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  #1  
Old 12-07-2012, 05:42 PM
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Should I charge-back BMW for TPMS?

Team

For the past 2 weeks I have been experiencing a TPMS error. iDrive was reporting low pressure in the right rear, however manual tire pressure measurement was indicating the pressure to be correct.

I called BMW of Pembroke Pines and they said it is a full day job to fix this and they refused to replace the sensor without doing their full day diagnostic. I hung up on my service advisor at this response.

I called Vista, and they said they could swap out the TPMS in 45 mins. I drove up there, and they basically did what i already did (check the pressure, identify the issue) and then they also said they needed to do a software diagnostic before replacing the sensor, and asked me to leave the car with them for 24 hours. I refused and went home.

The next day (this morning) I went down to Braman (closest dealer to my home) and talked to their top service advisor. He took the car in, ran a diagnostic, and an hour later told me the TPMS showed no error codes, and they would need to update the software in the car. He said they didn't have time to do it today (this was at 9am) and also said it would likely take more than one day when I do come back so they would give me a loaner for a few days. I insisted he try replacing the TPMS right away, before asking me to come back the following week and leave the car for a few days. He refused.

I then went across the street to a high end tuning shop and asked them if they could replace the TPMS with OEM TPMS from Braman. They agreed to do so, and the total charge to me was $170.

I paid this, and it resolved the issue (my tpms is working perfectly reporting accurate pressures for all 4 wheels).

I am annoyed by this - 3 BMW dealers wasted hours of my time, and refused to take the most obvious action under the warranty. I was convinced the issue was the sensor, and I was prepared to replace it at my own expense to save myself time and hassle. I figured if the sensor replacement didn't work, I'd just eat the expense and learn my lesson. However since replacing the sensor did work - it proves I was right and the dealers were wasting my time.

Should I send the bill for $170 to BMW North America?
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Last edited by Stealth.Pilot; 12-07-2012 at 05:51 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-07-2012, 06:24 PM
RambleJ RambleJ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth.Pilot View Post
Team

For the past 2 weeks I have been experiencing a TPMS error. iDrive was reporting low pressure in the right rear, however manual tire pressure measurement was indicating the pressure to be correct.

I called BMW of Pembroke Pines and they said it is a full day job to fix this and they refused to replace the sensor without doing their full day diagnostic. I hung up on my service advisor at this response.

I called Vista, and they said they could swap out the TPMS in 45 mins. I drove up there, and they basically did what i already did (check the pressure, identify the issue) and then they also said they needed to do a software diagnostic before replacing the sensor, and asked me to leave the car with them for 24 hours. I refused and went home.

The next day (this morning) I went down to Braman (closest dealer to my home) and talked to their top service advisor. He took the car in, ran a diagnostic, and an hour later told me the TPMS showed no error codes, and they would need to update the software in the car. He said they didn't have time to do it today (this was at 9am) and also said it would likely take more than one day when I do come back so they would give me a loaner for a few days. I insisted he try replacing the TPMS right away, before asking me to come back the following week and leave the car for a few days. He refused.

I then went across the street to a high end tuning shop and asked them if they could replace the TPMS with OEM TPMS from Braman. They agreed to do so, and the total charge to me was $170.

I paid this, and it resolved the issue (my tpms is working perfectly reporting accurate pressures for all 4 wheels).

I am annoyed by this - 3 BMW dealers wasted hours of my time, and refused to take the most obvious action under the warranty. I was convinced the issue was the sensor, and I was prepared to replace it at my own expense to save myself time and hassle. I figured if the sensor replacement didn't work, I'd just eat the expense and learn my lesson. However since replacing the sensor did work - it proves I was right and the dealers were wasting my time.

