Yes - new battery "not registered" was the problem
Just installing a new battery isn't enough. A dealer needs to "register it" to the computer system. When an old battery is detected low-voltage, the computer system sets some of the "electrical load consumer priorities" to 0, hence not allowing them to run. Max A/C is one of these. The intent of this is to protect the remaining battery voltage, so that the driver isn't stranded by being unable to start the car. These 0 settings are only reset by the "register battery process". btw .. even though the dealer recommends the BMW battery .. a new after market battery does work fine, but probably won't last as long, due to the high draw for these cars.