Advice : BMW warranty claim

Advice : BMW warranty claim

Author
Discussion

fourspoons

Original Poster:

121 posts

123 months

Tuesday 3rd February 2015
quotequote all
Ok I need some serious advice here people.

I took my car on a trackday at Silverstone last weekend.
It is a 4 month old M235i with 2,000 miles on the clock.
Unfortunately after a few laps the engine went bang. A con-rod has blown through the side and a complete engine replacement is required. £13,000 has been quoted.

BMW have immediately refused the warranty claim as it was used on a track.
I have asked them to email me the terms of the warranty that apply. They supplied :
"The purpose for which your BMW was designed and built was as a passenger carrying vehicle under normal driving conditions.
This BMW Retailer Warranty does not extend to faults that arise as a result of the vehicle being used for racing, rallying or similar competitive sports."

Of course, the day I was on was in no way competitive and I don't think its unreasonable to assume that a brand new M car can manage a few laps of a racetrack.

I have tried to contact someone useful via BMW customer services today but have been completely stonewalled.

Thoughts please


>>>>UPDATE

Now resolved. BMW acknowledged that the car had not been in a competitive event and the fault was covered under the warranty.
It took a carefully worded letter to the MD Graeme Grieve in order to get it resolved.

Edited by fourspoons on Wednesday 4th February 18:09


Edited by fourspoons on Wednesday 4th February 18:10

essayer

7,072 posts

158 months

Tuesday 3rd February 2015
quotequote all
Paging getcarter...


http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?t=217... may be of interest:

getcarter's letter from BMW in 2002 said:
"In an effort to address the main issue of your client's complaint, I would agree that the attendance of the track event by your client as described should not be likened to "racing, rallying or a competitive sport", where even a high performance road going vehicle such as an M3 will require modification to avoid extreme wear and/or failure of engine, suspension or associated components. I would deem our refusal to cover the costs of this repair under the terms of our warranty unacceptable. I will therefore ensure that Mr Carter receives full reimbursement for the repairs carried out. I will also ensure that the wording in our warranty documentation is updated to avoid any further ambiguity."
hopefully they haven't changed stance since then!
Good luck

Edited by essayer on Tuesday 3rd February 17:46

Durzel

9,687 posts

132 months

Tuesday 3rd February 2015
quotequote all
Why in God's name did you tell them it had been used on a track?

edit: Their online warranty information does specifically state:
BMW said:
The purpose for which your BMW was designed and built was as a passenger carrying vehicle under normal driving conditions. This BMW Centre Warranty does not extend to faults that arise as a result of the vehicle being used for racing, rallying or similar competitive sports.
Even in spite of the above I think you're going to be looking at an expensive legal battle, especially given the projected repair costs.

Edited by Durzel on Tuesday 3rd February 17:48

LaurasOtherHalf

19,611 posts

160 months

Tuesday 3rd February 2015
quotequote all
Facebook & twitter campaign.

Crusoe

3,888 posts

195 months

Tuesday 3rd February 2015
quotequote all
Was it an over rev miss shift type event that caused it or just driving normally and the rod broke? Driver error causing an over rev I could see not being covered but sure the car computers can probably prove it one way or another though you might need an independent report to say it wasn't driver error on track that caused it.

fourspoons

Original Poster:

121 posts

123 months

Tuesday 3rd February 2015
quotequote all
Durzel said:
Why in God's name did you tell them it had been used on a track?
I didn't tell them it had been used on track. They worked it out by themselves.

fourspoons

Original Poster:

121 posts

123 months

Tuesday 3rd February 2015
quotequote all
Crusoe said:
Was it an over rev miss shift type event that caused it or just driving normally and the rod broke? Driver error causing an over rev I could see not being covered but sure the car computers can probably prove it one way or another though you might need an independent report to say it wasn't driver error on track that caused it.
No error, its an auto so can't really over rev it. Just normal driving really.

Durzel

9,687 posts

132 months

Tuesday 3rd February 2015
quotequote all
fourspoons said:
I didn't tell them it had been used on track. They worked it out by themselves.
Can you elaborate?

Did you get it recovered from the track?

(guess it's academic either way)

fourspoons

Original Poster:

121 posts

123 months

Tuesday 3rd February 2015
quotequote all
Durzel said:
Can you elaborate?

Did you get it recovered from the track?

(guess it's academic either way)
It was recovered from outside the racetrack. Plus they have apparently done their own research and found photographs online

fourspoons

Original Poster:

121 posts

123 months

Tuesday 3rd February 2015
quotequote all
essayer said:
hopefully they haven't changed stance since then!
Good luck

Edited by essayer on Tuesday 3rd February 17:46
Thanks for the link, I hadn't seen that thread previously. I think I'll find out who his lawyer is!

Mattt

16,615 posts

182 months

Tuesday 3rd February 2015
quotequote all
Just what exact track day was it?

Crusoe

3,888 posts

195 months

Tuesday 3rd February 2015
quotequote all
Guess the computer history showed lots of high speed running prior to the issue with obvious wear on brakes and tyres. As long as it wasn't a competitive event (and you can prove it was a standard open pit lane type track day) they should back down based on the thread linked above. Get some evidence and send it to someone high enough to make a decision at bmw uk.

fourspoons

Original Poster:

121 posts

123 months

Tuesday 3rd February 2015
quotequote all
Mattt said:
Just what exact track day was it?
Goldtrack Silverstone GP on Sunday

fourspoons

Original Poster:

121 posts

123 months

Tuesday 3rd February 2015
quotequote all
Crusoe said:
Guess the computer history showed lots of high speed running prior to the issue with obvious wear on brakes and tyres. As long as it wasn't a competitive event (and you can prove it was a standard open pit lane type track day) they should back down based on the thread linked above. Get some evidence and send it to someone high enough to make a decision at bmw uk.
Getting contact details for someone at BMW is not proving easy (or even possible) at the moment....

