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      02-25-2010, 09:58 AM   #1
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Dealer damaged my car - Thoughts UPDATED

Hello,

I have a situation with the dealer and I was wondering if this had happen to any of you before and how did you go about it?

I just bought an 08' E92 335i (AW), got it two months ago. Last week it when into limp mode, so I took it to the dealer. Low pressure fuel pump was the problem and it was replaced, besides that the car was in perfect condition. So when I go pick up the car that afternoon, as I was waiting outside for the car I see a guy get into the car and drive towards the back of the building. I though he was going to get the car washed, it took him like 10 minutes to come back, as he got off the car he kept looking at the right side of the car and was kind of nervous. The car was not washed and he said that the machine was broken. At the time I didnt really give it too much attention and got in the car and left. As I get onto the highway I immediately notice that the car is pulling right and that the steering wheel is crooked. I think about it for a couple of minutes and decide to turn around and go back to the dealer. It was too late and they had already closed the service department. So I go home and write an email to my Service Advisor stating the problem. While at home I start to inspect the vehicle for any signs on curb scratches on the wheels thinking that someone had hit a curb or something, so I find that my front spoiler (m-tech) is scratched on the right side, so at this point i'm 100% that someone hit something, scratched the spoiler and threw off the alinement.

I take it to the dealer first thing the next day, show my service advisor what i found and told him the story about the kid that was delivering the car to me that afternoon. They checked the car and now they find that not only the front spoiler is scratched but the right side skirt is also scratched and other multiple scratches underneath the car from the front all the way to the back and also the front right wheel is bent.

So I'm super pissed at this point, talked to the service manager and the guy is being a complete douche and at some point implying that I'm lying. In other words they are giving me a hard time accepting responsibility for the damage on the car. I'm completely sure that the car was fine when I dropped it off and that this happened at the dealer; not necessarily the kid that was driving it or someone else there, but it is very suspicious that he took the car to the back knowing that the car wash machine was broken and that he took so long. Service Manager said that he was going to further investigate what happened, but I think he really doesn't want to do anything for me.

What should I do? How should I handle this? Any advice will be greatly appreciated!

Thank you for reading my long and sad post.

EDIT: Dealer is Pembroke Pines BMW in FL

Last edited by Feli_330i; 03-08-2010 at 04:49 PM.
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      02-25-2010, 10:02 AM   #2
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Horrible. I think you lost a lot of bargaining power when you drove the car off the lot. Either way, you have to follow up... or it will cost you with your insurance company. Needless to say, if that dealership doesn't own up, find a new dealership and spill the name of the dealer that messed up. We all should know to avoid this dealer.
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      02-25-2010, 10:07 AM   #3
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You should always do a "walk around" everytime you pick up your vehicle from the dealer. Once you leave the lot, your screwed unless you can prove that it happened at the dealership.
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      02-25-2010, 10:09 AM   #4
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That really sucks. I actually have nightmares about this when my car is at the dealer. Especially if I don't get a call back the day I drop it off I start thinking they messed up my car and are now trying to cover it up and buy some time... yes... I'm paranoid.
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      02-25-2010, 10:23 AM   #5
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For your wheel to be off center that impact would have to be really hard... are you sure the 2 are related? I guess if he really jammed into a curb it would happen. Unfortunately to an unbiased party your story sounds BS simply because you left and went home. UNLESS when you came back to the dealer and notified somebody that the car is wack. If you simply saw the service dept close and left then the question arises, if you had the problem why did you just go home.

Is there a camera on that side of the building where you think the impact happened. If there is, tell the manager to review and he will see what happened. If they don't cooperate tell them you will get a legal action against them.
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      02-25-2010, 10:26 AM   #6
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Sounds to me you're SOL on this.... So Out of Luck!!!
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      02-25-2010, 10:31 AM   #7
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My dealer just scratched the heck out of my car because they screwed up and put it through a car wash. I squawked...nicely. They're paying me to clay-bar and buff the car. Very cool. If I were you, 1st, be a pro. But be firm. Next, talk to someone in charge. Next, let them know if they don't fix it you will hammer them on the service survey. Give them 0's all the way through, with nasty comments. Then, write BMW of NA. Not easy to get through, but stay on it. Always be cool, be a pro. Odds are someone will listen. If not, blog the fuckers to death. Good luck. I feel for ya.
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      02-25-2010, 10:51 AM   #8
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you could go back in with a camera and see if you can find the spot he has hit? Can't be too many spots that cause that type of damage. Sounds like side impact into a curb, gone over it, and does seem it happened at the dealership. What are the chances it happened during test drive, car is put back on the parking with known damage, and same mechanic collects it for you?
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      02-25-2010, 11:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noro View Post
For your wheel to be off center that impact would have to be really hard... are you sure the 2 are related?
Well, all the damage is on the right side. It looks like whatever they hit was at a moderate speeed 40mph or so. Im thinking it could have been one of the huge speed bumps they have at the dealer. idk
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      02-25-2010, 11:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E90Graphite07 View Post
Sounds to me you're SOL on this...
I agree.

