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      11-17-2015, 07:58 PM   #1
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Angry My disappointment with BMWNA

For the sake of brevity, im going to bullet point much of this story as it is quite long and involved.

I've held off on making this post for some time, but after speaking with multiple parties, internally at BMW and external, I have decided to air my laundry here to get some more insight.

On 11/5/14 I purchased a 2009 335D from a local carmax dealership. The vehicle had 58,xxx on the clock and appeared to be in excellent condition. The carfax checked out and overall, the vehicle appeared to be solid. I did my due diligence in researching these vehicles prior to purchase, so I had a good idea of what I was getting into. Additionally, I had a friend who works at a dealership pull all the service records just to be doubly sure that nothing major had occurred with the car. Post my research, I decided to pull the trigger.

A little background on me. I have worked in the auto industry, on the aftermarket side, for the past 8 years. I am an enthusiast through and through, decently handy with a wrench as well. I've been road racing with many different clubs for the past 12 years, traveled coast to coast while with a pit crew manning the helm for a Redline Time Attack team. Im pretty meticulous with my vehicles.

Enough about me, lets move on to the real story.

On 10/2/15, my girlfriend had taken out my 335d to grocery shop. 15 minutes after leaving the house, she called me to tell me the car was running sluggish and was shaking bad. I asked her if it was drivable, she said it was, and drove it back home. Upon arriving at our house, I immediately noticed what I thought to be mis-fire symptoms. CBU immediately popped into my head, as the car was approaching 70k. I pulled the codes and low and behold, smoothness regulator codes on 2 cylinders, 6 and 4.

Easy enough I thought. I had researched the CBU cleaning process with some BMW mechanics and finally, after reading rave reviews, decided to tow the car to Knauz BMW in Lake Bluff, IL. A service advisor there, *name redacted*, had gotten rave reviews on the forums for being incredibly knowledgeable when it came to diesels and CBU. Upon dropping my car off, we spoke, he assured me I was in good hands and I left feeling confident I would have my car back swiftly.

Heres where everything starts to go downhill.
  • 2 Days after dropping my car off the SA calls me to tell me I have CBU and 6 failed injectors.
  • I proceeded to ask him why I needed 6 injectors, when only 2 were throwing codes - 6 would lead me to believe the car would not run at all.
The SA went on to explain that the injectors are replaced in banks of 3, meaning there are 2 banks. Common sense would lead me to believe that you could move the 1 remaining good injector from bank 1, to bank 2 and replace 3 bad injectors.

The SA then went on to tell me that the total cost for the CBU cleaning and 6 injectors would be $7500

I expressed my utter shock, and the SA agreed that this was a bit crazy. $750 per injector, $2000 for CBU cleaning and the rest was labor for changing the injectors.

The SA then advised he has seen instances similar to this and advised I contact BMW customer relations to plead my case and see if they would goodwill any of the repair costs. The next day I was on the horn with BMW customer relations. I was give a case rep, *name redacted*, and she ensured me they would look into the case, talk to the dealer and come to conclusion within a few days.

3-4 days passed and I finally received a call back from the SA who advised me that BMW would cover 25% of the costs and wanted to attack the problem in 'stages'. I thought this was a little odd, but I rolled with it. All the indys I had spoke to about the issue urged me to follow through any time that BMW was willing to provide goodwill assistance.

The first stage of their attack was to replace 3 injectors, one bank. This alone left me a little uneasy, as if they did not know how to fix the problem at hand. A few more days passed and I received a call from Knauz stating that the work was complete, the CEL lights were gone, but the mechanic was not satisfied with the work. The SA stated that the mechanic had said he noticed something audibly wrong with the car. They said, something just 'didnt sound right'. I pressed the SA to elaborate on this, but he did not give much more information.

Following this discovery, the SA went on to tell me that he had looked at the service history of the vehicle, in their system, and did not notice anything out of the ordinary. It was at this point, the SA told me he spoke to their regional representative, who was working the goodwill case, and uncovered a service that was done previously on this car by Des Moines BMW, but not documented correctly. The SA went on to state the following, with additional information being provided by the Chicago regional representative as well as an SA from Des Moines BMW.

*4/24/14 - 58,339 - NON REPAIR SPECIAL GOODWILL - ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING (TREAD ACT)

This service would soon lead me down a trail of conflicting information and perceived deceit.

