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  #1  
Old 08-29-2011, 08:05 PM
XeroxGuy XeroxGuy is offline
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Really Bad Start for a First Time 335i Buyer

So I have been shopping for a vehicle the last month since my corporate fleet was due for return August 30th. The last few years have been good sales wise, and I thought it would be nice to splurge a bit and get something a few steps up from the VW's and Ford's I've had as of late. The toughest decision was deciding whether to lease a new Infiniti, or buy a used Audi/BMW/Benz. After countless hours of research and many, many test drives, I decided the 2008 335i coupe was the vehicle for me. The hardest part was finding a CPO coupe, low miles, with decent options at a negotiable price. After negotiating with a number of dealers, both in and out of state, I found a dealer with the right vehicle at the right price. 2008 335i, 30,000 miles, sport package, premium package, cold weather package and Logic 7.

After negotiating everything over the phone on Thursday the 18th, I took a flight to Saint Louis that evening to pick up the car Friday morning. Suntrup BMW in Ballwin picked me up from my hotel Friday morning, took me to the dealership to test drive/inspect the vehicle and finalize the paperwork. I walked in the door around 8:45 and was on my way back to Minneapolis around 10:30. Not bad considering they spent an hour detailing it. Needless to say it was an exhilarating first 3 hours for me. 90 degrees and sunny, windows down, moonroof open, and the Stones blasting on the amazing sound system.

About 200 miles into the drive, the SES light illuminated on the dash. My first action being a new BMW buyer and not knowing what this meant was to pull over and consult the service manual. Somewhat freaked out, I called my sales rep back to inform him what happened. He asked if I had filled up recently, which I had, and if I made sure the gas cap clicked when I closed it. I said I couldn't be sure and he indicated this was a common mistake by new BMW buyers and it should go away by the time I got home. If not, I could drop it at my local BMW dealership to have them look at it. After a roughly 9 hour drive, I was more surprised I wasn't feeling any aches/paines like I would in my Passat or Fusion after 3. However, the service light was still illuminated on the dash...

Wake up Saturday morning, take my bug ridden new baby to the hand wash down the street. I am still quite concerned that the SES light is on and decide I should call my local BMW dealership in Minnetonka. They were extremely helpful over the phone and had me drop the vehicle off the Sunday evening for a check Monday morning. My Service Advisor called me Monday afternoon letting me know they replaced some sensors, fuel pump, and maybe a DTML Pump (spelling? don't have my service sheet in front of me). I picked up the car Monday evening and everything was back to normal. Fast Forward to Wednesday afternoon.

I was leaving a business lunch around noon on Wednesday and BAM, SES light pops on as I'm pulling out of the parking lot. On the way back to the office, I call my Service Advisor letting him know I wanted to bring it back in. He made an appointment for me Thursday morning and a 20011 328i loaner was waiting for me. Update at end of day Thursday was no news. Service Advisor said they were still trying to determine the issue and BMW NA needed to review the data since it came back so soon.

Friday end of day update was a puzzled call from my Service Advisor that they still could not determine what the issue was and BMW NA wanted them to keep it for the weekend to see if the problem could replicate.

Today, Monday morning, Service Advisor calls around 9:30 AM. "Doug, I've got some bad news. After tearing your car apart, we determined the errors were being caused by faulty wires." Great I said, thats why I bought a CPO, even though I have 6 months left on my factory warranty. "See, here's the thing Doug, the reason the wires are bad is it looks like Mice have been eating away at them and thats why they're sending bad signals." We're looking at roughly 2 grand in repair costs here.

To be fair, the SA I've been working with has been top notch in my mind. To be honest, from the moment I drove my vehicle into the BMW Service Bay, through the phone conversation, I told myself this is just the great customer service you get with a vehicle like this. After discussing my out of state purchase situation, and how this problem originally exhibited itself the day I purchased the vehicle, I was unsure how to proceed. The SA was frank and said if I had bought it from them, we could go right to their Used Car Manager and have them cut a check for the repairs. However, I did not buy it from Minnetonka BMW, I bought it from Suntrup BMW in MO. We were both on the same page that this could not have happened on the drive back from MO, and was like this when it left the lot. He did say, however, that this would not be something the selling dealership would have uncovered in a CPO inspection, unless they had just reset the SES light without determining the issue.