Housey

2,035 posts

191 months

Tuesday 3rd February 2015
quotequote all
I think you have a strong case here, there is precedent and the statement in the Warranty does not apply to what you were doing.

GetCarter

27,614 posts

243 months

Tuesday 3rd February 2015
quotequote all
Hi O/P

I just got your mail and thought I'd post the reply here as there is nothing 'sensitive'.

First up... this was the end result of my spat:



I didn't employ any lawyers, but a friend of mine was one, so every letter I wrote to BMW, I cc'd him as 'my lawyers'. Autocar just mis-reported that the letters were from my lawyers - they were from me. Just including layers in the communications really concentrated the minds of BMW as they knew I wasn't going to be fobbed off.

And fobbing off was what they did for several months. I started with the dealer, who was rubbish, so I went to the franchise, who were rubbish, so I went to head office, who were rubbish, so I went to the top (the M.D.), and suggested that if I didn't get complete satisfaction I would write a press release, and send it to every motoring magazine and TV programme telling them the sorry tale, and that BMWs were not up to track days.

That was when they realised it would be cheaper to shut me up than suffer the bad publicity, and credit where it's due, the MD just decided enough was enough. I got all repair costs refunded and offered a free trip to the Nurburgring as a 'good will gesture (in one of their BMWs).

The more noise you make, the more chance of satisfaction, but I have no idea if BMW have actually changed their minds re-track days, as they are so much more popular these days.

Good luck.

Edited by GetCarter on Wednesday 4th February 07:49

fourspoons

Original Poster:

121 posts

123 months

Tuesday 3rd February 2015
quotequote all
GetCarter said:
Hi O/P

I just got your mail and thought I'd post the reply here as there is nothing 'sensitive'.

First up... this was the end result of my spat:



I didn't employ any lawyers, but a friend of mine was one, so every letter I wrote to BMW, I cc'd him as 'my lawyers'. Autocar just mis-reported that the letters were from my lawyers - they were from me. Just including layers in the communications really concentrated the minds of BMW as they knew I wasn't going to be fobbed off.

And fobbing off was what they did for several months. I started with the dealer, who was rubbish, so I went to the franchise, who were rubbish, so I went to head office, who were rubbish, so I went to the top (the M.D.), and suggested that if I didn't get complete satisfaction I would write a press release, and send it to every motoring magazine and TV programme telling them the sorry tale, and that BMWs were not up to track days.

That was when they realised it would be cheaper to shut me up than suffer the bad publicity, and credit where it's due, the MD just decided enough was enough. I got all repair costs refunded and offered a free trip to the Nurburgring as a 'good will gesture (in one of their BMWs), or a bunch of cash.

The more noise you make, the more chance of satisfaction, but I have no idea if BMW have actually changed their minds re-track days, as they are so much more popular these days.

Good luck.
Many thanks for your reply. I hope your case will help me!

Did you just address correspondence to 'The MD, BMW UK' or do you have some useful address I could use?

Thanks again

GetCarter

27,614 posts

243 months

Tuesday 3rd February 2015
quotequote all
fourspoons said:
Many thanks for your reply. I hope your case will help me!

Did you just address correspondence to 'The MD, BMW UK' or do you have some useful address I could use?

Thanks again
I suggest moving up the ladder, making sure each knows that if you get no satisfaction you will go above their heads - a bit of googling will tell you addresses, and names. It was MD of BMW UK that finally sorted it for me (I never troubled Germany).

Feel free to use me as the 'precedent' (and the jpg above) if it helps.



Edited by GetCarter on Tuesday 3rd February 18:32

The Turbonator

2,788 posts

115 months

Tuesday 3rd February 2015
quotequote all
Is this for real? You pay a premium for a sports car, which is faster than the majority of cars, which is designed and built to be driven faster than most, which has specifications which allow and encourage you to drive faster than most (nice engine noise) and then when you do all those things, it breaks and the manufacturer refuses to rectify it?

All because you drove it on a track day? If it was just a normal car or normal spec BMW, I could kind of see their point but it's an M car for God's sake.

Surley if you didn't over rev the thing, or red line it for a continuous period of time, you've driven within the limits of what the manufacturer deems acceptable?

Whether your driving on the limit, on the road or on a racetrack, I can't see what difference it makes. Except, it's a way for a dishonest manufacturer to save money.


Edited by The Turbonator on Tuesday 3rd February 18:40

McSam

6,753 posts

139 months

Tuesday 3rd February 2015
quotequote all
The fundamental flaw in BMW's argument (and that of many insurance companies) is that track days are absolutely not competitive, "racing" or "motorsport". Indeed, all organisers strictly prohibit racing, timing or competitive behaviour with dire consequences for those who break these rules. Presenting this, perhaps with a letter from Goldtrack clarifying their position, should give you a good case and GetCarter's precedent is very useful.

A track day is simply an opportunity to enjoy your car in a safe, predictable environment not restricted by road traffic laws. If BMW want to produce and market a "performance car" which is not capable of actually deploying its performance without suffering a catastrophic failure, maybe consumers need to hear about it...

This failure in particular sounds like it could just as well have happened in fast road driving. Unless you managed to run it dry of oil, there's no accelerated wear associated with light circuit driving that could cause it.