With information from the SA at Des Moines BMW it was uncovered that the previous owner of this vehicle had a BMW recommended service performed on the car, which lead to catastrophic failure, in which BMWNA provided 100% of the cost (goodwill) for a fix to this problem. The fix to the problem ended included:

Machining the crank - replacing rod & main bearings as well as cylinder 6 rod as this was 2mm outside of the accepted tolerance.

My SA at Knauz noted, that in his 17 years on the job, he has never seen a service such as this written up with such lack of detail and notation in the BMW internal records system. He went on to add that it appeared as though the dealership in Des Moines purposefully did not record this repair for reasons unknown.

So now what; well, the job that BMW goodwill'd to fix a prior problem has now failed. 1.5 years and 12k miles later. So where does that leave me? Currently, up a creek without a paddle.
  • BMWNA will no longer goodwill any portion of any repair associated with this vehicle
  • BMW Des Moines will not hold good on their warranty of 3 years and 50k miles on all services performed at their facility as stated on their website.
  • Knauz BMW stated that this work should have never been completed in the first place, and that the initial service should have warranted a complete engine replacement.
  • Knauz BMW stated that they will not even attempt any fix, other than complete engine replacement
  • BMWNA will not explain their reasoning for retracting their initial offer and not offering any compensation at this point

So after 35 days of not having a car, this is where BMW left me. I have email documentation of much of this from the service manager at Knauz in addition to the SA at Des Moines BMW.

I like the brand, I like the car. I own another X5d. I want to be a brand promoter, but they're not leaving me with much to work with here. They're essentially hiding behind a technicality, but I do not feel that is right or fair.

The customer relations department at BMWNA has been utterly deplorable. No one can give me straight answers, almost everything is conflicting, and no one other than a pencil pusher will even contact me. They're excuse is that; anyone other than those who answer the phones are NOT customer facing.

Why wont BMW stand behind their work? Im just at a complete loss for words. They clearly know that whatever happened, and only they know, lead to a failure because they assumed responsibility for it by covering 100% of the costs (the 2nd repiar). I understand that each dealership is independently owned, but this befalls on BMWNA as they are the ones who authorized the 2 repairs orders which have led to a subsequent failure of the same parts. I just want a running car, and the piece of mind that im supporting a brand that will stand behind their engineering and the faults that they can potentially make.

tl;dr BMW made a repair to my vehicle, that lead to catastrophic failure in which they paid for a repair, that again, failed in 12k miles - now they will not provide any assistance to replace the motor.
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      11-17-2015, 07:59 PM   #2
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Place holder for future updates.

FWIW Knauz BMW has been fantastic in helping me uncover all of this.
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      11-17-2015, 08:25 PM   #3
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Unfortunate situation, so sorry to hear.

Did you get to find out why they replaced the engine and coolant system?

Just curious if it was due to a cracked egr cooler. Not common, but has happened, causing the engine to ingest coolant and hydro locking.
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      11-17-2015, 08:37 PM   #4
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      11-17-2015, 09:11 PM   #5
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Really disappointing to read. I'm curious as to what bmw approved service was performed that went so wrong?

As sad as it is I'm not suprised given how little anybody at my dealer seems to know about these cars.
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      11-17-2015, 09:24 PM   #6
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Wow... To me it seems like the only resolution would be bringing suit against Des Moines BMW for not standing by their "warranty" covered work... I'm not a lawyer, but I don't see how you could lose?

DM BMW applied to do work on your vehicle
BMWNA Approved the work
DM BMW then did the faulty work (which at this point is now under warranty)

Now your vehicle is failing because of the work.

Sounds like a nightmare.
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      11-18-2015, 12:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shnaggs View Post
Unfortunate situation, so sorry to hear.

Did you get to find out why they replaced the engine and coolant system?

Just curious if it was due to a cracked egr cooler. Not common, but has happened, causing the engine to ingest coolant and hydro locking.
I'm still trying to find that out. Service records show that the EGR cooler was replaced at 46,757. So that is a good theory!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Needbmwpartzz View Post
WTLDR
Tl;dr? Guess not...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 335duff View Post
Really disappointing to read. I'm curious as to what bmw approved service was performed that went so wrong?

As sad as it is I'm not suprised given how little anybody at my dealer seems to know about these cars.
I agree. I'm still trying to figure out what that service is as well. BMW is being very cryptic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Built4Sin View Post
Wow... To me it seems like the only resolution would be bringing suit against Des Moines BMW for not standing by their "warranty" covered work... I'm not a lawyer, but I don't see how you could lose?