Should I send the bill for $170 to BMW North America?
You could, and they might do it. But leaving your car over night to allow them to attempt the reprogramming it mostly likely would have came up unsuccessful and at that point the dealership would have replaced the TPMS and you would be good to go. For lack of a better term, your impatience lead you to pay out of pocket for it and now you may have to eat it.
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Last edited by RambleJ; 12-07-2012 at 06:37 PM.
  #3  
Old 12-07-2012, 06:34 PM
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I think it's common knowledge by now that BMW insists that dealers work with them, or follow strict procedures, before taking warranty actions. I'm assuming this is to help avoid warranty work that won't really solve the problem. Since all three dealers basically told you the same thing, they are all following company policy and procedures. While this may be inconvenient, and it would have been bothered as well, they would have tried to make it as convenient as possible, by providing a loaner for you. In this case, your assumption was correct and it was a bad sensor. In some other cases, following the prescribed diagnostic testing may have pointed to a different solution. I don't think I would expect reimbursement from BMW in this instance.
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Last edited by markl53; 12-07-2012 at 09:54 PM.
  #4  
Old 12-07-2012, 06:40 PM
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Stealth, you are well written and articulate. I would go ahead and sent them a letter with the above information. I am betting they blow you off, but I would rather go down fighting. Why they wouldn't want to start off at the easiest fix and work their way up is beyond me.
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  #5  
Old 12-07-2012, 06:42 PM
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Stealth.Pilot Stealth.Pilot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RambleJ View Post
You could, and they might do it. But leaving your car over night to allow them to attempt the reprogramming it mostly likely would have came up unsuccessful and at that point the dealership would have replaced the TPMS and you would be good to go. For lack of a better term, your impatience lead you to pay out of pocket for it and now you may have to eat it.
I value my time enough that I'd rather pay $170 then waste time for another trip to the dealer. So whether they pay me back or not would not affect my decision to do what I did.

However I think the principle here is that they ought to pay for it.

Also I'm sure this was cheaper than what the dealers proposed process would have cost BMWs warranty dept.
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  #6  
Old 12-07-2012, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by markl53 View Post
In some other cases, following the prescribed diagnostic testing may have pointed to a different solution. I don't think I would expect reimbursement from BMW in this instance.
This is the same reason Doctors don't appreciate it when their patients come into their office having already diagnosed themselves. It's difficult to deal with an educated consumer. I appreciate Stealth's frustration, but when running a multi-billion dollar organization you have to rely on proven processes. Proven processes carry a more reliable success rate overall, even though that didn't manifest in this scenario. That being said, I hope you get a refund from BMW. That would indicate to me that your loyalty to the BMW brand is worth at least $170.
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  #7  
Old 12-07-2012, 11:15 PM
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What's so bad about leaving your car with a dealer for a day? If you left your car with Pembroke Pines, it would have been fixed in the same amount of time it took for you to get frustrated with two other dealers and end up paying out of pocket for your repair.

I guess it can't hurt to send them a bill, but I would also suggest you include the defective TPMS, so they could spend a day running diagnostics to determine if it was defective.
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  #8  
Old 12-07-2012, 11:36 PM
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miamiboyca miamiboyca is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth.Pilot View Post

Also I'm sure this was cheaper than what the dealers proposed process would have cost BMWs warranty dept.
That's the interesting part of what you mentioned, at least for me. It sounds like the time to evaluate the problem would cost more than just replacing the TPMs.

I agree with process but this one baffles me. You have to assume Stealth (at$170) paid more than the actual cost to BMW. I mean add the diagnostic time and technician, the person who took the complaint, etc an it would be well over the $170. Take it further - you leave the car and drive a loaner for a day. So Person taking info+diagnostic+ technician +loaner car= the same result, replacement.

Send them the bill.
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  #9  
Old 12-07-2012, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by dunderhi View Post
What's so bad about leaving your car with a dealer for a day?
Stealth has an M5. I'm sure he wouldn't want to be stuck in a rental for something that could be a quick fix.
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Last edited by Decboy; 12-07-2012 at 11:47 PM.
  #10  
Old 12-08-2012, 05:07 AM
Agrines2003 Agrines2003 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by decboy View Post
stealth has an m5. I'm sure he wouldn't want to be stuck in a rental for something that could be a quick fix.
+1
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  #11  
Old 12-08-2012, 05:32 AM
dunccfp dunccfp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunderhi View Post
What's so bad about leaving your car with a dealer for a day? If you left your car with Pembroke Pines, it would have been fixed in the same amount of time it took for you to get frustrated with two other dealers and end up paying out of pocket for your repair.

I guess it can't hurt to send them a bill, but I would also suggest you include the defective TPMS, so they could spend a day running diagnostics to determine if it was defective.
I'd include a screenshot of your op on this forum to motivate them to do the right thing.
  #12  
Old 12-08-2012, 05:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Decboy View Post
Stealth has an M5. I'm sure he wouldn't want to be stuck in a rental for something that could be a quick fix.
From my perspective driving a 328i is like what a 528i driver may feel about driving a corolla. On top of that I travel a lot, most of the time I'm driving a Buick or a Volvo. So when I am home 2-3 days a week I expect my car (when you allocate depreciation per driving day, I am probably spending a $150 a day to drive my own car and I don't want a 328 for that money).

