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...or not...

I'm aware of all that is written above and I realize it is my responsibility to chase down the fuel provider. But there is also a factual error above. No gasoline introduced into a gasoline car will cause a $10K repair requirement. It's simply not possible. Secondly, BMW does not warn purchasers of this risk when they take your check at the dealer. No gasoline was put into the car but we're told it is in there somehow. And hence my situation. I guess i need to believe them. Is it known to all others at time of purchase that this is a real risk? I doubt it.

The diesel came from a Shell station and hence a name brand provider. We do have the receipts and will try to vector back to the point of purchase among several potential options. Incidentally, no engine warning light or any other sensor warning of any kind alerted us to this.

So BMW should disclose to you, when you buy the car, that if you put bad gas in your diesel engine, your repair bill may be $10,000? Is that your complaint?

What else should they warn you about? If your battery dies, it will be more expensive to replace than a Die Hard? If you get in an accident, OEM body parts will be expensive? If a rock cracks your windshield, a new one will be expensive?

:wahwah:
 

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VIN WBA3K5C56FK300521
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103 Posts
Discussion Starter #22
I am the forum moderator and appreciate you starting this thread. However, can you please explain in more detail how the bad gas caused the expensive repair? It's not fair to BMW unless we have more information on your issue. It's always difficult to judge this kind of post as we only see one side of the story.
That is a fair point and I am not intending to be evasive. Here are the facts:

- car is a 2015 328xD with 12000 miles purchased in May 2015
- Wife and I are only drivers and the three fuelings we can isolate prior to early engine symptoms are known and we have original diesel receipts from each. All fuelings were Shell but in two separate states
- we were both in the car when the three fuelings were performed and no gasoline was ever introduced into the tank
- following a 800 mile road trip and on arrival home noticed engine spuuter, hesitation, general lethargy. Presented to dealer on Nov 17 where it has been ever since
- throughout the ordeal no dashboard warning light of any kind appeared and no code was observed when the diagnostics were done at the dealer. They came back to us and said they were stumped and needed more time.
- one day later the customer rep called and said they suspect gas in the tank and that this is not warrantable. I relayed the above info and asked how this could have happened. He said we could have introduced a bad batch of fuel. The CSR verbally referenced a $9K fix estimate though i have yet to ask for a written one as we sorted through how to handle the situation. Various sources confirm that the is a realistic repair cost based on a probable full fuel system replacement requirement. The checking continued at the dealer.
- dealer calls back next day (CS and shop foreman) and claims again that gasoline is in the diesel tank. I ask for analytics to support this but still have none. The dealer fixed ops leader gets on the phone and says the diagnosis is final and we need direction on how to fix the car. I tell him i need more data and don't accept the diagnosis and would like to speak with a boss.
- dealer rep calls us back same day to say the car is going back into further diagnostics
- dealer calls later that day to say the car seems to be OK. We show up to get car and CSR says its on a final confirmatory test drive and all looks good. Says will call back by 2pm that day for car pickup - we are told to come in because the car looks ready after having flushed the tank and running it on several extended test drives (over 300 miles at this point). Says to call back in a few hours. We call back and no response. Next morning CSR and fixed ops director call and again say the car has gasoline in the diesel and what do we want to do. This is the final diagnosis by dealer.
- I asked for BMWNA contact as an appeal and clarification option. I spoke to three separate people at BMWNA on Nov 19 and was told they would come back to us in 5 days or less.
- having not heard back from BMWNA we called on Nov 30 and asked for a response. We were unable to reach the person at BMWNA who promised us the 5-day response. Meanwhile dealer fixed ops leader calls again and says they want their loaner back and what do we want to do with the car
- finally spoke to BMWNA Dec 1 and was told it was not a warrantable repair based on dealer diagnosis, final decision based on dealer tech diagnosis. On same day dealer fixed ops rep calls with same response and says he wants the loaner back.
- So I am now realizing I am on the hook for the repair but I ask BMWNA and dealer both what happens if we drive off the lot with a new engine and have a bad batch of diesel? No response to question. We ask why no warning light or other notice would be present when such an issue occurs. No response

the issue is that I understand I will need to pay for the repair or chase down a gas station for resolution.