DM BMW applied to do work on your vehicle
BMWNA Approved the work
DM BMW then did the faulty work (which at this point is now under warranty)

Now your vehicle is failing because of the work.

Sounds like a nightmare.
I'm not opposed to litigation, however, I want to try to solve it amicably if possible. I have made attempts to contact the GM of Des Moines BMW, but it appears as though he left the company recently.

I will press on and try to push this up the totem pole.

I forgot to add, the SA at Knauz said I had ZERO carbon build up, leading me to believe the car had new heads put on or possible a prior carbon cleaning.
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      11-18-2015, 07:16 AM   #8
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Amigo I feel your plight. Are you a BMW CCA member? If not I suggest you become one. The Ombudsman for CCA has an X5d and I know him personally. I helped a CCA member here in Puerto Rico get his car bought back by the DEALER because I intervened for him, They gave the guy a 10k discount on taxes I believe and he purchased or better yet ORDERED his 2016 M3 and plans to buy an X5M. If you any questions PM me here's the link for the CCA https://www.bmwcca.org/ I will send you my cell number thru PM ok
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      11-18-2015, 03:14 PM   #9
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Sounds like it's time to lawyer up!
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      11-18-2015, 03:52 PM   #10
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$750 per injector and $2K for carbon cleaning ?!

GetBMWParts sells the injectors for $500 a piece (here). Also is the cleaning more involved than on a N54/N55? My dealer did my old N54 car for $400! (I think it is usually around $800 though).

Sounds like this dealer is trying to tax you on top of all your troubles.
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      11-18-2015, 04:06 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by 335Dude View Post
... is the cleaning more involved than on a N54/N55? My dealer did my old N54 car for $400!
Yes, it is more complicated and requires a different set of tools/wands. Others can elaborate. Also see SIB 11 03 14.
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      11-18-2015, 06:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 335Dude View Post
$750 per injector and $2K for carbon cleaning ?!

GetBMWParts sells the injectors for $500 a piece (here). Also is the cleaning more involved than on a N54/N55? My dealer did my old N54 car for $400! (I think it is usually around $800 though).

Sounds like this dealer is trying to tax you on top of all your troubles.
Yep, insanity. I knew they were trying to take me for a ride. My wholesale cost on injectors is even less than that, although the dealer would not warranty the work if I brought my own...even though they're the same damn thing.
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      11-19-2015, 10:01 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickTheStick View Post
Yep, insanity. I knew they were trying to take me for a ride. My wholesale cost on injectors is even less than that, although the dealer would not warranty the work if I brought my own...even though they're the same damn thing.
I hate to say it, but it might be worthwhile for you to do the following.

1) Make an in person visit to BMW of Des Moines and respectfully demand that they honor their warranty
2) Have a lawyer right a demand letter for you.

Yeah, its always a nightmare to deal with these organizations. ITs always good if you can find the decision makers right away and not deal with the blockers.
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      11-19-2015, 10:37 AM   #14
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I would definitely get a lawyer, get the Des Moin dealership to buy back your car.
For the lack of professionalism, how they tried to cover up it.

good luck, keep us posted.
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      11-19-2015, 11:09 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thecastle View Post
I hate to say it, but it might be worthwhile for you to do the following.

1) Make an in person visit to BMW of Des Moines and respectfully demand that they honor their warranty
2) Have a lawyer right a demand letter for you.

Yeah, its always a nightmare to deal with these organizations. ITs always good if you can find the decision makers right away and not deal with the blockers.
I agree, its just that my schedule is not so flexible right now.

I have been in talks with a few lawyer friends, and if I dont get a response from the most recent parties I have emailed, I am going to have them send a formal letter.

Finding decision makers here is a PITA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nyalpine90 View Post
I would definitely get a lawyer, get the Des Moin dealership to buy back your car.
For the lack of professionalism, how they tried to cover up it.

good luck, keep us posted.
For sure, I actually emailed the GM of the dealership yesterday. Low and behold, he no longer works there as of 3 weeks ago
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      11-19-2015, 05:35 PM   #16
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Update:

Found out who the new GM is of Des Moines BMW, emailed him.

Emailed my story to Doug Demuro, of Jalopnik fame, to see if he has any insight.

Also emailed my story to the President of the Windy City BMW club, a chapter of the BMW CCA.
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      11-19-2015, 06:23 PM   #17
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Nick,
At no point did I read that you went to Carmax for help, there is a reason that car ended up there. The BMW dealer probably knew there was something wrong with it or soon going to be and dumped it at the sale.