That leaves me in the position I'm in this evening. The selling dealership is taking the position this is really a "grey area" and we cannot assume the vehicle left our lot like that. The Used Car Manager even went as far to say "how do we know a mouse didnt jump in on the drive back and go to town on the wires?" I communicated to the Used Car Manager that I expected his GM to call me by the end of business as I had spoken with the Used Car Manager twice throughout the day. The Used Car Manager said he would have the GM get in touch with me, but they where in no way willing to take responsibility, or cover any repairs from my local BMW Service Center. He wouldn't even commit to covering the repairs if the vehicle was serviced by their shop.

Quite frankly, I am really, really frustrated at this point. I've owned this car for a total of 10 days, and its been in the shop for 7 of them

I'm not sure what I can expect here, which is why I'm posting on this forum looking for some feedback. In my mind, I cannot accept that this vehicle did not have this problem when it left the lot. Because of that, I told the Used Car Manager I expect one of the following things to happen:

1. Suntrup pay for the repairs to be performed at BMW of Minnetonka
2. Suntrup pay for the transportation for the vehicle to be repaired at their facility at no cost to me.
3. Offer to repurchase the vehicle.

When the GM did not contact me by 5pm central, I reached out to BMW NA customer service to file a complaint. The representative was very, very apologetic, and left a message for the Suntrup GM while I waited on hold. She opened a formal complaint on my behalf and said I should expect a call tomorrow, and if not, to call her back.

What do I do here guys? I really want to love this purchase, but this is turning into a nightmare of a situation, and the purchasing dealer is really taking a hard stance as of now. If the board consensus is Iím SOL, please tell me. If you feel the dealer is in the wrong based on the information I have provided, what should my next steps be? I am really not motivated to pursue legal action due to the cost/headaches involved, but maybe a formal complaint to the MO Attorney General and BBB, along with the BMW NA assistance can provide enough leverage?

Thank you for reading this incredibly long post. I know its my first, and we usually like them to be on a bit of a different noteÖ I look forward to your replies.

Regards,

Doug
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  #2  
Old 08-29-2011, 08:51 PM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Originally Posted by XeroxGuy View Post

The selling dealership is taking the position this is really a "grey area" and we cannot assume the vehicle left our lot like that. The Used Car Manager even went as far to say "how do we know a mouse didnt jump in on the drive back and go to town on the wires?"
Superb.

Excellent!

Immediately take picures, noting any oxidation/old appearance of exposed wires. Layer of dirt is good - be honest.

Call back as a conference call with two mechanics who will testify, discuss what's wrong presenting them as knowledgable re: your problem, get selling dealer to say above, and you can sue!

Whatta case. No judge would ignore comments like these, and they'd better not go in front of him again saying anything like that!

Downside: You'll have to pay, what, $40? To submit a small claim. Then, you'll have to show up where you bought it, 'cause that's where you gotta make the claim. Be sure that any settlement includes the entire amount of repair, the submission fee, and your costs of collection....on being served, they may fall all over themselves to pay as right now they really don't expect you to follow through.

Have fun! Good luck to you!
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PS - Why didn't they just insulate the wires?
.

Last edited by CALWATERBOY; 08-29-2011 at 09:01 PM.
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  #3  
Old 08-29-2011, 11:05 PM
dtc100 dtc100 is offline
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Since it is a CPO, I would contact a local attorney to find out the Lemon Law situation in your state and whether you have a case. Even if they cover the repair, this "mouse ate the wire" thing just does not sit right with me. Could be something bigger they did not want to admit.

