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  #1  
Old 10-04-2013, 08:30 PM
kuntilanak kuntilanak is offline
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Location: California
 
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Mein Auto: 2008 328i
Valvetronic Sensor and CA Emission Warranty

I had issue with my 2008 328i with 60k miles where the car would have weird throttle response and stalled once in the highway. I brought it to the dealer that diagnosed it was due to failing Valvetronic Eccentric Shaft Sensor. I asked the dealer if it was covered under CA's 7 yr/70k emissions warranty, but they said no.

But when I got home, I studied my warranty manual and found that Valvetronic Sensor is covered under CA Emissions warranty. And the warranty condition is "To obtain service under this warranty, the vehi- cle must be brought, upon failure of a Smog Check test or upon discovery of the defect, to the workshop of any authorized BMW center, during normal business hours. "

I have scheduled the service to be done at my trusted indy. But now thinking of cancelling and try to appeal my warranty case. Has anyone here got the Valvetronic Eccentric Shaft Sensor replaced under this CA Warranty? Is there any good contact in BMW USA where I can get more clarification on this?

Thanks!

Last edited by kuntilanak; 10-07-2013 at 10:33 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-04-2013, 08:42 PM
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floydarogers floydarogers is offline
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Location: Renton, WA
 
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I believe that they changed the warranty manual in later years to not enumerate everthing covered, leaving it up to the service advisor to call BMWNA for questions of coverage.

You should:
1) Contact the dealership's service department manager, and explain the problem to him.
2) If that doesn't work, call the BMWNA number listed in the booklet (1 800 831-1117) and ask them to help.
3) CARB ?
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Old 10-04-2013, 10:15 PM
anE934fun anE934fun is offline
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OP - if you have your indy shop do the repair, you will probably end up having to eat the cost. BMW specifies that all warranty repairs must be done by a 'qualified' repair facility, which means a dealer. A better approach is to have the dealer do the repair and then work the system for the reimbursement. Start with BMW NA. If they pass, then work up the food chain with CARB. The feds are on compulsory holiday, so no one will be in to take your case.

I have found that CA state agencies take their job rather seriously (I had a warranty claim on a non-BMW car I own resolved to my satisfaction once the state got involved).

Good luck!
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Old 10-04-2013, 10:33 PM
kuntilanak kuntilanak is offline
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Thanks all! I fired some emails to the dealer and BMWNA (the general customer relations email). I'll post my updates and learnings here.

Please let me know if you know a more efficient channels in BMWNA.

I am going to hold off having my indy repairing it. But it is pretty inconvenient to ground the car for long time. In the end it's not about the money, but principle.
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Old 10-07-2013, 11:52 AM
kuntilanak kuntilanak is offline
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I got this issue resolved and BMW/dealer agreed to replace my sensor under 7yr/70k mi CA Emissions warranty.

I called BMW NA owner relations 1-800#. At first the rep did not know anything about CA Emissions warranty and was dismissive. After pointing out the relevant section in my warranty manual and quoting CA regulations about this, I was put on hold. I assumed he talked to the right person, because once I talked to him again, the conversation changed completely for the better. he confirmed that my valvetronic sensor should be replaced under warranty. Not long after, I got a call from the dealer apologizing profusely and to set up the appointment. They also agreed to refund me the amount I paid them to diagnose the problem in the first place.

There needs to be more awareness for owners and dealers about extended CA Emissions warranty. Like earlier poster, I learned about this warranty from my other non-BMW car. The Japanese brand dealer told me not to get extended warranty because a lot of major mechanical breakdown expensive repairs are covered under the mandated CA emissions warranty. Basically any expensive parts (defined as >$500 to repair) whose failure may result in decreased emissions performance needs to be warranted for 7yr/70k mile. This coverage is valid for cars originaly sold and registerred in CA. We practiclaly paid for this warranty when paying more for CA emissions package. If your car is SULEV/PZEV it has even longer coverage.

In my case, the BMW warranty manual listed parts that are covered. In my 2008 3 series manual, it is listed in page 42. The coverages ranged from valvetronic sensor, VANOS units, fuel tank, etc. I heard that BMW is getting more generic in listing what is covered in later model years manuals, but I cannot verify. For comparison, my Honda's coverage list is 3 pages long. I am lucky that Valvetronic Sensor is explicitly listed. For other problems, I heard if you can argue that if your problem will cause you to fail smog test, that breakdown should be covered under the 7yr/70k mile policy.

There are many posts in this forum and bimmerpost about CA and Federal Emissions mandated extended warranty, but both dealers' and other owners' awareness on this needs to be improved. Because of the initial experience, I came out with guns blazing. But I found the key is to do your homework and get to speak to the right person.

Thank yo ufor others who posted their experiences with similar issue in this forum. It helped me a lot in my due dilligence. I clarified to the dealer that I do not want to be difficult, I just want to claim the rights I am entitled to.
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Old 10-07-2013, 12:29 PM
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floydarogers floydarogers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuntilanak View Post
I got this issue resolved and BMW/dealer agreed to replace my sensor under 7yr/70k mi CA Emissions warranty.
Good. I agree with every point you made, BTW.

I did not get an extended warranty for my 335d mainly because almost all the problems people have had with the diesel is emissions-related (EGR, SCR, etc.) As I drive ~18,000 miles per year, I would have gotten essentially 1 year of coverage for a 6/100K extended warranty, which really wasn't worth the $2500 or so. I, too, had to fight a bit to get my last SCR system problem fixed under the CA warranty.

The situation is ridiculous, IMO. For instance, there is a guy in NC (I won't pass on the wiseness of living there) that is having to pay for the exact same problem that a guy in CT got fixed free - only difference was due to which state they're in.
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Old 10-07-2013, 05:07 PM
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FrankAZ FrankAZ is offline
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Location: Chandler, AZ
 
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This is very interesting thread and a bookmarkable 'keeper'. I found this in an online Ford manual (here) but it seems to relate to all manufacturers' vehicles.

Vehicles Eligible for California Emission Warranty Coverage
California emission warranty coverage applies if your vehicle meets the
following two requirements:
  • Your vehicle is registered in a state that has adopted and is enforcing California emission warranty regulations applicable for your vehicle at the time of repair, and
  • Your vehicle is certified for sale in California as indicated on the vehicle emission control information label.
Subject to change, the following states have adopted and are enforcing California emission warranty regulations:
  • Passenger Car & Light-duty Trucks (up to 8,500 pounds GVWR) - Arizona, California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.
(NOTE: New York adopted California emissions standards, but not the California Emissions Warranty; the Federal Emission Control Warranty applies to all non-PZEV vehicles in New York)


So, it would seem that my AZ purchased and registered car also enjoys the 7 year / 70k emissions warranty benefit.

Frank.
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  #8  
Old 10-07-2013, 11:27 PM
kuntilanak kuntilanak is offline
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The warranty is state regulation, so it does apply to all manufacturers. Some brands are doing better job than others in highlighting it. It is sad but understandable that most owners are ignorant about this. But it is ridiculous that dealers and mfg's customer reps are clueless about this. The state is not driving awareness on this, and dealers would rather push us extended warranty than telling us about the emission warranty. I would expect in CA and state that adopts CA standard, dealers and SA's should be trained on this issue.

I wonder if we can influence the moderators here to create a sticky with reference materials on Federal and state specific warranties beyond BMW's standard. I am sure it will benefit a lot of people.
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