Hi I thought I would post the issues I am having on here just incase Bmw/Mini's responses help anyone else dealing with this issue.
Complaint about faulty timing chain/ tensioner on my 2007 Mini Cooper S
The problems are that the timing chain and tensioner and various subcomponents have required replacement, this came about on 05/08/12 when I went out to use the car to find engine oil over the front bumper. I opened up the bonnet to find that there was no oil cap to be seen on the engine. I checked the oil level and found that the oil level was at least half full. The last time I had used the car was the night before which was a distance of 5 miles.
I have the car covered by the Mini comprehensive warranty with emergency services at a cost of £585, so I rang the Mini emergency service to arrange for the car to be taken to the Elms Camborne dealership to fix and find out the issue as the car was immobile,
Whilst waiting for the car to be collected I also double checked the oil level in the car and again found the level to be at least half full.
After several phone calls to the mini emergency services to get the car picked up and a replacement provided the car was finally picked up on 06/08/12 around 24hrs later along with hire car being provided after that. During these calls the Mini emergency person taking my call informed me that I was not entitled to a replacement car because my car was not at the dealership that meant it was not broken down or immobile, this was after I had informed her that it had no oil cap and that oil had gone everywhere, and after being informed that the Mini dealership were refusing to accept the car. This delay was due to the Elms dealership being unwilling to take the car as they did not wish to have the car leaking oil on their front car park and that the staff member that was at the dealership did not have the keys to the rear car park.
On 07/08/12 I received a call from Peter Grove from Elms Camborne at 3:11pm to inform me that the timing chain/tensioner and subcomponents required replacement and that the cost would come to nearly £900. During this phone call he also stated that they had checked the oil level and found it to be satisfactory. When I asked if this would be covered by the warranty he informed me that he would contact the warranty department.
Later that day around 4:40pm I received a message from Peter Grove from Elms Camborne to inform me that the cost/work would not be covered by my Mini comprehensive warranty.
On 08/08/12 I went to Elms Camborne to discuss the matter in person, during this Peter Grove again stated that the oil level in the car was satisfactory. He stated that the timing chain/tensioner and its subcomponents failed due to the oil cap being missing and that this caused a loss of oil pressure and therefore the failure of these parts.
I pointed out that since buying the car in 2010 from another Mini dealership that the car had been back dozens and dozens of times to Elms for poor running and noises coming from the engine all of which had not been resolved after multiple attempts (the last of which was 21/02/2012) and costs of £200+ being incurred by myself.
This was on top of other multiple issues, not including multiple uses of Mini emergency services. This was on top of the break down caused by Elms Mini themselves (February 2012) when the car had been in for work (water pump recall) and fault finding when their staff had left the engine partially assembled, as the Mini emergency breakdown technician found the turbo intercooler pipe and the turbo coolant pipe had not fitted by the Elms staff.
During this discussion it was suggested that the oil cap issue was caused by myself, and that I had either filled the engine back up with oil after finding the oil all over the engine and bumper or that I had over filled it and left the oil cap off and then used the car. I would like to point out that I did neither of these things.
After discussing the matter, I had to leave the hire car provided to me by Mini at the dealership as I was no longer entitled to it as the issue was deemed not to be under warranty, I therefore had to catch the bus half way home then walk the rest of the way (4 miles) in the rain as there was no bus services from that point on.
Later that day I rang several BMW/Mini dealerships stating that I had found no oil cap on the car and that there was sufficient oil in the car and the distance it had been driven and that I had had the car taken to an independent garage for the fault to be looked into and fixed, I informed them of what I was told by Peter Grove but without giving away that it was in an official Bmw/Mini garage. There response was that the timing chain/tensioner was a very common and well known issue and almost certainly unrelated to the oil cap being missing for such a short time/distance, especially given the previous engine issues I had encountered with the car.
This was backed up by the fact that during my ownership of the car I had researched the numerous faults I had been having with the car, and during this research I had found that BMW/Mini/Peugeot/Citeron which all use this particular engine are fully aware of this issue and have been since 2007 when the engine was introduced.
During this research I found further evidence that BMW/Mini were fully aware of the issue with the timing chain/tensioner as they have allocated PuMA measure number 10686850-13 and 10686850-12 and the part number is 188.8.131.528.956 and the actual reference number for the timing chain rattle problem is SIM-11-02-07.
The faulty Chain tensioner 11317597895 was replaced with an up rated/modified item 11314609483 which was fitted to all newly built cars from 09/2011 onwards.
Chain tensioner: ended 09/2011, part number 11317597895
Chain tensioner: , part number 11314609483
This is in addition to many people that own BMW/Mini/Peugeot/Citeron which all use this particular engine raising this same issue on the internet and to their dealers, it is known that the internet is an unregulated source but on the balance of probability the sheer number of people that have raised this same issue canít all be wrong.
The car has always been serviced at the correct intervals and anytime any issue has arisen with the car (of which there have been many numerous issues) I have immediately taken it to Elms Mini or contacted Mini emergency service. The oil levels have been checked regularly as per Miniís instructions.
This evidence shows that the parts that my car and many other owners were built with are not of satisfactory quality and not fit for purpose and that Bmw/Mini are fully aware of this, yet have failed to openly and transparently deal with this issue or issue a recall.
I complained about this and provided this evidence to you on 08/08/12 in person at the dealership and via the warranty claims department.
On 09/08/12 via customer services, during the phone call I was informed that the dealership was going to enter a goodwill gesture for part of the cost.
On 16/08/12 I received a message from Elms Camborne that the car was ready and that the goodwill gesture was declined.
On 16/08/12 via customer services, I was informed that as the issue had gone to the highest possible person that the issue would remain as it was. I verbally entered a complaint Under the Sale of Goods Act 1979, that I have a right to receive goods that are of satisfactory quality and fit for purpose.
You have failed to respond satisfactorily.
Under the Sale of Goods Act 1979, I have a right to receive goods that are of satisfactory quality and fit for purpose. You are therefore in breach of contract and I request that you repair the goods at no cost to me.
Dear Mr Binge
Thank you for your email dated August 20, 2012. I am sorry to learn that you have experienced issues relating to the timing chain in you MINI Cooper S. I can certainly understand your concerns.
Having read your correspondence, I can advise that we collate data and assess all part orders and repairs carried out within our network of BMW Approved Dealerships to identify any trends on a particular component. Should we identify a particular trend of component failure within our range, we can issue a voluntary quality enhancement or a mandatory recall. I can confirm that no inherent defects are highlighted on your vehicle.
I have spoken with Ms Emma Speechley, Service Team Leader at Elms Cambridge on your behalf. Ms Speechley has been kind enough to inform me that the vehicle was brought into the dealership by MINI Emergency Services. On inspection of the vehicle it was found that the oil filler cap was missing. It is the opinion of the dealership that the noise the vehicle was making was due to not enough oil reaching the timing chain.
A goodwill claim was submitted on your behalf. This rejected due to the damage to the timing chain being cause because there was no filler cap on the vehicle and the oil unable to get through to the timing chain.
I have forwarded a copy of your email on to MINI Emergency Service for a response to the issues you have raised pertaining to that part of the business. Once again, I am sorry that you have needed to contact us under such circumstance and we are unable to assist you on this occasion. If I can be of further assistance in future, please do not hesitate to contact me.