I had some problems with a recent BMW pre-purchase inspection, in case anyone is thinking of getting one they are not worth the money. BMW will cover up any known faults, at least an independant check will give you the truth.
The letter I sent them is below, will post the reply when I get it.
Please pass this email onto BMW complaints division at head office.
I would like to ask for BMW’s assistance in claiming some compensation for the matter outlined below.
• Mini Cooper S Chilli 2007 model R56 – Rego XXX-XXX – Vehicle has only done 38,000 kms
• Purchased second hand privately
• Paid over $550 to BMW Canterbury (where car was bought from) for pre-purchase inspection one month ago
• BMW Canterbury noted a timing chain rattle was result of little low on oil which they topped up
• Purchased car based on report
• Timing chain rattle persisted - asked BMW Sylvania to identify if rattle was something that could be fixed under recall
• BMW Sylvania charged $221+ to confirm rattle was a known issue but not covered by a recall
• Disputed $221+ charge with BMW Sylvania service manager, was told they spent time and this will be charged full stop. BMW Sylvania quoted $980 to re-tension chain without fixing root cause – I declined to proceed with the work
As I am sure you are aware, it seems the chain tensioner is a well-known Mini Cooper S issue.
Timing chain work is a major service and every 30,000kms is obviously a design fault BMW are aware of. Even the cheapest brand cars recommend this type of work every 100,000kms.
I have read BMW in other countries have distributed a service manual on the parts to replace to ensure the root cause of this issue is resolved permanently and performing the work at no cost to the owner.
I have the following concerns -
1. Why did I not receive a competent pre-purchase inspection by BMW Canterbury, this is the same inspection you perform on your own used cars to give owners manufacturer piece of mind before purchasing from your lot.
2. When was BMW Canterbury not forthcoming with what they are well aware of is an expensive and re-occurring issue? (perhaps they are not allowed to due to poor PR
3. Why did Sylvania BMW insist on inspecting the car rather than give me a quotation over the phone as asked to resolve the well-known issue AND THEN charge $221 for confirming what they already knew?
4. Why am I $700+ out of pocket and no progress due to BMW’s service agents inability to be honest with me about well-known issues?
5. Why is a major fault on a $50,000+ purchase price car that will easily destroy an engine at low kms not a recall campaign?
6. Is it true that BMW only pay for parts rather than labour to resolve? - if this is the case from what I have read the part is less than 2% of the cost of the rectification repair which is unacceptable given fault lies with BMW.
The dealers informed me they would not be out of pocket, I would need to pay them and take it up with BMW directly.
I am asking if someone at BMW can please look at my case and at a minimum refund the pre-purchase inspection and charge by BMW Sylvania.
I am then still left with a minimum $980 charge to temporarily tighten the timing chain due to BMW’s faulty design.
I expect many thousands to either fix permanently or to perform the above $980 fix multiple times each 30,000kms as many others have needed to do.
Attached are extracts from a class action document outlining the exact "Timing Chain Tensioner Defect" issues I have experienced –
“The Class Vehicles are uniformly and inherently defective in materials, design, or
workmanship, and prematurely fail under ordinary driving conditions and far in advance of their
expected useful life. The Timing Chain Tensioner Defect exists regardless of the driving conditions
at which the Class Vehicles are driven and regardless of compliance with Defendants' recommended
“Defendants have sold thousands of Class Vehicles without disclosing to Class
Members the existence of the Timing Chain Tensioner Defect. Where the Timing Chain Tensioner
Defect manifests after 48 months or 50,000 miles, the Defendants contend that the warranty period
has expired and that Class Members bear the cost of the repair, which can be thousands of dollars”
“Defendants have purposefully concealed, and continue to conceal, their knowledge of
the Timing Chain Tensioner Defect so as to be able to take the position with their customers that the
written warranty period "expired" before the defect manifests itself. Despite the safety risk to Class
Vehicle occupants, Defendants failed to disclose material information regarding the defect in an
attempt to avoid the cost of repair and, instead, unfairly shift the cost of repair to Class Member”s
“The Timing Chain Tensioner Defect presents a substantial safety risk because the
defect can cause sudden engine failure and complete loss of vehicle power at any time and without
Look forward to hearing from you and your advice in how to move forward to rectify this issue mechanically and financially.