My question is, and which spurred my original post, whether anyone who buys these cars recognizes the risk they take on when they do so. Contrary to one post above, no gasoline engine will be ruined to the tune of $9500 in any situation from having received bad gas. It's not possible.

So, do BMW dealers specifically identify and communicate this risk when they take a check for a diesel car? They did not do so with us and we would not have bought the car if they had. We now have a significantly damaged asset (25% of the purchase price within 6 months of purchase) and a reduced resale value on a car we don't even want anymore. We also now have the lovely final solution of further enriching the dealer for BMW tech rates to repair the car...

My view is its either a 1) an engineering defect which at the very least requires a sensor warning upon first potential 'gas in diesel' situation (i.e. Stop Immediately and Pull to the Side of the Road) or 2) BMW needs to specifically and clearly notify in writing, and with customer acknowledgement, that this very real risk exists and that as a consumer we accept the risk. Neither of those happen today.
 

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I'll trade my wife's Jetta Sportwagon TDI for your broken 328d and save you the repair bill. Her's runs great.
 

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My question is, and which spurred my original post, whether anyone who buys these cars recognizes the risk they take on when they do so. Contrary to one post above, no gasoline engine will be ruined to the tune of $9500 in any situation from having received bad gas. It's not possible.
Water in the gas or otherwise bad gas can certainly ruin a gas engine to the tune of 10k+. Just google a bit and you'll see lots of stories. There was a guy who posted either on this forum or the other one who needed a new engine due to bad gas. This is why gas stations have insurance for exactly these situations; if it never happened they wouldn't need the insurance.

In your case I'd suggest getting something in writing from BMW saying that bad diesel ruined your engine, and just go the last gas station you filled up in and file a claim with them.

I understand you're upset, but claiming this is an issue specific to diesel engines is incorrect and not really relevant. You got bad gas. It ruined your engine. It doesn't matter if it was a diesel or not.
 

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You Don't Need to Know
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I'll trade my wife's Jetta Sportwagon TDI for your broken 328d and save you the repair bill. Her's runs great.
And give up your lucrative class action claim??
 

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Sorry to hear this happen. :cry:

I am eager to know if it is because of "bad quality of diesel" or "gas" in diesel engine. If former, I will try to be much more cautious about going to random stations and stick with reputed ones. But in either of these scenarios, I would chase the fuel station (like most folks pointed above)

It is not practical to warn every single thing in person when you sign the deal. There is manual where things are explained in detail with warnings etc.

Hope you will find a quick resolution to this without having to pay out of pocket.
 

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What about bad (read:incorrect spec) oil?
What about bad coolant?

This has nothing to do with BMW or diesel.

Responsibility lies with you or the filling station.
 

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Pedant and Curmudgeon
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6,205 Posts
...
My view is its either a 1) an engineering defect which at the very least requires a sensor warning upon first potential 'gas in diesel' situation (i.e. Stop Immediately and Pull to the Side of the Road) or 2) BMW needs to specifically and clearly notify in writing, and with customer acknowledgement, that this very real risk exists and that as a consumer we accept the risk. Neither of those happen today.
Badness. :bawling: But, this is the text in the 328d manual (2014 version - that's what my wife's is):
"The engine of your BMW is designed for diesel
with low sulfur content:
Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel ASTM D 975-xx.
xx: comply with the current standard in each
case.
Use only Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel.
The fraction of biodiesel in the fuel must
not exceed 5 %, referred to as B5. Do not use
gasoline. If you do fill the tank with the wrong :dunno:
fuel, e.g., gasoline, do not start the engine as
this may damage the engine.***9664;
After adding the wrong fuel, contact your service
center or roadside assistance.
If the fuel pump nozzle does not fit in the filler
pipe of your BMW, please check to ensure that
you are refueling at a diesel fuel pump that is
equipped with a diesel fuel pump nozzle.
In the event the Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel fuel
cannot be fully inserted into the fuel filler neck,
please contact BMW Roadside Assistance for
instructions on how to add fuel. For more information
on BMW Roadside Assistance, refer to
page xxx"

Seems pretty clear to me that they've definitely warned you what to do, and what might happen. :dunno:
 

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Premium Member
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I feel bad for the OP, whether self-inflicted, or due to a mix up when the tanks at the station were filled. That sucks.