In other words, go for #3 solution if all possible, if not, check out other options.
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Old 08-30-2011, 05:17 AM
graphicguy graphicguy is offline
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Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
Since it is a CPO, I would contact a local attorney to find out the Lemon Law situation in your state and whether you have a case. Even if they cover the repair, this "mouse ate the wire" thing just does not sit right with me. Could be something bigger they did not want to admit.

In other words, go for #3 solution if all possible, if not, check out other options.
Yep...based on the selling dealer's response alone, I'd go for a repurchase. To try and claim that a mouse jumped into the car while you drove it home is utterly ridiculous. The fact that they didn't see the wires had been chewed is another sign they didn't check the car all that thoroughly, either. Further, that repair won't cost them $2K. It's going to cost something much less than that given they would do it for much less (assuming the selling dealer works out a deal with the servicing dealer).

This is pretty cut and dry.

Good luck.
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  #5  
Old 08-30-2011, 05:43 AM
anE934fun anE934fun is offline
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To those legal eagles who are advocating for a lemon law repurchase, have you checked the lemon law of the state where the car was first placed in service? Do you even know where it was first placed in service? Once you have that information, you might be able to advocate for a repurchase.

Personally, I think OP is looking at a small claims action along the lines CAL has outlined. Time for OP to read up on MO small claims procedure. I hope OP liked the drive from MO, because he will be making at least one or two more trips that way.
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Old 08-30-2011, 05:48 AM
anE934fun anE934fun is offline
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Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY View Post
snip...

PS - Why didn't they just insulate the wires?
Then the dealership would be on the hook for any problems that presented going forward. Replacing the wires puts the warranty exposure on BMW NA. Also, depending on which wires were chewed through (optical network), wrapping with tape won't solve the problem.
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Old 08-30-2011, 05:59 AM
slant83 slant83 is offline
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..Tony Soprano can easily do an out of state job
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  #8  
Old 08-30-2011, 06:12 AM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is online now
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Originally Posted by graphicguy View Post
Yep...based on the selling dealer's response alone, I'd go for a repurchase. To try and claim that a mouse jumped into the car while you drove it home is utterly ridiculous. The fact that they didn't see the wires had been chewed is another sign they didn't check the car all that thoroughly, either. Further, that repair won't cost them $2K. It's going to cost something much less than that given they would do it for much less (assuming the selling dealer works out a deal with the servicing dealer).
To be fair to the selling dealership the service advisor said:

"After tearing your car apart, we determined the errors were being caused by faulty wires."

and:

"He did say, however, that this would not be something the selling dealership would have uncovered in a CPO inspection, unless they had just reset the SES light without determining the issue."
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  #9  
Old 08-30-2011, 06:20 AM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XeroxGuy View Post
I'm not sure what I can expect here, which is why I'm posting on this forum looking for some feedback. In my mind, I cannot accept that this vehicle did not have this problem when it left the lot. Because of that, I told the Used Car Manager I expect one of the following things to happen:

1. Suntrup pay for the repairs to be performed at BMW of Minnetonka
2. Suntrup pay for the transportation for the vehicle to be repaired at their facility at no cost to me.
3. Offer to repurchase the vehicle.
I think these are reasonable options but they rely on convincing Suntrup BMW they should have discovered this problem during the PPO. Something that might be difficult given the comments made by the SA of BMW of Minnetonka.
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Old 08-30-2011, 06:41 AM
dtc100 dtc100 is offline
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Originally Posted by anE934fun View Post
To those legal eagles who are advocating for a lemon law repurchase, have you checked the lemon law of the state where the car was first placed in service? Do you even know where it was first placed in service? Once you have that information, you might be able to advocate for a repurchase.

Personally, I think OP is looking at a small claims action along the lines CAL has outlined. Time for OP to read up on MO small claims procedure. I hope OP liked the drive from MO, because he will be making at least one or two more trips that way.
Which is why I said consult a local attorney to see if he has a case, even if not, the attorney will be able to guide him on how to proceed to build a case, if the dealers continue to give him a hard time.
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Old 08-30-2011, 07:09 AM
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jagu jagu is offline
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Unfortunately, there won't be too many attorneys jumping on a $2000 case.

