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    BMW Sucks

    August 9, 2007
    I took my BMW 645ci 2004 to Fields BMW, which is located in Northfield, IL to adjust tire pressure, do oil change and just to have a check out on the car. I got the car back the same day and everything was fine.
    August 10, 2007
    Around 2AM I was coming back from the Movies and was driving on I94. When I was just about to be by Peterson Exit an engine light came on that stated something along these lines, “Engine Overheat, pull over to the side do not lift the hood, let the vehicle cool down”, as soon as I saw that I took the Peterson Exit, my intentions were to pull over to the side immediately and do as the computer advised. When I exited the highway I stopped at the stop light, not a lot, but smoke started coming out under the hood. I pulled over to the first side street that I saw and completely shut down the car.
    My knowledge of cars is not very big; actually I would call myself car illiterate. I decided to call one of my friends to see what I should do in a situation like this. He told me to turn the heat on to max and drive with open windows. I could not do that because I have already shut the car down. I thought about calling a towing company, but because I was only about 8 minutes away from home and because it was 2AM I did not feel safe to just sit around on a side street. After waiting for about 15 minutes, I decided to turn the car back on to see if perhaps the Engine overheat was caused by hot weather. Previously I had Pontiac Sunfire that sometimes overheated in the summer, and me waiting out in the shadow for about 10 minutes usually solved the problem. When I turned the car back on the light was gone and I thought to myself it will be safe to drive the car back. I drove car home, the engine light did not appear for the rest of the way.
    Please keep in mind that this is happening 1 day after I took my car in for service, so this whole time in the back of my head I am thinking how could something be wrong I just took my car in for service, they would have seen something.
    August 11, 2007
    I decided to go to the office, which is located right next to Fields BMW and while I was at the office I thought I would take my car in so they could see what is wrong with it. While driving on the highway the light came on again. Luckily I was minutes away from the exit when the Engine Light came on, one of my friends was hit by a car while changing a tire on the side of the highway one time, since then whenever I drive I just hope nothing goes wrong with the car so I will not have to pull over to the side. As soon as I exited the highway I pulled over into a Starbucks parking lot. From there I called Fields BMW stating what had happened. The advisor over the phone told me that I could either call a towing truck or drive the car in if I could. I told him okay, I could drive the car in. He did not say, oh wait the engine light is on, so do not drive the car and only call the towing truck, he gave an option of driving the car in after I told him everything that had happened.
    I brought my car in, they popped the hood open, I went over to the car because I was curious to see what happened. One of their technicians pointed to a spot where there were 2 pipes that were disconnected and said that there was suppose to be a clip that holds them together but it is gone…
    I was amused, how could this have possibly happened? I asked the technician what could have caused that, he did not have an answer for me. I would assume that the parts do not just fall off a 2004 645Ci… maybe this was caused by my visit to Fields that took place just 2 days prior to the clip being missing.
    The advisor told me that there is nothing they could do at that moment and that I will have to wait until Monday to find out what the damage is and why it was caused; they would have to talk to a technician that worked on my car on Thursday. I asked him what could possibly cause this… he had no answer for me. Robert Schaefer, a Service Manager was standing by, so I explained what had happened. After looking at the car and seeing the damage done, he said it could have been a coincidence that the part was missing and that sometimes it does happen. He had no definite answer for me either, but did say that most likely it was not caused by one of the technicians that worked on the car. He told me to come on Monday and talk to Jerry, because Jerry would be the one who would have more information on it.
    So there I was on a Saturday afternoon, in the suburbs about 12 miles away from home without transportation. Unfortunately for me the Enterprise inside Fields BMW was closed and they did not want to give me a loaner because the car was not purchased from them. I asked them, what am I suppose to do…? How am I going to get home, what am I suppose to do as far as transportation for the weekend? They pretty much recommended me nothing…
    Luckily my office is only minutes away from Fields BMW. I went back to the office and started looking around for a potential place to rent a car. I found Hertz that was close by. When I called them, the only person that was there was Dusan Stojkovic a Branch Manager who said I am calling them after hours and technically they were closed. After I explained the story to him and pretty much told him, that I had no other way of getting home or even getting to work on Monday besides Taxi, Dusan came picked me up and took me back to Hertz to land me a vehicle. I contacted Fields BMW and asked them how much would be covered if I had rented a car from Hertz, they told me that they can only cover $30 a day. I do drive a 2004, 645ci and not a 1994 323i, and the best they could offer me were $30. Even though I would have been fine with that just to get a car, but the least expensive car that was available was at $40 a day. I asked a Fields representative over the phone if that was acceptable, he transferred me to Robert Schaefer. Robert told me that they only cover up to $30 because that is how much Enterprise usually charges, which was closed that day. I was upset and re-told him the whole story, which is why I did not have a car at the moment. To which he told me that I should have brought the car in as soon as I called them in the morning. I became furious, because I brought the car in 5 minutes after I called. I had no choice, but to take the car that was $40.00.
    August 13, 2007
    I went to Fields BMW to talk to Jerry Marichall, a Service Manager. I told Jerry everything that had happened. Jerry seemed very understanding of my situation and was apologizing for all the inconvenience. Right away Jerry gave me one of Fields’ Loaners and told me that the Bill that I got from Hertz will be fully taken care off. He told me that he would contact me the next day to follow up.
    August 14, 2007
    After not hearing from Jerry at around 2pm I decided to call him myself. Jerry advised me that they were still looking at the car and trying to see what had gone wrong and that he will get back in touch with me shortly.
    August 15, 2007
