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03-31-2003, 04:08 PM
So what can you do to make folks happy when you've spent a year falsly accusing them of damaging their bearings?

Here's my suggestion at what BMW could have said to minimize the negative reaction:


1. We have finally located the exact root cause of the failed bearing motors, and it relates to the oil pump and bearing shells in use in cars made from 10/01 to 02/02, along with some occurences of contamination of those parts at the factory during assembly.

2. We apologise for earlier suggestions that a large number of the failures were due to the actions of the drivers or improper maintenance on the part of the owners. This was clearly a manufacturing problem, and we intend to correct it.

3. We are issuing a service action to replace the oil pump and bearigs of affected cars. A list of VINs is attached below so that all M3 owners can be clear on the affected cars.

4. At the owners convenience, we will come pick up their car, replace the oil pump and bearings, and then return it to them.

5. The service action is voluntary, and the 6/100 warranty remains in affect for all M3's regardless of build date, VIN, whether the service action is taken or not.

We apologise for this inconvenience to our valued customers and look forward to getting each and every one of them running perfectly.
StoneWalk, Ventura California
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03-31-2003, 04:10 PM
Richardson, Texas
2002 M3 Coupe - Alpine White/Black Leather/SMG

03-31-2003, 04:47 PM
>"2. We apologise for earlier suggestions that a large number of the >failures were due to the actions of the drivers or improper >maintenance on the part of the owners. This was clearly a >manufacturing problem, and we intend to correct it."

#2 would force BMW to reimburse all M3 owners that blew their engine and had to pay for the damage, regardless of the reason the engine blew. If someone had really been at fault for their engine blowing by over-revving or mis shifts, that person would now be deemed not at fault and subject to refund

>"5. The service action is voluntary, and the 6/100 warranty remains >in affect for all M3's regardless of build date, VIN, whether the >service action is taken or not."

Voluntary? I can't imagine BMW would allow a defect to reside in the engine uncorrected, and then agree to remain responsible for a $20K bill when that engine did blow. The only logical move is BMW wants to spend the $1K now to prevent a $20K bill later.


Agent7 Austin,Texas
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03-31-2003, 05:12 PM

03-31-2003, 05:17 PM

03-31-2003, 05:24 PM
are owners that blew their engine from a money shift and had to pony up the $20K. I don't think BMW went banging on doors offering M3 owners their money back. I would imagine that if someone was persistant, they got their money back. If they never questioned having to pay the $20K, I would imagine BMW still has the money.<br>

Agent7 Austin,Texas
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03-31-2003, 05:29 PM
Business Profitability 101 holds that a company's most profitable customers are their existing customers! That's "us" gentlemen. We already have bought the product and are (statistically) likely to do so again. If we do, that is a "low cost/high profit" sale for BMW. Why do they not understand this.

Would it be so hard to send personalized apology letters to everyone in the affected timelines, signed by the President of BMW NA? To personally call every one of the remaining folks who's car requires the "recall" and assure them everything will be taken car of? To personally call everyone whose engine failed and apologize? To provide some "token"- some Lifestyle Merchanise even TO TELL US THEY SCREWED UP, ARE REALLY SORRY AND APPRCIATE US AND OUR BUSINESS?

We have the where-with-all to spend $55K on an automobile. We spend our time on web site discussing how much we love the car, for crissake! Market research has proven customers are MORE LOYAL to a product/company IF THEY HAVE A PROBLEM AND THE COMPANY TAKES CARE OF THEM! More loyal than customers that never have a problem, even! Why is BMW NA oblivious to this stuff?

I've bought 4 new BMW's in the last 10 years. Yet, when I called them today, they didn't ask my name or know what the "recall" status of my particular car was! HELLO! I've spent $160K on your product in the last 10 years, yet you don't even ask who I am or have information that shows my value to you? This is customer relationship management 101!

There, I feel better now!

03-31-2003, 05:32 PM
There were tons of attempts to blame the owner, and a handful of people actually wound up writing checks to BMW. Most and/or all of those were overturned either by court action, or by BMW coming to their collective senses.
StoneWalk, Ventura California
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03-31-2003, 05:32 PM
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Of the 2 I know who paid, they both were refunded. Most were blamed but fought it and never paid.

I can't speak for those i don't know about.

03-31-2003, 06:33 PM
Maybe BMW is comfortable in thinking that you will buy another car from them. However, (and this is going to sound extremely rude, but I don\'t mean it to come out that way), 4 cars in 10 years is not that many. There are a lot of people out there who buy more cars than you do, and there are also people who buy less.

I think that BMW tries harder to get new customers in the door than they do to retain existing customers. All of the cars have performed exactly as expected and that is why we continue to buy BMWs. Yes, there is a problem with components of the M3 engine, but on a percentage basis of their overall line of cars, it is not a huge amount.

I am mearly playing the devil\'s advocate. I have yet to take delivery of my new M3 and I am hoping that it will be trouble free. If it isn\'t, I\'m sure that I will be standing right next to you in the complaint line. :)

But, for now, I have been extremely happy with my selection of cars. And the sig below doesn\'t include BMW\'s that we used to own (which is longer than the current list).<br>GNALUZU

'98 MRoadster
'01 M5
'01 740iL
'03 M3 (March 21st Production)
'04 MZ4 (#3 on wait list)

03-31-2003, 07:01 PM
You will be getting a letter (see top of forum) expressing appreciation, and depending on when your car was built, what will be done. It won't be signed by the president of the company, but so what?

Regardless of when your car was built, you've got a warranty good for 100,000 miles on a motor delivering over 100hp per liter. Where else are you going to get that? It would make you happier to get a phone call from a minimum wage worker begging your forgiveness and another cheap BMW keychain?

I think BMW has done the right thing and, with the extended warranty on all 2001-2003 cars, has gone beyond the call. It would've been nice if they had come to a conclusion sooner, but that doesn't warrant gifts and such personal attention from a large company, IMO.

Los Angeles, CA
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03-31-2003, 07:44 PM
The 100K mile warranty is a great deal and I will undoubtedly buy another BMW when the time comes. I've been adicted since I was 16 (and I'm 52). As to my points, maybe I wasn't as clear as I should have been.
1- BMW did the minimum it had to do from a "bells and whistles" perspective and appears to have weak customer relationship management skills. For a few dollars more, they could do the job right. Maybe they don't think they need to- all in all, their cars are awesome, especially at the "M" level. But LONG TERM, they'd serve themselves and all of us better if their PR and relationship skills worked as well as their cars corner!
2- I don't expect to have my a** kissed based upon the number of cars I've bought. But if BMW management was REALLY SMART, they be more intellegent about their use of the information they have or have access to. What if I'd bought 10 cars in 10 years? Or 5-10 per year (some business owners do as incentives/benefits for key managers)? It's in ANY businesses interests to know that kind of customer is calling, and in reacting accordingly. Again, I called and THEY DIDN'T EVEN ASK MY NAME! The BEST businesses use their information to their benefit instead of giving every Tom, [Oops!] and Harry who calls the same generic pitch.
Just some thoughts "for what they're worth." We're all so used to mediocre service, we're complacent.

03-31-2003, 10:29 PM

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