Warranty Direct Claim refused - M5 engine seized

Warranty Direct Claim refused - M5 engine seized

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Discussion

Lord Flasheart

Original Poster:

59 posts

46 months

Wednesday 24th October
quotequote all
Thanks in advance etc (and yes, i know there's a load of threads on this subject). Here's the story:

- 2013 F10 M5 (67k miles, FSH) had a full service (including oil change and all worn parts) in August
- developed a problem while on holiday in France, went into limp-mode and then fixed itself, was driveable at low revs (below 4k). Called WD, who told me to take it to BMW in France (not one of their garages). BMW in France said it was one of the water coolers on the turbo and to drive it but not fast. advised it would be fine to get it to the UK
- got it home, went to my garage who diagnosed the problem was a misfire. then called back an hour later to say that while it was on idle it seized.
- called WD who instructed the garage to diagnose, take pics etc, and send to loss adjuster
- loss adjuster visits garage, does report, report comes back
- WD refuse to pay out because (their words) "we only cover 'sudden mechanical failure' as per your book, and this has sustained prolonged damage". basically they're saying i've driven it on low oil and consequently the failure is not "sudden". now, you cannot drive an F10 M5 on low oil as the engine will shut down unless you top-up asap (which is why i carry spare oil in the boot).

Any thoughts on what to do? will a stroppy letter work? or something a bit more expensive?

thanks very much in advance

TheAngryDog

8,278 posts

145 months

Wednesday 24th October
quotequote all
I cannot add anything I am afraid, other than to wish you good luck. I fear that you're in for a world of pain though.

Mafffew

1,216 posts

47 months

Wednesday 24th October
quotequote all
Lord Flasheart said:
- WD refuse to pay out because (their words) "we only cover 'sudden mechanical failure' as per your book, and this has sustained prolonged damage". basically they're saying i've driven it on low oil and consequently the failure is not "sudden". now, you cannot drive an F10 M5 on low oil as the engine will shut down unless you top-up asap (which is why i carry spare oil in the boot).
Surely this is well documented by BMW, as it sounds like a feature? I'm not massively familiar with the car, so correct me if I am wrong.

Anyway, assuming it is a feature. I would send them some official documentation/evidence to show that it simply isn't possible to have run the car on low oil.

Lord Flasheart

Original Poster:

59 posts

46 months

Wednesday 24th October
quotequote all
Correct, its a feature. thanks, will add it to my complaint letter

Miserablegit

314 posts

45 months

Wednesday 24th October
quotequote all
How much will it cost to fix? If it’s below the small claims limit then you’ve got nothing to lose by issuing proceedings after you’ve sent your letter before action to WD. Always helps to focus the mind of recalcitrant payers.

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Lord Flasheart

Original Poster:

59 posts

46 months

Wednesday 24th October
quotequote all
Its either a new engine (£21.600 plus labour) or new block, crank and pistons (£12k+ plus way more labour).

I believe money claim online is now for anything up to £100k. So i may add that to my letter

Miserablegit

314 posts

45 months

Wednesday 24th October
quotequote all
What is the warranty limit?
It’s not the MCOL limit that is relevant - it’s the small claims limit that means you won’t have to pay WD’s legal costs if you lose. You don’t want to be claiming 30k, lose and have 10-15k of legal fees to pay to wd. It’s a useful tool to have for the other side to know its going to cost them either way.

Lord Flasheart

Original Poster:

59 posts

46 months

Wednesday 24th October
quotequote all
MCOL and Small Claims have teeny tiny fees. I can represent myself. WD limit is the value of the vehicle (which is probably £25k). I don't which route they choose, but i dont want to be in the hole for £25k

Torquey

1,518 posts

164 months

Wednesday 24th October
quotequote all
Lord Flasheart said:
BMW in France said it was one of the water coolers on the turbo and to drive it but not fast. advised it would be fine to get it to the UK
- got it home, went to my garage who diagnosed the problem was a misfire. then called back an hour later to say that while it was on idle it seized.
Excuse my stupidity but what was the reason it seized? Water cooler or misfire?
I'm surprised a misfire can cause the engine to seize.
Surely you would have felt the misfire when driving back from France?

berlintaxi

7,501 posts

109 months

Wednesday 24th October
quotequote all
Sounds like a world of pain, good luck.

