftermarket accessories I had on the car. I told him I could very easily disconnect the power to the angel eyes and subwoofers and that if the fuse to the radio and cigarette lighter were removed, the car would again be electrically stock and there would be no extra current draw. After talking for some time he said he would contact a regional rep and get back to me within a few days. I told Brian I was going out of town and that I would be on a cruise July 3rd through 6th.
I called on Tuesday and left a message for Brian asking what the status of my car was. Thursday July 3rd I finally got a phone call back from Brian. He said the regional rep said if I turned the car back to stock that warranty work could then commence and my problems could be solved. At this point I was already on the Boat heading out to sea and told him I would be there Monday or Tuesday to unplug the aftermarket equipment and that it would take me no longer than 15 minutes to do so.
I showed up Tuesday morning with a socket and a screw driver (the only tools needed to unplug my equipment.) Brian asked me if I was here to pick up my car and take it somewhere else. He said he did not want to work on the car. I reminded him of our conversation from Thursday and he finally agreed. He said I would have to drive my car home (which wasn’t braking correctly) and do all the work there. I told him it was literally only two tools that I needed and that it would take next to no time. Brian told me that due to insurance reasons I would not be aloud to alter my car in any way on VOB’s property. I told him I would then drive it across the street and do it there. He sent for my car to be brought down to me. Around the corner I hear some serious bass coming from a car. Sure enough it’s my car being driven by some thug listening to rap very loudly w/ the seat all the way back and leaned down. He stopped the car, left the door open, and walked away! Now I’m 6 feet tall… the seat did not need to be adjusted as if to sleep in the car in order to drive it 100 yards. I turned the bass down on the radio (it was all the way up) and drove across the street. As I was leaving the “parking police” told me I was not aloud to leave my car on VOB’s property! I drove the car there and was now told to talk my BMW off the property to do the altercations… now I’m being told that I can only drive 1 car at a time… but I have to have both of them off the property! I moved the van to another part of the lot and drove off in the BMW.
Shortly thereafter I came back with the car changed. I left the equipment in the car but unplugged all of it. Brian said he would get to my car as quick as he could but probably would not be able to have it looked at until Wednesday.
Thursday July 10th rolls by and I hear nothing so I call Brian and leave a message. I call him again Friday and am told he’s with another customer and that he’ll call me right back. I do not receive any phone calls from Brian so I leave a message Sunday night in hopes that he will call me Monday. I hear NOTHING from VOB the entire week! Friday 18th my father calls VOB and eventually speaks with Doug. He says that Brian is out on vacation and that he will return on Tuesday July 21st. So while Brian is vacationing my car is just sitting in the lot looking pretty. My dad enquires about the progress of the car. Doug informs my dad that the mechanic refuses to work on my car because of the aftermarket equipment. This is 3 weeks after the original date that I brought in my car!
Monday the 21st in the afternoon my house is called and my mom is told that the car is ready to be picked up. I was in shock. I had my friend drop me off at VOB on his way to VA. I find a brand new service manager as the new Silver team advisor. I ask him about me car and am told that the ticket is waiting at the counter. I go to the counter and find that the only work that has been done on my car is a steering angle sensor and am charged $515 to have it replaced. I am furious because I complained about my brakes, o2 sensor, and right rear window! So now I’m stuck hear at VOB with a car that hasn’t been properly address in 27 days! I have no ride home so I pay the ticket and take my car planning on returning with the car the following morning planning to talk with Brian. The car is brought down to me and placed blocking all traffic at the driveway. I am talking to a technician and he is explained the work done to me for about 10 minutes. As I walk out to my car the “parking Police” tells me I have to move my car out of the driveway immediately. I told him was inspecting my car for any scratches/dents before I left. He said I would have to do that else where because the car was blocking people. I yelled saying that I did not park the car here; his incompetent staff parked the car blocking every body. So I moved if 10 feet forward and then checked my car.
Driving home I can tell the car is not fixed. The brakes work, but they take a much further depression of the pedal for them to activate. As the car heated up, the problem seemed to be getting worse and worse. Driving down a road somebody cut out in front of me and forced me to slam on my brakes. Here is what scared the crap out of me… The brake pedal was touching the floor and the car was slowing down. I was able to pull onto the shoulder (lucky there was one) and avoid a high-speed collision. This has been a nightmare all my life (not having brakes) and I just went through it. Needless to say I was pissed. I kept the car in 2nd gear and drove the last 2 miles home. I called BMW of NA and told them all that had happened. I decided to go in and talk to Brian the next day.
I went in around 10AM and began talking with Brian. He made up excuses for the delayed service and told me he would never attempt any form of warranty work on my car in the future. He apologized for not addressing any of the other problems I mentioned. After much argument he said the best thing he would be willing to do was tow the car from my house to VOB to have the brakes looked at but that it would be scheduled in with all the other incoming service and that would take time. This whole time Brian has been trying to push me out and not service my car. I thought that was what dealerships do… fix cars!
Now the car is still sitting at my house as I’m trying to arrange for it to be worked at in Sterling. I’ve called Mike Winter (Service Director at BMW of Sterling in VA) and have not gotten a phone call back. VOB’s terrible customer service has scared me and I will never do any business with them again. I suggest all do the same.
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  #2  
Old 07-23-2003, 06:44 PM
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I didn't actually read your post, but the thread title mirrors the general feeling of board members that have dealt with VOB service.
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  #3  
Old 07-24-2003, 09:53 AM
FSelekler FSelekler is offline
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Location: Maryland, USA
 
