Well, for those of you who have been paying attention, you might have caught that I was having a meeting with my dealer and a representative from BMW earlier this month (and apologies to Apial who's already seen all this - cheers to him). This had been arranged as a result of my complaints to the dealer regarding the leftward veer, but given that prior to the meeting I had lost the utility of my vehicle for 12 days (locks problem), and had no further indication as to when it would be fixed, I decided to take issue with a number of points.
This meeting took place last Tuesday, and here's what happened:
I described how that since having collected the car on the 1st of November it had failed me 3 times - twice with the locks failing, and once with a flat battery. In addition to this I had had the following problems (some of which had been posted on here - do a search on 'blak-hak', which is what I did to get a log of most of my problems!):
i) A "Veer" to the left to which the earliest possible fix was likely to be March.
ii) The fact that it was unlockable, and replacement parts were not available on a definable timescale.
iii) The fuel gauge would not read full.
iv) The Headlights left on when the door was open warning bell failed.
v) The courtesy light remained on when the ignition on the vehicle was turned on.
vi) The Rear Wiper Arm did not adhere.
vii) The Front Window Trim kept popping out.
viii) The Drivers Seat squeaked.
ix) The Passengers Seat squeaked.
x) Flat Battery.
xi) The Battery Cover was missing a restraining clip (amazing what you discover when you have to jump start a car).
I went on to describe how in the time that I had it the following fixes were applied:
a) New Windscreen (problem vii)
b) New Windscreen Fitting Kit (problem vii)
c) New Radio / CD Player (problem x)
d) New Rear Subframe (problem i)
e) New Front Shocks (problem i)
f) Wiring repaired (problems iv, v, and attempt to resolve ii)
g) New Fuel Gauge Sender Unit (problem iii)
h) Seats stripped and tightened (problems viii and ix)
i) New Battery Cover (problem xi)
j) New Rear Wiper Blade (problem vi)
k) New ECU (attempt to resolve problem ii)
l) New Locks (on order, in an attempt to resolve problem ii)
I went on to describe how that, as a result of all this:
1) in 75 days of ownership my car had been at the garage for 19 days - making it available to me only 73% of the time.
2) there was no discernible timescales on getting the two current problems fixed.
3) I was rapidly losing faith in the vehicle - as far as I could see this was the tip of a very big iceberg.
Basically, I believed that the vehicle was not of satisfactory quality.
I was then asked what I thought should be done about it. I described how I had lost faith in the car, how I had no indication as to when the problems would be resolved, and that I wanted the vehicle replaced.
In response to this I was told that I had reasonable grounds to make such a request, however those attending the meeting couldn't authorise it: They had to defer to the higher echelons of the dealership and BMW. However, they did state that they would return to me within 24 hours offering some options.
Spent the rest of the meeting idly chatting about the car - had the BMW man describe the "Left" problem as a camber drift, so asked him why mine would climb over the crown of the road, to which he offered no answer. I also got that the BMW technical people are aware of MINI2.
Anyhow, I was called on Wednesday by my dealer. They have offered to replace the vehicle with one of the same spec - so I'm taking the opportunity to upgrade with some nice shiny alloy wheels. I'll (hopefully) take delivery on March 1st - so I'll get some nice new "02" plates - but I'd prefer a car that's right to it being on time. In the meantime I have another MINI as a courtesy car. I've been warned however, that the vehicle may still exhibit a "camber drift".
I still have a few steps of the process to go - nobody at the dealership seems to understand the replacement process, but that's the current state of play.
By the way - it's really frightening being given the opportunity to respec a car - you wonder if you got it right the first time!