Tuesday, April 3, 2007

bmw transmission problems

the long overdue post about the sucky problems with my bmw.

it all started when i was scheduled to go up to the skagit valley to speak to the relays in that area. earlier in the day, i noticed that the bmw wasn't backing up very well, but i figured it was my new heels that were the problem...i wasn't giving it enough gas or something.

it wasn't until i tried to flip a u-turn on the street in front of my house that i knew i had a real problem. i needed to be up at the skagit valley in four hours, and had to get through the everett traffic, and i was stuck on my street up against the curb. and i am perpendicular to the curb, just waiting for a driver like me to round the corner and smack right into my car. and i cannot back up. at all.

so i did what any sane person would do. i called the brownrices. and they laughed and helped me push the car out. seriously, it sucked. how cool is it to push your bmw because it is broken?

and for the love - how many times do you back up in a day? every time you park? sheesh!!

so i called bmw northwest. jay (my fabulous service advisor) arranged for a car for me, and i was going to swap out mine so i could get north. while driving to the dealership, i texted jonathan with what was up...and immediately my blackberry buzzed with the following story from him:

the next day, i got the news.

the steptronic transmission was shot. at 68,000 miles. to the tune of $5,000. out of my own pocket. because of a defective part made by bmw. a problem that many bmw owners are having, but bmw won't acknowledge.

it was not a happy day near my office.

enter the prince.

i forwarded over to the dealership the email he'd sent me, and asked for their thoughts. they came back at $3,700. i went back and forth with them for a day or so, and i finally agreed to it, because i needed it fixed.

as i was going to swap out my rental car for a loaner car, i told the prince what i'd agreed to. he was a little annoyed that i didn't tell him before i agreed to it, but nonetheless...he promptly called bmw usa.

again, as i'm walking through the doors of the dealership, my blackberry buzzes. after talking with bmw usa, jonathan's text read "they'll go 50/50 with you". i'm thinking $2,500 - which is still annoying since it's a faulty part, but much much better than the $5,000.

at the same time from bmw northwest, i hear "we made some calls on your behalf...and we're ready to go 50/50 with you and bmw usa."

amazing timing when jonathan gets involved, you think?

turns out his 50/50 meant 50/50 of the $3,700 - meaning just $1,800ish.

and thanks to the prince and his effective negotiating skills, there's now a brand new bmw convertible in the drive, which was be my loaner until it's fixed. he was (and is) my angel.

don't get me wrong - i am all for paying for things i break. happens here and there. probably more often than i'd like to admit. :) but honestly, if bmw is the 'ultimate driving machine' - trannies won't fail at 68,000 miles. they should stand behind their product and recall these faulty trannies, or replace them when they fail.

i very much appreciate the service and support provided by jay and bmw northwest - they were extremely professional and caught between a rock and a hard place.

but bmw usa should step up to the plate on this defects are usually the result of inadequate design or manufacturing error...and they should back that up. it isn't the owners' fault, nor is it the dealership's fault. it's the fault of the manufacturer.


and the ultimate driving machine should be just that.

not the ultimate driving-only-forward machine.

fyi...the lame title to the post is to help google searches end up on this post - because the more apt someone is to google it, the more likely they'll find this if their search term is in the title.

and because the internet is a great place to find deets, feel free to peruse the following links for info that i found might too.


Anonymous said...

I love the story even more in writing. And I love the prince more too...


Aunt Sue

Matt said...

Hey Shelly, from matt the old sem buddy of your brothers.

Anyway, I looked into getting a new car recently and really liked the BMW's until I looked on consumer reports. They BLOW for reliability for the last 3-5 years. Below avg on almost all their scales. Looked around more, and VW is even worse. In fact, German cars for the last 3-5 years have gotten worse average ratings that American cars. The breakdown goes: Japanese, US, European, German in order of reliability. The worst were Audi and the bottom - can you believe it - Mercedes. VW's have the some reality distortion aura (much like Apple computers) that every college kid wants, but they turn out to be on the consumer reports don't buy list more often that not. Pays to do your homework - looks like I'll be getting an Acura instead...

shelley said...

that's just much for paying for quality!

and clearly, my google searches when i bought it weren't extensive enough.

i just want to know what you ultimately choose! :)

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