Didn't your SA do a walkaround inspection with you when you dropped the car off for service? What good is that if you don't do a quick walkaround when picking up the vehicle too?

Once you leave the dealership it's really not their problem anymore. What's to prevent a dishonest customer from running into a curb on the way home and trying to blame it on a tech the next day? I'm sure it happens all the time...
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      02-25-2010, 11:14 AM   #11
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I had a simlar issue but with my Nissan 350z. I took my car in for warranty work, and they completely f'ed up my front lip. The entire thing needed to be repainted and they were denying that they did it. After a bit of going back and forth, the manager at the nissan dealer offered to have his paint guy that comes onsite to touch up vehicles to paint my lip. I said no I had this painted at a body shop in a paint booth so thats where it needs to be repainted.

He did not go for that so I contacted Nissan North America and discussed what happen, they made the dealer cut me a check from a quote I got from my body shop. This whole process took about a month, don't give up or let them take advantage of the situation, if you have to contact corporate do so.
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      02-25-2010, 11:18 AM   #12
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That's just wrong.

I just got back from having my state inspection and wipers replaced. When I dropped off my car, they took pictures of the entire car and completed the drop-off check list.

Did your dealer do the same? Where is the drop off assessment and what did it state? Either the car was damaged when you dropped it off, or it wasn't. If it wasn't, then there is a 24 hour window between non-damaged and damaged. One issue I foresee is that cars don't travel much more than 15 or 25 MPH at a well-managed dealer - you may have to go to the cameras.

At the very least your insurance company needs to get involved if they're not already, and at worst you'll have to bite the bullet on the deductible and rate increase.

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      02-25-2010, 11:19 AM   #13
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First tell the dealer if he doesn't take responsibility for the damage right there your going to suit him for the repairs. Then find the kid and tell him you have the security camera tape of him and "what happened" and you will not press charges if he comes clean. He will admit what he did if he thinks you have the goods on him and he is going to jail or going to have a record. Scare and threaten him if he will not talk. Interview his friends at dealer he talked about it to someone they will not risk their job for this kid. Tell dealer your going to take add in local paper in adds section next to his with what happened and ask people to beware. Report him to BBB, right away that's easy. I had a car broke into at a dealer while in for service. They told me to call my insurance. I said no, I am going to charge you for the crime it happened on your lot "your dealer ship did it" and boy did they sing a different song I had a check in 24 hrs for the missing items and damage. Play hard ball they will see the light...

HS
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      02-25-2010, 11:44 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoustonScott View Post
First tell the dealer if he doesn't take responsibility for the damage right there your going to suit him for the repairs. Then find the kid and tell him you have the security camera tape of him and "what happened" and you will not press charges if he comes clean. He will admit what he did if he thinks you have the goods on him and he is going to jail or going to have a record. Scare and threaten him if he will not talk. Interview his friends at dealer he talked about it to someone they will not risk their job for this kid. Tell dealer your going to take add in local paper in adds section next to his with what happened and ask people to beware. Report him to BBB, right away that's easy. I had a car broke into at a dealer while in for service. They told me to call my insurance. I said no, I am going to charge you for the crime it happened on your lot "your dealer ship did it" and boy did they sing a different song I had a check in 24 hrs for the missing items and damage. Play hard ball they will see the light...

HS
Good luck with that...
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      02-25-2010, 11:45 AM   #15
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feli 330i,

hey, sorry to hear about that. we've had a few instances of that, so here's my 2 cents.

might sound strange to some, but you have to go in thinking - the dealer is your friend, not enemy. b4 you lash out, how is your relationship with them? hope it's good.

i'd write the owner a nice letter, certified. don't attack them. you're a happy but disappointed customer. don't stab the sa - but do mention he was not able to help you. turn this into an opportunity for THEM to make you happy again. let THEM find their scapegoat.