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It is amazing how many times we saw someone post such a long negative message about VOB service. As Clyde mentioned with no disrespect, we almost never read the whole story as we are quite sure we have seen similar posts about VOB several dozen times.

Sorry for the problems you had, but "welcome to the club of VOB avoiders"
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  #4  
Old 07-24-2003, 02:35 PM
vern vern is offline
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Sorry to read about your problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by cynicalwry
On June 23rd I was driving to drop my friend off at his house and after coming up the driveway, my brakes failed. I had to push the brakes half way down before they responding. Being very concerned and confused, I drove slowly home and started looking up any other related issues on the web.
On June 24th I got in my car and drove to BMW Excluservice in Rockville, MD. Thinking that my warranty was over (being that I had 56,000 miles on the car) I was recommended this shop as having factory trained mechanics that mostly came from dealerships. Here I met Hector and he began to diagnose my problems. Thumbing through the paperwork I brought him he saw that I purchased the car used and that I had a 100,000-mile CPO warranty that should cover my brake problems. We looked up the fault codes on the computer readout and he carefully explained what each one meant and how that could affect the problems I was having. He said he would love to fix my car and take my money, but wouldn’t feel right about it being that I had a warranty.
I took my car to VOB BMW in Rockville, MD (just a minute down the road.) Talking to my service advisor Doug was not going anywhere. He said I should probably talk to Brian. Brian used to be my service advisor but moved up the ladder to service director after Mike Winter moved the BMW of Sterling. I brought a typed up paper that had all the fault codes and talked to Brian in detail about my car and how it was responding. He said he would try his best to look at it as soon as possible.
The next evening I got a phone call from Doug. He said that my car would not be worked on at all due to the aftermarket accessories I had. He complained about the PlayStation and Xbox that were in the trunk. Both of those don’t have any of the wires hooked up to them and never have. It is a very unfinished project. His complaint was the power draw that these were creating on the car and said that was affecting the entire car’s computer. He said he would be unable to do any testing on the car due to power flocculation.
The following morning (Thursday I believe) my father and I both showed up at the dealership to talk to Brian. He again said he would not work on the car because of the aftermarket accessories I had on the car. I told him I could very easily disconnect the power to the angel eyes and subwoofers and that if the fuse to the radio and cigarette lighter were removed, the car would again be electrically stock and there would be no extra current draw. After talking for some time he said he would contact a regional rep and get back to me within a few days. I told Brian I was going out of town and that I would be on a cruise July 3rd through 6th.
I called on Tuesday and left a message for Brian asking what the status of my car was. Thursday July 3rd I finally got a phone call back from Brian. He said the regional rep said if I turned the car back to stock that warranty work could then commence and my problems could be solved. At this point I was already on the Boat heading out to sea and told him I would be there Monday or Tuesday to unplug the aftermarket equipment and that it would take me no longer than 15 minutes to do so.
I showed up Tuesday morning with a socket and a screw driver (the only tools needed to unplug my equipment.) Brian asked me if I was here to pick up my car and take it somewhere else. He said he did not want to work on the car. I reminded him of our conversation from Thursday and he finally agreed. He said I would have to drive my car home (which wasn’t braking correctly) and do all the work there. I told him it was literally only two tools that I needed and that it would take next to no time. Brian told me that due to insurance reasons I would not be aloud to alter my car in any way on VOB’s property. I told him I would then drive it across the street and do it there. He sent for my car to be brought down to me. Around the corner I hear some serious bass coming from a car. Sure enough it’s my car being driven by some thug listening to rap very loudly w/ the seat all the way back and leaned down. He stopped the car, left the door open, and walked away! Now I’m 6 feet tall… the seat did not need to be adjusted as if to sleep in the car in order to drive it 100 yards. I turned the bass down on the radio (it was all the way up) and drove across the street. As I was leaving the “parking police” told me I was not aloud to leave my car on VOB’s property! I drove the car there and was now told to talk my BMW off the property to do the altercations… now I’m being told that I can only drive 1 car at a time… but I have to have both of them off the property! I moved the van to another part of the lot and drove off in the BMW.