    After still not hearing from Jerry I walked over to Fields BMW to get a status on my car. Jerry did not have a full answer to what really caused the part to go missing, but he was still apologizing and saying that they will fix everything. He told me he will have a final answer for me later. Jerry called me later that day and said that because those pipes were separated the antifreeze licked out, which caused the problem with the engine overheat. He said that the parts will be replaced and I will have my car tomorrow.
    August 16, 2007
    I received a call from Jerry who stated that the parts were replaced, but he wanted to keep the car there an extra day to make sure everything was fine and so that he could test drive it for the day. I said that would be perfectly fine with me as long as they make sure that everything is okay with the car.
    August 17, 2007
    I finally get my car back.
    August 19, 2007
    The car was running fine the whole weekend, on Sunday night when I was driving around 6:40pm the light came on that said something like, “Increased Emissions” when I pulled back into the parking lot at around 7pm the light was still on and when I put the car into “Park” the engine shook a little bit.
    August 20, 2007
    At 7:12AM I turned the car on and headed over to work, no light appeared, nor was the engine shaking anymore. However, I was not going to take the Chance I took my car directly to Fields BMW again. Jerry gave me a loaner car again and said they will take a look into it.
    August 20 – 28, 2007
    The Next Day I called Jerry to get an updated Status on the car, Jerry said that they were looking into it and he will let me know as soon as he has more information. On Wednesday Jerry called me and said that there were some parts that he has to order directly from BMW, and that the parts will be there on Thursday and that I will have my car back on Friday. Thursday, afternoon we had a horrible storm and had the power outage, the power outage continued through Saturday Night, so I was not able to get my car back on Friday.
    On Monday August 20th I called Jerry to follow up on the Status of the repairs. Jerry told me that because these parts have to be ordered directly from BMW an Engineer from BMW NA has to come and inspect my car. The next day I called Jerry again to see if the Engineer was there yet. Jerry said that the Engineer did not come yet and he will call me when the engineer comes. The day goes by, and once again I do not hear from Jerry.
    August 29, 2007
    Jerry Called me and said that the Service Engineer came out to take a look at my car and determined that the damage that was done to the Engine and that the parts that had to be replaced are not covered by Warranty and that I had to pay over $3,000, and it was because I drove the car when the “Engine Light” was on… so they decided to blame everything on me. I was in disbelieve, right away I contacted Jack Mcclure who is a Fields Service Engineer. Jack told me that all he did was inspected the car and came out with an estimate, he did not know that I had previously brought my car in, he said that was something new that he was hearing. After listening to the full story he said he will try to help me out and will give Jerry from Fields BMW a call.
    Approximately 20 minutes later I received a call from Jack Mcclure who said that they will help me out by discounting 40%. 20% will be discounted by Fields BMW and the other 20% will be discounted by BMW NA. I could not believe what I was hearing… I did not understand why they thought that I have to pay for this and why it was not covered by the warranty. Jack blamed everything on me and said I drove the overheated vehicle…
    I asked to please submit it to me in writing, because I do not understand how after all I have told him he still thought I was responsible for what had happened to the car. He sort of laughed at that and said he not submit anything in writing and that is the best they can do for me.
    After speaking with Jack Mcclure I was amazed at the lack of responsibility by both BMW NA and Fields BMW, so I decided to contact the corporate offices directly.
    I got in contact with Karie Adams, a customer service representative from BMW NA, I explained events that took place, as well as the statement that was made by Jack Mcclure in terms of me being responsible because I still drove the car when the “Engine Light” came on. She said, that she will take a look into and contact Jerry Marichal from Fields BMW.
    August 31, 2007
    Around 2pm when I still did not hear from Karie Adams, I decided to call her and find out what the status of my case was. She stated that she did in fact speak with Jerry Marichal, and that Jerry pretty much told her the same thing that I did. She said she will have to escalate the issue to the Marketing Department and will have to put in the E-Mail format. I asked if I could be CCed on that e-mail, because if Jerry said exactly the same thing that I said it would have been very clear that I should not be responsible for the charges… She said that she cannot CC me on that e-mail and that it will take 2-3 days for the Marketing Department to look over this issue and see if they could offer me anything more than 40% that was offered to me already.
    September 6, 2007
    Karie Adams called me and said that the BMW Marketing Deparment decided that because I drove the car while the “Engine Light” appeared I was responsible for the payment of the repairs that had to be done.
    Conclusion
    I took my car to get oil change done. The next day a piece went missing, which caused the anti freeze to leak out. The clip just mysteriously disappeared. That caused my Engine to overheat. The Engine Light came on Friday at 2AM. I brought my car into Service on Saturday at around 11AM. Fields BMW fixed and test drove my car then gave it back to me. A couple days later the light comes back on, I take my car in again. This time Service Engineer comes to take a look at my car to find out that there are damages done to the engine and the damages are not covered by warranty. I am blamed because I drove the car when the Engine Light Came on…
    1. I take my car in for service and the clip that holds anti freeze pipes goes missing.
    2. The Engine Light would not come on, if the clip did not mysteriously disappear.
    3. The Engine would not have overheated if the clip stayed in place.
    4. I get the car back from Fields saying everything was fixed, 2 days later the light is back on and this time around they find damages over $3,000.
    5. The car was released to me and it was stated that the car was okay, obviously the damage could have been found the first time around when I brought the car in…
    6. Fields BMW released a car to me, which obviously still had some serious problems, since they are not even covered by the warranty.
    7. Why does Fields BMW have fliers all over their dealers that says 100% Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed?
    8. Why was I offered 40% off if it was all my fault?
    9. How Does a Clip Go missing on a BWM 2004 645Ci?
    Does anyone have any suggestions!? Is it time to get a lawyer?