Lord Flasheart

Original Poster:

59 posts

46 months

Wednesday 24th October
quotequote all
Excuse my stupidity but what was the reason it seized? Water cooler or misfire?
- neither, according to the garage the two faults were unrelated (i only added this info for a bit of colour/background)

I'm surprised a misfire can cause the engine to seize.
- as above, unrelated issues

Surely you would have felt the misfire when driving back from France?
- the misfire only kicked in when the engine was either cold, or when revs above circa 3500-4000rpm

Torquey

1,518 posts

164 months

Wednesday 24th October
quotequote all
Lord Flasheart said:
Excuse my stupidity but what was the reason it seized? Water cooler or misfire?
- neither, according to the garage the two faults were unrelated (i only added this info for a bit of colour/background)

I'm surprised a misfire can cause the engine to seize.
- as above, unrelated issues

Surely you would have felt the misfire when driving back from France?
- the misfire only kicked in when the engine was either cold, or when revs above circa 3500-4000rpm
So if it was neither or the previously diagnosed faults then it was a sudden failure caused by a new fault...

I'll pipe down now as I know this is not helping!

Krikkit

13,496 posts

117 months

Wednesday 24th October
quotequote all
It sounds like the engine's not had a full tear-down to diagnose the issue, I wouldn't want to until WD have had their engineer look at it anyway for fear of prejudicing a claim.

I'd write to their customer service department with as much evidence as you can gather, make it plain that at no point were you advised by any of the professionals not to drive it. The reason they're fighting so hard is they've got a super expensive claim on the horizon! Good luck OP, keep us updated.

swisstoni

7,169 posts

215 months

Wednesday 24th October
quotequote all
The car was running, elbeit badly sometimes, and then it seized. That sounds like a fairly sudden mechanical change to me!

Lord Flasheart

Original Poster:

59 posts

46 months

Wednesday 24th October
quotequote all
while chewing this over on the way to have three fillings done (its not been a great day), i came to the same conclusion. Irrespective of the CAUSE of the seizure, it was sudden and no warnings were given. in using "sudden mechanical failure" the policy document is clearly trying to avoid claims where the owner has known about a problem and continued to drive on it, which is fair enough. But these modern engines cannot be driven if there is a problem, hence limp-mode.

Just read through the loss adjusters report which effectively states "the fault is due to some ongoing underlying issue". well, yes, which caused a sudden failure.

TwigtheWonderkid

27,308 posts

86 months

Wednesday 24th October
quotequote all
Sudden / suddenly are words that are open to artistic interpretation. Anyone who ever uses the word "suddenly" when describing a motor accident they've been involved in, invariably means "a series of events gradually unfolded around me which I completely failed to notice".

Moonpie21

260 posts

28 months

Wednesday 24th October
quotequote all
Surely it seized in the possession of a garage (would be nice if BMW), so professionals... If the professional in a controlled environment didn't spot an imminent issue then surely that is the definition of sudden mechanical failure or whatever it is.

No help I know, sorry to hear about your troubles. Best of luck getting them to pay out.

Sa Calobra

27,434 posts

147 months

Wednesday 24th October
quotequote all
"Called WD, who told me to take it to BMW in France (not one of their garages). BMW in France said it was one of the water coolers on the turbo and to drive it but not fast. advised it would be fine to get it to the UK"

An agent acting upon their instruction told you to drive it back.

The agent of theirs (the garage) that they essentially told you to go to probably caused the subsequent damage.

In honestly it shouldn't have been driven cross a country. You didn't choose to do this off you own back.

Trevor555

670 posts

20 months

Wednesday 24th October
quotequote all
Sa Calobra said:
"Called WD, who told me to take it to BMW in France (not one of their garages). BMW in France said it was one of the water coolers on the turbo and to drive it but not fast. advised it would be fine to get it to the UK"

An agent acting upon their instruction told you to drive it back.

The agent of theirs (the garage) that they essentially told you to go to probably caused the subsequent damage.

In honestly it shouldn't have been driven cross a country. You didn't choose to do this off you own back.
This.

I'm sure any claim you'll have is with the BMW garage in France?

Or WD as they instructed you to visit that garage and you followed their instructions?

Go and get some legal advice.

Rewe

185 posts

28 months

Wednesday 24th October
quotequote all
Lord Flasheart said:
Just read through the loss adjusters report which effectively states "the fault is due to some ongoing underlying issue".
Surely that would be true of any catastrophic engine failure, bar cam belt/chain failure?

Did he say that the "underlying fault" was the sudden problem with the turbo cooling that was picked up in France? If so, WD had a chance to fix it then and you can't be expected to carry the all risk if they chose not to do so! If it was general wear and tear, worn rod bearings etc which caused it to eventually seize then that is different again.

Whatever the cause, I'm rooting for you; if it is unclear if it is covered or not, WD can probably afford it more than you can!

Edit: just read above it wasn't the cooling issue. What was the cause?


Edited by Rewe on Wednesday 24th October 15:52