At any rate, every time I fill up the truck, I look at the pump nozzle and literally say out loud, "diesel, diesel, diesel" before I squeeze the grip. :bigpimp:
 

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Sorry to hear this happen. :cry:

I am eager to know if it is because of "bad quality of diesel" or "gas" in diesel engine. If former, I will try to be much more cautious about going to random stations and stick with reputed ones. But in either of these scenarios, I would chase the fuel station (like most folks pointed above.
Agree. Gotta go after the station.

I've traveled across the country twice in the last six months, using diesel. Like gasoline, I look for busy stations (fresh fuel) and fast flow (clean filters).

I only had one fuel-related check engine light, from crap diesel at a Valero station in Key Largo FL.
 

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You Don't Need to Know
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3,054 Posts
Sorry to hear this happen. :cry:

I am eager to know if it is because of "bad quality of diesel" or "gas" in diesel engine. If former, I will try to be much more cautious about going to random stations and stick with reputed ones. But in either of these scenarios, I would chase the fuel station (like most folks pointed above)

It is not practical to warn every single thing in person when you sign the deal. There is manual where things are explained in detail with warnings etc.

Hope you will find a quick resolution to this without having to pay out of pocket.
The OP seems to insinuate that the station put gas in the diesel pump's tank. If that was so, pretty much every car and truck that went to that station that day would have a damaged engine. There'd be absolutely nothing to "prove", and the station's insurance company would be forced to just write a check. End of story.

But somehow that doesn't seem to be the case.
 

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You Don't Need to Know
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Badness. :bawling: But, this is the text in the 328d manual (2014 version - that's what my wife's is):
"The engine of your BMW is designed for diesel
with low sulfur content:
Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel ASTM D 975-xx.
xx: comply with the current standard in each
case.
Use only Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel.
The fraction of biodiesel in the fuel must
not exceed 5 %, referred to as B5. Do not use
gasoline. If you do fill the tank with the wrong :dunno:
fuel, e.g., gasoline, do not start the engine as
this may damage the engine.***9664;
After adding the wrong fuel, contact your service
center or roadside assistance.
If the fuel pump nozzle does not fit in the filler
pipe of your BMW, please check to ensure that
you are refueling at a diesel fuel pump that is
equipped with a diesel fuel pump nozzle.
In the event the Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel fuel
cannot be fully inserted into the fuel filler neck,
please contact BMW Roadside Assistance for
instructions on how to add fuel. For more information
on BMW Roadside Assistance, refer to
page xxx"

Seems pretty clear to me that they've definitely warned you what to do, and what might happen. :dunno:
Yes--but they didn't tell him how much the damage would cost.
 

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Maybe I missed something, but I don't really get the part about the dealership performing an extended test drive and saying everything's ok, and then going back to the "final" diagnosis of gas in the tank and cough up the money to fix it.

If that indeed is their final word, I would be inclined to drive - or if necessary have the car towed - to another dealership and get a second opinion. I would just show up in the loaner and leave in my car without any further discussion. Good luck.
 

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I'm an investigator by trade, so maybe I have a different perspective on this, but if this happened through no fault of your own, you should have recourse in lawsuit. It's just about gathering the proper evidence and documenting it.

You document everything that happened and sign the statement. Everything, so looking back, think about where you drove, what you did, when you got gas, who told you what, etc. Do this ASAP, because it only gets worse with time.

Get statements from people you have interacted with or have knowledge of it due to telling them.

You give BMW 10 days to respond to a registered return-receipt letter asking them for a signed statement of what caused the malfunction and what their test results were and how long/much fuel caused the damange. If they fail you provide this, you send a 2nd certified return-receipt letter stating that they refused to comply with your request for results and determinations of the car's malfunction. Then you have the start of what you need to sue BMW. It sounds like in this case that it's not BMW's fault, but if they aren't going to give you this information, you need to play hardball with them.

You go and get a copy of your bank records that show your fill-ups and have your CC company get you the actual receipts. I've done this before. It might even show the type of fuel or at least the price/gallon.