as much as i like my dealer, there are idiots who have graced their payroll, and are thankfully no longer there. just because their egghead of a porter crashed a customer's brand new e46 m3 does not mean the entire service department is a loser, much less implying the owner is a birdbrain. someone did that, and it went nowhere. with our issues, i swallowed my anger, showed up with a vat of honey, so to speak, and had the chance to turn our negatives into now very long term positives for everyone.

all the best. stay cool. you own a bmw, don't act like you own a 20-year old piece of junk.

when all else fails, write bmwna.
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      02-25-2010, 11:54 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s3touring View Post
feli 330i,

hey, sorry to hear about that. we've had a few instances of that, so here's my 2 cents.

might sound strange to some, but you have to go in thinking - the dealer is your friend, not enemy. b4 you lash out, how is your relationship with them? hope it's good.

i'd write the owner a nice letter, certified. don't attack them. you're a happy but disappointed customer. don't stab the sa - but do mention he was not able to help you. turn this into an opportunity for THEM to make you happy again. let THEM find their scapegoat.

as much as i like my dealer, there are idiots who have graced their payroll, and are thankfully no longer there. just because their egghead of a porter crashed a customer's brand new e46 m3 does not mean the entire service department is a loser, much less implying the owner is a birdbrain. someone did that, and it went nowhere. with our issues, i swallowed my anger, showed up with a vat of honey, so to speak, and had the chance to turn our negatives into now very long term positives for everyone.

all the best. stay cool. you own a bmw, don't act like you own a 20-year old piece of junk.

when all else fails, write bmwna.
+1... except for the part that implies 'anyone who cant afford a decent car is a jerk'.
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      02-25-2010, 11:57 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoustonScott View Post
First tell the dealer if he doesn't take responsibility for the damage right there your going to suit him for the repairs. Then find the kid and tell him you have the security camera tape of him and "what happened" and you will not press charges if he comes clean. He will admit what he did if he thinks you have the goods on him and he is going to jail or going to have a record. Scare and threaten him if he will not talk. Interview his friends at dealer he talked about it to someone they will not risk their job for this kid. Tell dealer your going to take add in local paper in adds section next to his with what happened and ask people to beware. Report him to BBB, right away that's easy. I had a car broke into at a dealer while in for service. They told me to call my insurance. I said no, I am going to charge you for the crime it happened on your lot "your dealer ship did it" and boy did they sing a different song I had a check in 24 hrs for the missing items and damage. Play hard ball they will see the light...

HS
Interesting. I agree with the newspaper ad. Especially if it is before or during a big sales weekend.
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      02-25-2010, 12:21 PM   #18
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I agree with everything said in here, also i think all the dealership are required to conduct a visual inspection of the vehicle before any service. This way is there is any false claims (i've seen those before) they can prove that it wasnt their fault. In this case if they didnt do it and they didnt conduct an inspection they have dont have any proof that they didnt do it. Keep fighting i will also say call BMWNA and the BBB and leave some feedback in there. You will get a response prett quick that way.
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      02-25-2010, 12:31 PM   #19
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I had issue with the dealer TRASHING my paint on my car on the 1st warranty claim, they have detailed it 2x now and does no good and WONT pay for a pro to do a paint correction on it.

Oh well, I will just pay the $300-$400 myself this spring to get it done. But now I ALWAYS inspect the car b4 and after. ALSO have a note on my service records to NOT wash the car OR move any mirrors or seats.
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      02-25-2010, 01:36 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feli_330i View Post
EDIT: Dealer is Pembroke Pines BMW in FL
Mother of God that's my dealership

I know the Nissan dealer in Weston has f'ed up my rims. I don't know whether they were just abusive or switched my prestine rims for trashed rims from another Z. Either way, I wish I had looked closer when I picked it up from service.

Be persistent and let us know how it turns out. I know I'll be using my cell-phone to take photos of my car when I drop it off.
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      02-25-2010, 01:43 PM   #21
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im a service advisor. we have had this happen at my dealership on maybe one or two times. your best bet is to stick with your story and be consistent. it shows that your not lying. I had some guy come in here and argue that we broke his taillight. after a day or two of back and forth he finally gave up, which showed us that he was full of shit. just be persistent and nag the shit out of them.

youll get somewhere, hopefully. good luck & sorry !!
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      02-25-2010, 03:13 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sn0wwhite335 View Post
I had some guy come in here and argue that we broke his taillight. after a day or two of back and forth he finally gave up, which showed us that he was full of shit.
I'm wondering why the fact that a customer "gave up" arguing after two days definitively shows that he was full of sh*t... There are many people that aren't that keen on extended arguments about a taillight, and many people whose time is easily worth $1000/day or much more.
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