But actually I would have let him keep it for the day. he was telling me this at 9am and I offered to let him keep it till 6pm. The issue was he said that the equipment to reprogram the car wasn't available so I would have to come back next week, and even then would likely take more than a day. So I would come back the following Friday and I may not get my car back till late Saturday or Monday. That was asking too much when the problem was a 1 hour fix.

Also I never went to BMW of Pembroke Pines. They told me flat out said on the phone that they would not replace sensor until last resort, so never took the car there. vista and Braman both promised on the phone to replace the sensor within 1-2 hours and then didn't do what they said. Further neither of them offered to keep the car and work on the issue the same day but they wanted me to make another appointment for the following week and then leave the car for 24 horus or more. The assertion of Dunderhi that the issue would have been solved in the same time if I had left the car at the first dealer is simply factually incorrect.
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Last edited by Stealth.Pilot; 12-08-2012 at 06:07 AM.
  #13  
Old 12-08-2012, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by miamiboyca View Post
That's the interesting part of what you mentioned, at least for me. It sounds like the time to evaluate the problem would cost more than just replacing the TPMs.

I agree with process but this one baffles me. You have to assume Stealth (at$170) paid more than the actual cost to BMW. I mean add the diagnostic time and technician, the person who took the complaint, etc an it would be well over the $170. Take it further - you leave the car and drive a loaner for a day. So Person taking info+diagnostic+ technician +loaner car= the same result, replacement.

Send them the bill.
Yes I think I saved them a lot of money.

Here is what the dealership's proposed process was:
1) reload all software on the car (takes about 6 hours)
2) test to see if issue resolved (1 hour, in this case it would not have resolved issue and some junior tech would have been joyriding my car)
3) take samples of code and send them to BMW for further evaluation
4) BMW sends revised code to solve the problem, and dealer loads that code onto the car (or BMW may step directly to step 6)
5) test to see if issue resolved (1 hour, in this case it would not have resolved issue and some junior tech would have been joyriding my car again)
6) BMW reviews code a few days later and concludes that dealership should replace sensor
7) Dealer replaces sensor

So I would imagine that process is going to cost over $1000 and as the dealer indicated I may have to leave the car with them for 2-3 days and perhaps even a week if BMW chose to do steps 4 and 5.

My own diagnostic was based on the following logic which I explained to the service advisor:
1) The car was correctly reporting pressure for the first 2300 miles.
2) BMW of South Atlanta did a road force balancing to resolve a vibration issue from the factory at 2300 miles
3) Since then the sensor on the right rear has been mis reporting the pressure, and the variance has been increasing by about 1 psi per day
4) the progressive increase in error is more characteristic of a hardware deterioration than a software deterioration because software fails suddenly not progresssively
5) there is reason to think that there may have been damage during the road force balancing process, especially if they also removed and inspected tires to diagnose the vibration (which they did because they also replaced one defective tire).n the hardware damage could them be compounded by normal vibration from driving.
6) The fact that the sensor was not reporting an error code, does not mean the sensor is not damaged - there are many sensor failures which are unreported on BMWs - it depends on the nature of the fault/damage.
7) Therefore since it looks like a hardware issue, and the service history pinpoints when damage could have occurred, replace sensor.
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  #14  
Old 12-08-2012, 06:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GermanRoots View Post
This is the same reason Doctors don't appreciate it when their patients come into their office having already diagnosed themselves. It's difficult to deal with an educated consumer. I appreciate Stealth's frustration, but when running a multi-billion dollar organization you have to rely on proven processes. Proven processes carry a more reliable success rate overall, even though that didn't manifest in this scenario. That being said, I hope you get a refund from BMW. That would indicate to me that your loyalty to the BMW brand is worth at least $170.
I do wish that the OP gets a refund from BMWNA. But I also wished to hit the $550 million Powerball, and that obviously did not happen.

The reason of which no BMW dealer will do what the OP wanted them to do is that they will not get a single dime from BMWNA until they provided proof that BMWNA specific warranty procedure for TPMS diagnostic and repair was followed and performed as stated in their service and warranty payments agreement.