Write the sales manager a nice letter on exactly what you want done.
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Last edited by jagu; 08-30-2011 at 07:13 AM.
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  #12  
Old 08-30-2011, 07:11 AM
boilers93 boilers93 is offline
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I think the title of your post is a little misleading. Assuming that your Minnetonka dealership's diagnosis is right on both counts (that chewed up wires are the problem and that problem was caused by mice), a big assumption I know, you have a problem with a used car dealer, in this case Suntrup BMW, that may or may not have a legal remedy.

First, you need to accept the fact that it is possible that this is an assumption of risk you took on in purchasing this used car and that, in fact, you may be the one responsible for the repairs. I don't believe that you have even considered this option yet, so I want you to do so. This all depends on the contracts you signed and the laws in the state where you bought the vehicle. I am not qualified to comment on either so I won't do so.

The only other thing I will say is that it is possible that the state you purchased the vehicle from has a mandatory return period for car purchases during which you can return the car. Of course, you will be liable for getting the car back from whence it came and mileage. Given your circumstances, this probably will not be a viable option. I do not believe this is a lemon law case as I thought lemon laws generally only applied to new car purchases. Your purchase likely was as-is.

The only way I see for sure that you would have a really strong case against Suntrup is if they were aware of this issue and attempted to cover it up. Possible? Sure. I am not sure it is likely or how you would even prove it.

Good luck!
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:51 AM
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The only other thing I will say is that it is possible that the state you purchased the vehicle from has a mandatory return period for car purchases during which you can return the car.
MO does not. "Car returns - There is no state law allowing a buyer to return a car within a set time and expect a full or partial refund." MO Attorney General "All About Autos" Page
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:53 AM
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Eights-n-Aces Eights-n-Aces is offline
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Lemon Law
The Missouri New Vehicles Warranty Law, commonly called the "Lemon Law," protects buyers of new vehicles by enforcing the manufacturer's express warranty. The Lemon Law does not apply to used cars.

(See link in above post)
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:08 AM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is online now
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Lemon Law
The Missouri New Vehicles Warranty Law, commonly called the "Lemon Law," protects buyers of new vehicles by enforcing the manufacturer's express warranty. The Lemon Law does not apply to used cars.

(See link in above post)
Nor would it apply to damage resulting from mice chewing through wires.
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:12 AM
dtc100 dtc100 is offline
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Unfortunately, there won't be too many attorneys jumping on a $2000 case.

Write the sales manager a nice letter on exactly what you want done.
This is not a $2k case, a car costs a lot more than a small claims would cover.

Lemon Law covers warranty related protection issues, it is not exclusive to new products. In CA a CPO is also covered under Lemon Law. Speak to a local Lemon attorney.
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:15 AM
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This is not a $2k case, a car costs a lot more than a small claims would cover.
The repair, at $2,000, is well within the small claims court limits. It's unlikely he'll be awarded the return of the car when $2,000 will repair the damage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
Lemon Law covers warranty related protection issues, it is not exclusive to new products. In CA a CPO is also covered under Lemon Law. Speak to a local Lemon attorney.
Mice chewing through wires is not a warranty / manufacturer related issue. It makes no sense to contact a lemon law attorney unless the OP has reason to believe the problem is not due to mice causing the damage.
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:23 AM
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Mice chewing wires should be covered by comprehensive on just about any insurance policy. Pay the deductible and get it fixed.
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:26 AM
dtc100 dtc100 is offline
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Car repurchase is always a bigger claim than what a small claims can cover. If he pays for the repair then he can go to small claims.

I am saying consult a local attorney for possible repurchase. A good attorney may be able to establish that the seller failed to meet the minimum CPO certification requirements.

In front of a jury, a dealer will have a hard time arguing that the wires were chewed up by a mouse as soon as the guy drove the car off the lot.

