Bmw/minis' Official Stance On How Your Warranty Can Be Affected By Mods To Your Car.
Please can somebody give me some advise on a dilemma I am experiencing.
My Cooper recently needed to go to my local dealer (Sewell BMW) as I was experiencing a problem with my gearbox. I received a phone call from Sewell today explaining that the car will need a new gearbox fitted and unfortunately its not covered under the warranty as I have fitted an aftermarket exhaust and have also installed a cold air intake, or induction kit as they called it, and the cost for a replacement gearbox will be £1800!
The wording would certainly give me every reason to dispute what Sewell have said, I would just like advise from anyone on this, should I dispute this?, does anyone know of anyone I can contact?, where do you think I should go from here?
I look forward to receiving any responses on this.
I would suggest you go and talk to them. See what communication they have had with BMW themselves. If they have attempted a warranty clain centrally and told them about the modifications and BMW have declined, then the option of removing them and going to another dealer is not open to you. Trading the car in at another dealers might be rumbled for the same reason. If you had turboed your car to 300bhp then I would understand their unwillingness to fix the car under warranty but the modest gains in torque and bhp caused by your modifications would be unlikely to have caused the problem. The well known gearbox problems in early cars in particular are far more likely to be the cause of the problem and threatening them with the small claims court on that basis (which I think has a £2000 ceiling) would be reasonable.
So talk to them, tell them about bad publicity and the gentle modding that BMW have encouraged and see what they say!
first of all sorry to hear you are having this problem
right, now time to get to work, as far as I am aware for a claim to be thrown out, they must be able to prove that those modifications to your car are what has caused the gearbox failure. Which they won't have, then if I were you I search MINI2 for as much information on gearbox failures, especially the old style box, which I think yours has. Start to build as much information as possible on the fault, as it is a common fault and the reason that the gear box was changed to a Getrag box
Then go see your stealer in person and find out why they are saying that your gearbox has failed due to those mods, document everything, every word, and communication with them, as if worse comes to worse, you will have to fight! I would also say that at this point to start checking on consumer law and rights
That should not affect your warranty. They have to prove that the cai and exhaust damage the gearbox. Also there is a history of gearbox failures throughout the mini2 threads.
I don't remember what the law is called but is mentioned a bunch in the threads, look around, but mini has to prove the your upgrades caused the failure not the other way around.
just be persistent
THEY have to prove the parts you fitted caused the gearbox to fail. The law is there to protect you, other wise everyone who fitted new tyres/wheels/radio/different spark plugs would have no warranty. Fight this all the way - good luck and keep us posted...
Isnt there something on if the part has failed on another Mini in the past without mods then they dont have a leg to stand on ?, I think that what Rakey was eluding to....
I believe Max had a failed supercharger replaced under warranty even though he had modded his engine to 220 bhp ?, as they had seen the same failure before on an unmodified car therefore they couldnt prove his failure had been caused by the mods...
there seems to be a few people having problems with warranty claims, and this is the second i've heard of on gearboxes alone, has MINI started clamping down ?....
Thank you everybody for your helpful advise, its much appreciated.
I have formulated a letter, which I have faxed to my dealership today, which goes along the lines of this (i wont type it word for word, but might if I win this case so others can look it up if they get into a similar situation).
'You are currently in possession of my Mini Cooper, which was recovered to you last week, after suffering from a transmission fault.
After speaking to you yesterday I was informed that my car required a new gearbox, but you considered it a non-warranty repair. This is an incorrect and unfair decision, which I urge you to reconsider:
The salient points are:
You state that the warranty is invalidated by two minor modifications made by myself over the past 6 months.
I am in possession of a communication by BMW UK which states that:
[Quote/] The stance that MINI has taken is as follows: .....
If you were to opt for such a conversion the warranty would be voided on any parts replaced and the labour carried out by the converter. If an issue was to arise where a fault had been caused by any work carried out or part fitted by the converter this would also not be covered by the warrenty. But having it fitted would not void the entire warranty.
Customer Information [/quote]
The minor modifications to the air intake and exhaust rear pipe/silencer fall within the remit of BMW's advise as they have negligible effect on the power characteristics of the car, and certainly could not be responsible for major gearbox failure.
Such gearbox failures have been relatively common on pre-facelift Mini's.
Regardless of interpretation of warranty terms, consumer protection legislation clearly covers the scope of this particular case.
I ask you, in association with BMW UK to cover this repair as a warranty item, as it is clearly within the scope of the warranty; Perhaps you could phone me at you earliest convenience (telephone no.),
I will keep you all posted on what Mini have to say and let you know what the outcome is.
Good luck! I too am waiting to hear your result with baited breath.
Another string to your bow is to let your dealer know that you are considering contacting the local press as well as your local MP. I've used those tactics in the past, the MP was really helpful and the speed at which the problem was solved was truly amazing once the local paper ran an article!
Keep us up to date buddy.
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