Shortly thereafter I came back with the car changed. I left the equipment in the car but unplugged all of it. Brian said he would get to my car as quick as he could but probably would not be able to have it looked at until Wednesday.
Thursday July 10th rolls by and I hear nothing so I call Brian and leave a message. I call him again Friday and am told he’s with another customer and that he’ll call me right back. I do not receive any phone calls from Brian so I leave a message Sunday night in hopes that he will call me Monday. I hear NOTHING from VOB the entire week! Friday 18th my father calls VOB and eventually speaks with Doug. He says that Brian is out on vacation and that he will return on Tuesday July 21st. So while Brian is vacationing my car is just sitting in the lot looking pretty. My dad enquires about the progress of the car. Doug informs my dad that the mechanic refuses to work on my car because of the aftermarket equipment. This is 3 weeks after the original date that I brought in my car!
Monday the 21st in the afternoon my house is called and my mom is told that the car is ready to be picked up. I was in shock. I had my friend drop me off at VOB on his way to VA. I find a brand new service manager as the new Silver team advisor. I ask him about me car and am told that the ticket is waiting at the counter. I go to the counter and find that the only work that has been done on my car is a steering angle sensor and am charged $515 to have it replaced. I am furious because I complained about my brakes, o2 sensor, and right rear window! So now I’m stuck hear at VOB with a car that hasn’t been properly address in 27 days! I have no ride home so I pay the ticket and take my car planning on returning with the car the following morning planning to talk with Brian. The car is brought down to me and placed blocking all traffic at the driveway. I am talking to a technician and he is explained the work done to me for about 10 minutes. As I walk out to my car the “parking Police” tells me I have to move my car out of the driveway immediately. I told him was inspecting my car for any scratches/dents before I left. He said I would have to do that else where because the car was blocking people. I yelled saying that I did not park the car here; his incompetent staff parked the car blocking every body. So I moved if 10 feet forward and then checked my car.
Driving home I can tell the car is not fixed. The brakes work, but they take a much further depression of the pedal for them to activate. As the car heated up, the problem seemed to be getting worse and worse. Driving down a road somebody cut out in front of me and forced me to slam on my brakes. Here is what scared the crap out of me… The brake pedal was touching the floor and the car was slowing down. I was able to pull onto the shoulder (lucky there was one) and avoid a high-speed collision. This has been a nightmare all my life (not having brakes) and I just went through it. Needless to say I was pissed. I kept the car in 2nd gear and drove the last 2 miles home. I called BMW of NA and told them all that had happened. I decided to go in and talk to Brian the next day.
I went in around 10AM and began talking with Brian. He made up excuses for the delayed service and told me he would never attempt any form of warranty work on my car in the future. He apologized for not addressing any of the other problems I mentioned. After much argument he said the best thing he would be willing to do was tow the car from my house to VOB to have the brakes looked at but that it would be scheduled in with all the other incoming service and that would take time. This whole time Brian has been trying to push me out and not service my car. I thought that was what dealerships do… fix cars!
Now the car is still sitting at my house as I’m trying to arrange for it to be worked at in Sterling. I’ve called Mike Winter (Service Director at BMW of Sterling in VA) and have not gotten a phone call back. VOB’s terrible customer service has scared me and I will never do any business with them again. I suggest all do the same.
Put your dealer experiences, good or BAD on dealerrater.com so everyone can benefit from them.
I wish you a lot of luck, sounds like you can realy use it.
vern
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  #5  
Old 07-24-2003, 03:18 PM
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Nick325xiT 5spd Nick325xiT 5spd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vern
Put your dealer experiences, good or BAD on dealerrater.com so everyone can benefit from them.
I wish you a lot of luck, sounds like you can realy use it.
vern
Yes, your message about how much of an asshole Brian is can join mine.