Now it will be the OP's word and not the result of a dealer diagnostics that there was a TPMS warranty claim indeed and BMWNA doing an exception to their warranty payments policy. Two outside the norm procedures waiting to happen simultaneously. Good luck. Seriously.
  #15  
Old 12-08-2012, 06:04 AM
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I am going to make a claim. If they are good people they will pay up.

If not, I don't care. I have low expectations of BMW and I don't care if I get a refund since $170 cost is worth it to save the agro of additional trips to the dealer and driving a rubbish loaner.

I have low expectations of BMW, I hate BMWs dealers in South Florida, but I love my M5 and bought it despite the former.

It is particularly annoying they told me they would replace the sensor over the phone and then didn't do so. Pembroke Pines were at least honest and saved me the trip.
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Last edited by Stealth.Pilot; 12-08-2012 at 06:14 AM.
  #16  
Old 12-08-2012, 06:22 AM
rmichae9 rmichae9 is offline
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Please keep us informed (I know you will). This affects many of us in lots of different ways.
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  #17  
Old 12-08-2012, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth.Pilot View Post
I called BMW of Pembroke Pines and they said it is a full day job to fix this and they refused to replace the sensor without doing their full day diagnostic. I hung up on my service advisor at this response.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth.Pilot View Post
The assertion of Dunderhi that the issue would have been solved in the same time if I had left the car at the first dealer is simply factually incorrect.
I'm sorry for operating on the assumption that your statements were complete. I wouldn't have thought that your dealer treated you like a 328 owner, but now I know.

When you need to have your car serviced, why don't you arrange to have it done while you are on travel? I've dropped my car off either the night before or even on the way to the airport and when I returned the service was completed and my car was ready and waiting. My dealer even offered to pick-up and drop-off at our home for a warranty item, but I had to tell him my car was parked in an airport parking garage at the time. Good luck.
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  #18  
Old 12-08-2012, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunderhi View Post
I'm sorry for operating on the assumption that your statements were complete. I wouldn't have thought that your dealer treated you like a 328 owner, but now I know.

When you need to have your car serviced, why don't you arrange to have it done while you are on travel? I've dropped my car off either the night before or even on the way to the airport and when I returned the service was completed and my car was ready and waiting. My dealer even offered to pick-up and drop-off at our home for a warranty item, but I had to tell him my car was parked in an airport parking garage at the time. Good luck.
Same here. The dealer is about a 15 minute drive from the airport. I've twice had them drop me off for my flight and pick me up on return.
  #19  
Old 12-08-2012, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth.Pilot View Post
I am going to make a claim. If they are good people they will pay up.

If not, I don't care. I have low expectations of BMW and I don't care if I get a refund since $170 cost is worth it to save the agro of additional trips to the dealer and driving a rubbish loaner.

I have low expectations of BMW, I hate BMWs dealers in South Florida, but I love my M5 and bought it despite the former.

It is particularly annoying they told me they would replace the sensor over the phone and then didn't do so. Pembroke Pines were at least honest and saved me the trip.
All Braman dealership are terrible IMO. Too bad it's hard to ind a good dealer, I hope I find a good one in Dallas.
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  #20  
Old 12-08-2012, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth.Pilot View Post
It is particularly annoying they told me they would replace the sensor over the phone and then didn't do so.
It's sad we run into this scenario with all types of businesses, not just with car dealerships. There's a reason why we call in the first place to save an unnecessary trip out. If you say/quote a statement to someone over the phone, stick with it. I get worked up when people are under the assumption I have all the time in world to "just drop by".
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  #21  
Old 12-08-2012, 09:48 AM
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The exact same problem has happened to me, and there is a thread on that.
First time I took it to the dealer, they tried setting the pressure and told the EXACT same thing - that they have to take out the tire, run diagnostics and determine the real cause. so i have to take an appointment and come back for a day.
I said to the SA, "In my humble opinion, the sensor is faulty. why dont you replace it?".
he said, "it may be, but we have to get the authorization codes from BMWNA"
I obliged. When they returned the car after the repair, they said - sensor was faulty.