I don't want people to think that I am rubbing your face in it but there is a reason that car ended up there or other cars at these used car lots instead of a proper BMW Center, sometimes the deal IS to good to be true.

Now for some advice, go back to Carmax and see what they will do, they did not do there due diligence to make sure they bought and sold a good car.
I do sense there is some fuzziness around the documentation from the dealer in Iowa possibly.

Knauz is a reputable shop and I know they have tenured techs that know what they are doing.

I try and stay out of these messes online but am dealing with another poor guy who bought an M6 from some used car lot and the engine failed only to find out after ordering him a $26,000 motor that the engine in the car is not the original and is actually two years older than the car!
You have to watch who you are buying these cars from people.

Not that they are trying to take advantage but they just don't know about these cars, they are way more technical than ever before.

I now leave myself open for critics to attack my words and advice.

I hope you get some resolution because this is not a good situation but not really a BMW NA issue.
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      11-19-2015, 07:09 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wishiwereking View Post
Nick,
At no point did I read that you went to Carmax for help, there is a reason that car ended up there. The BMW dealer probably knew there was something wrong with it or soon going to be and dumped it at the sale.

I don't want people to think that I am rubbing your face in it but there is a reason that car ended up there or other cars at these used car lots instead of a proper BMW Center, sometimes the deal IS to good to be true.

Now for some advice, go back to Carmax and see what they will do, they did not do there due diligence to make sure they bought and sold a good car.
I do sense there is some fuzziness around the documentation from the dealer in Iowa possibly.

Knauz is a reputable shop and I know they have tenured techs that know what they are doing.

I try and stay out of these messes online but am dealing with another poor guy who bought an M6 from some used car lot and the engine failed only to find out after ordering him a $26,000 motor that the engine in the car is not the original and is actually two years older than the car!
You have to watch who you are buying these cars from people.

Not that they are trying to take advantage but they just don't know about these cars, they are way more technical than ever before.

I now leave myself open for critics to attack my words and advice.

I hope you get some resolution because this is not a good situation but not really a BMW NA issue.
I have not gone to carmax yet, but its on the 'to-do' list. They may, or may not be, in the same boat as me considering the uncertainty of the vehicles history. I agree, it sure wont hurt to contact them.

You are right, there is a reason that the car did not end up being for sale at a BMW facility, I could also go on to say that Carmax doesnt always sell great cars and Carfax is not the word of God, as many say it is. I certainly did not get a 'too good to be true' deal on the car, thats for sure haha.

I cant say enough about Knauz, they helped me unearth all of this, over the course of a month and even gave me a loaner the whole time. On top of that, they charged me ZERO dollars for anything. Kudos to them.
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      11-19-2015, 09:26 PM   #19
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This entire situation is screwy but I don't see anything happening for you since parts warranty are for the original buyer of the parts and are not transferable, not the original owner this happened to and you bought it from a used car lot. They don't really owe you anything......

I can see them refunding the money for the injectors, labor and trying to push you out the door.

Whatever happens good luck. Sorry about your misfortune...

It is common to have the diesels rebuilt compared to shortblock replacement btw
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      11-20-2015, 03:31 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickTheStick View Post
You are right, there is a reason that the car did not end up being for sale at a BMW facility, I could also go on to say that Carmax doesn't always sell great cars and Carax is not the word of God, as many say it is. I certainly did not get a 'too good to be true' deal on the car, thats for sure haha.
Nah man don't think of it that way; I bought mine from a GM dealership that didn't realize it was even still under warranty. I asked they said no, and I chuckled to myself since it was still under mileage and the the year. They really had no idea, and prior to me the BMW dealership down the street in Mt. Vernon was calling about it for acquisition.

Side track, but being at Carmax meant your previous buyer found something else... Or knew it was time to scuttle it (and it could have been any dealership).
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      11-22-2015, 06:14 PM   #21
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Did you get a carfax before you purchased the car? They usually indicate some sort of coverage if the car is not as described. Hope this helps.
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      11-22-2015, 10:32 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Noquills View Post
Did you get a carfax before you purchased the car? They usually indicate some sort of coverage if the car is not as described. Hope this helps.
I did. It did not indicate any of this work. Hence why I do not think carmax is the word of God.

It is my understanding carmax will only step in if there is a discrepancy in the title status.
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