I am not playing a lawyer here, nor should anyone else. I am saying talk to one. A good attorney will be able to tell him whether he has a case or not.
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:34 AM
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If those wires aren't part of the CPO inspection, this is on you. It's a used car. Talk to your insurance company.
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:46 AM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is online now
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Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
Car repurchase is always a bigger claim than what a small claims can cover. If he pays for the repair then he can go to small claims.

I am saying consult a local attorney for possible repurchase. A good attorney may be able to establish that the seller failed to meet the minimum CPO certification requirements.
According to the OP the SA for BMW of Minnetonka said:

"He did say, however, that this would not be something the selling dealership would have uncovered in a CPO inspection, unless they had just reset the SES light without determining the issue."

And that they had to:

"After tearing your car apart..."

In order to find the problem. I think it would be difficult to prove the selling dealership had knowledge of the damage. Even if the dealership merely reset the SES light it took almost 200 miles before it came on again.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
In front of a jury, a dealer will have a hard time arguing that the wires were chewed up by a mouse as soon as the guy drove the car off the lot.
It's not a matter of did the damage occur post sale or not. The issue would be did the selling dealer have knowledge of this issue before selling the car. According the the SA at BMW of Minnetonka a good case can be made that they did not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
I am not playing a lawyer here, nor should anyone else. I am saying talk to one. A good attorney will be able to tell him whether he has a case or not.
My motto is "It doesn't hurt to ask".
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:50 AM
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I would want to see service records for this vehicle. It's possible that they would show that the SES issue existed with the prior owner and the dealership slapped a CPO sticker on the car and passed the problem on to you.

Either way the selling dealer sounds shoddy and unstrustworthy to not take responsibility for a product they sold as CPO, regardless of whether or not the chewed wires would have been found upon normal inspections.
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:17 AM
dtc100 dtc100 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunny5280 View Post
According to the OP the SA for BMW of Minnetonka said:

"He did say, however, that this would not be something the selling dealership would have uncovered in a CPO inspection, unless they had just reset the SES light without determining the issue."

And that they had to:

"After tearing your car apart..."

In order to find the problem. I think it would be difficult to prove the selling dealership had knowledge of the damage. Even if the dealership merely reset the SES light it took almost 200 miles before it came on again.



It's not a matter of did the damage occur post sale or not. The issue would be did the selling dealer have knowledge of this issue before selling the car. According the the SA at BMW of Minnetonka a good case can be made that they did not.



My motto is "It doesn't hurt to ask".
It is not whether the dealer, and therefore the manufacture, could deny being at fault, they always do, but rather how likely you may prove they are at fault. Such speculation should be left to an experienced attorney.

Personally, it would be difficult to convince me the CPO dealer, going through the rigorous CPO procedures, as claimed by the manufacture, could have easily missed the problem, so it is likely they simply reset the SES code.

The bottom line is, a reputable dealer, backed by a reputable manufacture, should stand behind their newly CPOed product and resolve the issue for the OP.
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:33 AM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Unfortunately, there won't be too many attorneys jumping on a $2000 case.

Write the sales manager a nice letter on exactly what you want done.
Not so! For a $4k retainer, their full time and attention will be focused on YOU, until the retainer's used up [attorney claims], then more $ may be required.
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:34 AM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is online now
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Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
It is not whether the dealer, and therefore the manufacture, could deny being at fault, they always do, but rather how likely you may prove they are at fault. Such speculation should be left to an experienced attorney.
Why would they be at fault for a mice chewing through wires?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
Personally, it would be difficult to convince me the CPO dealer, going through the rigorous CPO procedures, as claimed by the manufacture, could have easily missed the problem, so it is likely they simply reset the SES code.

The bottom line is, a reputable dealer, backed by a reputable manufacture, should stand behind their newly CPOed product and resolve the issue for the OP.
Given the SA for BMW of Minnetonka already stated this is not something that would be uncovered by the CPO process and that they had to tear the vehicle apart to locate the problem I think the OP will have a difficult time proving the selling dealership had knowledge of it.
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