Firstly, this is my first car, so not much experience in car ownership, moreover I am low maintenance/push over compared to stealth.
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  #22  
Old 12-08-2012, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph1201 View Post
Firstly, this is my first car, so not much experience in car ownership, moreover I am low maintenance/push over compared to stealth.
You're not a push over. You allowed the dealership to follow their specified, and required diagnostic procedure. Perhaps after BMW finds more TPMS sensors going faulty, they will amend their service procedure for that item. To us "lay people", the drawn-out procedure for diagnosing a "simple" TPMS pressure may seem overkill, but I'm thinking there's more to it -- they must have empirically determined that this process provides the best chance for finding the root cause. As a project manager, I am trained to know that root cause analysis is the single best method for long term prevention of problem recurrence. Following a defined and specific process is usually a worthwhile endeavor.
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  #23  
Old 12-08-2012, 11:20 AM
Stealth.Pilot's Avatar
Stealth.Pilot Stealth.Pilot is offline
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Location: Florida
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,577
Mein Auto: 2014 M5
Quote:
Originally Posted by dunderhi View Post
When you need to have your car serviced, why don't you arrange to have it done while you are on travel? I've dropped my car off either the night before or even on the way to the airport and when I returned the service was completed and my car was ready and waiting. My dealer even offered to pick-up and drop-off at our home for a warranty item, but I had to tell him my car was parked in an airport parking garage at the time. Good luck.
I don't do that because one time I left my 2001 330i Cabriolet with them. They kept it a week and added 300 miles for an issue which required no road testing at all (the electric seat motor had failed).

I'm not alone. There are many threads about this. When you leave your car with a dealership, their techs and service advisors are authorized to take your car home if that allows them to do extended road testing. There was a guy on this board who took his car in for a rattle - they added 600 miles and didn't even solve the problem.

With an M5 I believe that is too much temptation. I don't want the episode that occurred with my 330ci happening again. I certainly don't want to end up like that guy in Fort Worth who had his M5 totaled by a junior tech.

In the event I had to drop off the car for a week, I'd fit a GPS tracker first.

I understand this might not resonate with you, but as MiamiboyCa points out above, my dealer has a terrible track record. Your dealership in Silver Springs is very highly regarded.
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Last edited by Stealth.Pilot; 12-08-2012 at 11:25 AM.
  #24  
Old 12-08-2012, 01:13 PM
MSgtMel's Avatar
MSgtMel MSgtMel is offline
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Location: nicht zu hause
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 630
Mein Auto: '11 535xi, '14 X1 28xi
Quote:
Originally Posted by markl53 View Post
You're not a push over. You allowed the dealership to follow their specified, and required diagnostic procedure. Perhaps after BMW finds more TPMS sensors going faulty, they will amend their service procedure for that item. To us "lay people", the drawn-out procedure for diagnosing a "simple" TPMS pressure may seem overkill, but I'm thinking there's more to it -- they must have empirically determined that this process provides the best chance for finding the root cause. As a project manager, I am trained to know that root cause analysis is the single best method for long term prevention of problem recurrence. Following a defined and specific process is usually a worthwhile endeavor.
Great description of why it needs to be done this way. Imo coupled with the flakiness of the software (which most of us agree on) in these things, this time intensive procedure will eventually lead to a better and more stable product. Leading to greater customer satisfaction....
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  #25  
Old 12-08-2012, 01:27 PM
Stealth.Pilot's Avatar
Stealth.Pilot Stealth.Pilot is offline
The Driver
Location: Florida
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,577
Mein Auto: 2014 M5
Quote:
Originally Posted by markl53 View Post
You're not a push over. You allowed the dealership to follow their specified, and required diagnostic procedure. Perhaps after BMW finds more TPMS sensors going faulty, they will amend their service procedure for that item. To us "lay people", the drawn-out procedure for diagnosing a "simple" TPMS pressure may seem overkill, but I'm thinking there's more to it -- they must have empirically determined that this process provides the best chance for finding the root cause. As a project manager, I am trained to know that root cause analysis is the single best method for long term prevention of problem recurrence. Following a defined and specific process is usually a worthwhile endeavor.
I've found that the people who get paid the big bucks, are able to do non-linear problem solving as opposed to just following a defined and specific process.

Defined and specific processes are good for mass market quality, but there are better approaches if you have intelligent, empowered and thoughtful workforces.

I don't know if you read my diagnostic logic posted above - but I think that is good non-linear problem solving (forgive the self praise). And an intelligent empowered service advisor would have understood it and taken the appropriate action. Unfortunately this guy was not empowered, because BMW is running their service operations like Walmart and not like Nordstrom.
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