Now you send a registered return-receipt letter to Shell, you don't necessarily put all your cards on the table in terms of explaining all the details, but you definitely say what happened, summarized what BMW told you in their response, and so on, request they reimburse you for the repairs, provide a receipt for the repairs, ask for them to respond in 10 days and say that if a response is not received, you will file a claim in small claims court (happens to have $10,000 limit :) ) for the amount or maximum that could be covered. Although you might be able to do this in a court other than small claims, there you could keep the costs down and at the very least, if all of this fails, probably force Shell to spend more than $10,000 for their attorney's time on retainer in all associated costs. You've got a pretty good paper trail by now though and most attorney's will advise the company to settle, because it will be cheaper and the plaintiff appears to have all their "ducks in a row". You could also see about having a local law office take the case, but it's going to be hard to break even and they are simply going to do or have someone do most of the things I'm mentioning here.

If something like this happened to me and I knew I was not at fault (as in I didn't put gasoline in my tank or fail to exercise due diligence), you can bet I'd be doing all of these things and more.
 

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I almost 100% buy my gas at Costco as it is near where I live, work and the volume alone says to me that the Gas is clean and the Costco name is behind it, so if I have any problems I know that Costco will make it right.

Unfortunately they do not sell diesel, so that would not help the original writer of this thread, but I did have an issue with a Shell Gas Station and bad gas. A few miles out of the station the check engine light came on and a few minutes after that the car came to a stop and would not turn over nor do anything else, so luckily I was able to coast into a parking lot and call road side assistance.

My Navigator was towed to the nearest dealer (not the dealership that I usually brought the truck too) and they diagnosed the issue as being caused by bad gas and thus not covered under the warranty. The Service Writer said that I should go to the station and their insurance should take care of me and I said yeah right, but went over anyway. Lo and behold the sales clerk called a number of the owner and I spoke with the owner over the phone who gave me the number of his insurance company and said to me that the insurance will take care of everything. I was shocked and awed and how seemingly easy it was till that point (and throughout the entire process). After the phone call with the owner he had the clerk shut down the pump that I used and gave me a $200 Shell Gift card on the spot.

I called the Insurance and after they got a letter directly from the dealer that the issue was caused by bad gas and my fax of my receipt from the station, they paid for the entire repair.

To this day, I have been shocked at how easy it was, way easier than auto insurance claims for a car accident.
 

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I almost 100% buy my gas at Costco as it is near where I live, work and the volume alone says to me that the Gas is clean and the Costco name is behind it, so if I have any problems I know that Costco will make it right.

Unfortunately they do not sell diesel, so that would not help the original writer of this thread, but I did have an issue with a Shell Gas Station and bad gas. A few miles out of the station the check engine light came on and a few minutes after that the car came to a stop and would not turn over nor do anything else, so luckily I was able to coast into a parking lot and call road side assistance.

My Navigator was towed to the nearest dealer (not the dealership that I usually brought the truck too) and they diagnosed the issue as being caused by bad gas and thus not covered under the warranty. The Service Writer said that I should go to the station and their insurance should take care of me and I said yeah right, but went over anyway. Lo and behold the sales clerk called a number of the owner and I spoke with the owner over the phone who gave me the number of his insurance company and said to me that the insurance will take care of everything. I was shocked and awed and how seemingly easy it was till that point (and throughout the entire process). After the phone call with the owner he had the clerk shut down the pump that I used and gave me a $200 Shell Gift card on the spot.

I called the Insurance and after they got a letter directly from the dealer that the issue was caused by bad gas and my fax of my receipt from the station, they paid for the entire repair.

To this day, I have been shocked at how easy it was, way easier than auto insurance claims for a car accident.
I was about to ask about the OP's auto insurance policy. Your repair bill is probably covered.
 

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I almost 100% buy my gas at Costco as it is near where I live, work and the volume alone says to me that the Gas is clean and the Costco name is behind it, so if I have any problems I know that Costco will make it right.

Unfortunately they do not sell diesel, so that would not help the original writer of this thread, but I did have an issue with a Shell Gas Station and bad gas. A few miles out of the station the check engine light came on and a few minutes after that the car came to a stop and would not turn over nor do anything else, so luckily I was able to coast into a parking lot and call road side assistance.