Just copy/paste all that in, if you can.
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  #6  
Old 04-19-2005, 09:00 AM
pagsworld pagsworld is offline
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What is a GOOD place to go for SEVRVICE ?

Clearly VOB BMW is struggling, does anyone have any places/people they'd recommend for BMW service??
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  #7  
Old 04-19-2005, 09:34 AM
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I've only had good experiences at Tischer. I've heard mostly good things about Sterling, but they may not be quite as good as they were the first year or two (others here have direct experience).
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  #8  
Old 04-19-2005, 09:35 AM
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Salvator Salvator is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pagsworld
Clearly VOB BMW is struggling, does anyone have any places/people they'd recommend for BMW service??
Since my car is a CPO, I take it to Sterling - My SA is Brian Latimer, who I have had a good rapport with... Things still do not always get done correctly the first time (IMO, technician problems), but Brian is willing to stick it out until the problem is fixed, unlike some SAs in the past... Mind you, I am a particularly annoying customer in that I am informed (usually walk in with TSBs in hand) and know enough about how cars work to recognize BS when I see it... Brian has been very receptive to my M.O., and doesn't (seem to ) hold it against me... I'd recommend going to Sterling (if you want a dealership to work on your car) and ask for Brian....

Just tell him the pesky guy with the Sienna Red 325Ci Coupe sent you... He'll know...
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  #9  
Old 04-19-2005, 10:06 AM
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swchang swchang is offline
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Yep, VOB sucks not only for service, but for sales, too.
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  #10  
Old 04-19-2005, 11:03 AM
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pseto pseto is offline
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I currently take my X5 to Tischer, only b/c its still under warranty. Their service is OK; never really had any problems, but nothing that stands out either (except for the few good looking girls that work there .

I had very good dealing with Passport BMW, but since I don't live anywhere close to there anymore, I haven't been back. They provided good service.

If you're looking for a good independent BMW technician, try Einstein's Motors in College Park. THe lead tech, Gary, used to work at Passport, and is very good. I usually go there to do non-warranty things. Plus, he's about $60/hour, much cheaper than stealer!
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  #11  
Old 04-19-2005, 01:26 PM
walc walc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swchang
Yep, VOB sucks not only for service, but for sales, too.
I recently bought, from Dave Strassman, at VOB, and I was very pleased with him and Ronna in F&I.
Luckily, I live too far away to have it serviced at VOB.
I plan to go to I.G. Burton BMW, in Milford, DE, for service.
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  #12  
Old 04-20-2005, 02:26 PM
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Most of us Baltimore way use Russel, which is on the west side, so not a a LOT further than Tischer.

The former service manager of Sterling (which has always gotten high marks) is now at Towson, so they might be better than they were. I stopped in a while back with a question and talked with him, but wasn't totally impressed with his attitude. But I will give them a try, again.
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  #13  
Old 04-20-2005, 02:32 PM
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Chris90 Chris90 is offline
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VOB is the dealership that told a female friend of mine that her 2000 323i had only a 3 year warranty. I had to tell her to go back there and demand they fix it. Asswipes.
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  #14  
Old 04-20-2005, 03:51 PM
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id recommend Lithia BMW they have always treating me exceptional... but then again they're in anchorage, ak you may not be willing to make that commute!
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  #15  
Old 04-21-2005, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinecone
The former service manager of Sterling (which has always gotten high marks) is now at Towson,
Which one? Winter or Smith?
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  #16  
Old 04-22-2005, 02:43 PM
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Robbie somebody.
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  #17  
Old 04-22-2005, 10:33 PM
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sorry to hear you story, hopefully you will find Sterling a lot nicer and meet your needs
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  #18  
Old 04-23-2005, 10:01 AM
Chupracabre Chupracabre is offline
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Not to cause a fight.

Read the post through and through.

1) Generally if you get such bad service you need to think about what you have done to piss of the service dept.

2) When you cootie out your car - of course they won't touch it. Lesson learned - roll back the options before you take it in. However they don't live a vaccum, they know what ppl do to their rides.