My Navigator was towed to the nearest dealer (not the dealership that I usually brought the truck too) and they diagnosed the issue as being caused by bad gas and thus not covered under the warranty. The Service Writer said that I should go to the station and their insurance should take care of me and I said yeah right, but went over anyway. Lo and behold the sales clerk called a number of the owner and I spoke with the owner over the phone who gave me the number of his insurance company and said to me that the insurance will take care of everything. I was shocked and awed and how seemingly easy it was till that point (and throughout the entire process). After the phone call with the owner he had the clerk shut down the pump that I used and gave me a $200 Shell Gift card on the spot.

I called the Insurance and after they got a letter directly from the dealer that the issue was caused by bad gas and my fax of my receipt from the station, they paid for the entire repair.

To this day, I have been shocked at how easy it was, way easier than auto insurance claims for a car accident.
Yes my cars also get Costco gas all the time and the turnover(and the constant flow of gasoline trucks) is quite impressive. Since Costco gas became top-tier they also have a dedicated staff to mix the detergent package and the gasoline on the spot, and my guess is that there is monitoring tools to detect gasoline problems too.

It is good to here that the Shell station took care of the bad gas issue without fuss.
 

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VIN WBA3K5C56FK300521
Joined
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103 Posts
Discussion Starter #38
Badness. :bawling: But, this is the text in the 328d manual (2014 version - that's what my wife's is):
"The engine of your BMW is designed for diesel
with low sulfur content:
Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel ASTM D 975-xx.
xx: comply with the current standard in each
case.
Use only Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel.
The fraction of biodiesel in the fuel must
not exceed 5 %, referred to as B5. Do not use
gasoline. If you do fill the tank with the wrong :dunno:
fuel, e.g., gasoline, do not start the engine as
this may damage the engine.***9664;
After adding the wrong fuel, contact your service
center or roadside assistance.
If the fuel pump nozzle does not fit in the filler
pipe of your BMW, please check to ensure that
you are refueling at a diesel fuel pump that is
equipped with a diesel fuel pump nozzle.
In the event the Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel fuel
cannot be fully inserted into the fuel filler neck,
please contact BMW Roadside Assistance for
instructions on how to add fuel. For more information
on BMW Roadside Assistance, refer to
page xxx"

Seems pretty clear to me that they've definitely warned you what to do, and what might happen. :dunno:
Fair enough. And we all read our manual's cover to cover before we buy our cars right?:( And i guess the idiot that i am caused me to just drive up to a station and pump diesel into the car from a Shell green diesel pump before reading the specific content of the diesel. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only idiot out there who takes for granted that Shell diesel fuel will work in a BMW motor
 

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VIN WBA3K5C56FK300521
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103 Posts
Discussion Starter #39
Maybe I missed something, but I don't really get the part about the dealership performing an extended test drive and saying everything's ok, and then going back to the "final" diagnosis of gas in the tank and cough up the money to fix it.

If that indeed is their final word, I would be inclined to drive - or if necessary have the car towed - to another dealership and get a second opinion. I would just show up in the loaner and leave in my car without any further discussion. Good luck.
Thanks. We went to the dealer today for the sit-down 'bad news' talk. Total estimate of repair is (sitting down...?) $22,450, non-warrantable. We have no data or analytics that proves what they claim is a mix of diesel, gasoline and water in the tank. (for all cynics, no we did not also pump water into the tank). We can't take the car to non dealer for fix because the warranty will be voided, even though the issue was non-warrantable to begin with. Can't make this stuff up.

BMW NA says they take the word of the dealer tech and we can't see or have any proof. Dealer says BMW NA is final word and their hands are tied. We're in an expensive no mans land.
 

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VIN WBA3K5C56FK300521
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103 Posts
Discussion Starter #40
Agree. Gotta go after the station.

I've traveled across the country twice in the last six months, using diesel. Like gasoline, I look for busy stations (fresh fuel) and fast flow (clean filters).

I only had one fuel-related check engine light, from crap diesel at a Valero station in Key Largo FL.
We never had an engine light or any other warning indicator in the car. it never stopped running and it runs today. it skips on acceleration and sputters from a standing start but otherwise is driveable. I should pay $22.5K to get it back. For bearings, that's 50% of the cost of the car we bought 6 months ago.
 
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