3) It is BS for them not to look at the car before telling what to do or not to do.

4) If the brakes are bad and you have documentation about your visit, you can sue them for willful negligance. You reported a brake problem, they did not fix it. They could have fixed it and charged you for it. But instead they let you drive off a defective car. If you did get in an accident they would have SOL.


5) I can tell that it seems that many BMW dealer ships suck. I live in Maine and have to go to Tennessee to get treated right. (Yes I do drive that far).

BMW - Hello - better start listening to ppl; because your competitors are catching up.

BMW - Notice how your cars are no longer be rated in most 'zines. Too pricey and too under powered for the class. Better wake up !


Ok I am done - and good luck with your's.
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  #19  
Old 04-23-2005, 01:37 PM
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I work at Sterling, all the SA's there are great!... not just making Sterling sound good because I work there. I took my 328i there before I started working there.
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  #20  
Old 04-25-2005, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chupracabre

5) I can tell that it seems that many BMW dealer ships suck. I live in Maine and have to go to Tennessee to get treated right. (Yes I do drive that far).
You have got to be kidding!
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  #21  
Old 04-25-2005, 10:16 AM
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Bart001 Bart001 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chupracabre

4) If the brakes are bad and you have documentation about your visit, you can sue them for willful negligance. You reported a brake problem, they did not fix it. They could have fixed it and charged you for it. But instead they let you drive off a defective car. If you did get in an accident they would have SOL.
Yay another Internet Lawyer (tm) chimes in. There is no legal duty of care for a repair shop to prevent you from driving off when they've not done any work on the car. There is also no legal duty to take in the work and repair the car, outside of the contractual obligation of the CPO program (which had, in the dealer's view, been voided by the homemade modifications). When you think about it, if the owner has a brake problem they shouldn't be driving it to the shop anyway; the car should be towed there. So much for Internet Lawyering . . .

But I do agree with the point that the presence of homemade electrical modifications will definitely deter a dealership from doing warranty work. Some of the diagnostics can be thrown off by current draws that the computer does not expect to find. Even trying to return the car to its original state is not a guarantee that you'll get warranty work done, as the dealership could take the position that the modifications caused the problem. Certain types of homemade or other aftermarket modifications to a car under warranty ALWAYS bring along this risk (notwithstanding the Magnuson-Moss Act), and the owner has to weigh the possible costs vs. the benefits.
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  #22  
Old 04-25-2005, 10:18 AM
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Bart001 Bart001 is offline
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Location: Massachusetts
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chupracabre
5) I can tell that it seems that many BMW dealer ships suck. I live in Maine and have to go to Tennessee to get treated right. (Yes I do drive that far).
Yes, definitely a troll.
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  #23  
Old 10-03-2005, 07:54 AM
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ase2dais ase2dais is offline
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I sensed the unprofessional employees there at VOB too

its not surprising that VOB service reputation amongst forum member is quite unpleasant, for I have observed the low quality of people working there, when a parts technician trying to scam me of my alloys takeoff.

He was quoting me a set of alloys style 161, which he couldnt beat from another dealership, and said he'll give it for the same price $100 less if i trade in my TAKEOFFs.

What a JERK! Bastards!

on the same note!

Can members provide me feedback on HOW PASSPORT BMW SERVICE IS?,

for thats where i bought my car from, Sales are great

Last edited by ase2dais; 10-03-2005 at 07:58 AM.
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  #24  
Old 10-06-2005, 02:24 PM
cooldriverof3 cooldriverof3 is offline
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Location: National Capital area
 
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Mein Auto: 2006 325i
I had a very unplesant experience with VOB when I went for a test drive. Nobody came up to ask us if we needed help. Nobody was willing to answer any questions either.
This was not the case with PASSPORT, even though we had an appointment with one salesman, others greeted us well asked us if we were being helped.
VOB was my first BMW experience so I thought it was the BMW attitude problem. (I have been test driving other cars, everywhere else the reception was very warm).

I am fearing for the day when I have to take my car for service as they are the nearest ones.
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  #25  
Old 10-07-2005, 09:38 AM
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Salvator Salvator is offline
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Location: NOVA
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ase2dais
Can members provide me feedback on HOW PASSPORT BMW SERVICE IS?,

for thats where i bought my car from, Sales are great
www.dealerrater.com

Take some posts with a grain of salt...
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