  2. #2
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    Re: BMW Sucks

    Looks like due diligence on your part. You've spoken to almost everyone you can. So yes, I guess if you wanting to reduce your 60% of $3000 cost th elaywer may be the best route.

    I do realize there are a lot of faults in the current model systems that get cured with a turn off of the key and letting sit (usually until sleep mode is entered). However, if I saw smoke I would not drive it anymore and would have it flat bedded to nearest BMW dealer. I did see that time of night and location were an issue, still I would have used BMW assist to try to get that done of at all possible. In saying this I am not placing any blame on you. I too think that a MY04 645 that has lasted this long (BTW you did not indicate mileage) simply does not loose a part magically. It did need some help. You also did not indicate how long YOU have owned tha car. How familiar were you with the service history for example?

    Sorry cannot offer much comfort. You are kinda stuck right now, with only seemingly recourse being a lawyar.
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    Re: BMW Sucks

    cobradav, thank you for understanding my side of the story. The car has about 39,000 miles on it. When I got the car, it had some issues right off the bet with AC making noise, and there was something wrong with the navigation system. But they fixed that in 2 visits, I wasn't very pleased back then too with Fields, because I brought the car to them and had to go back there 2 days later, but that is another story. Yes, later I learned that there is such thing as Road Side Assistance, I had no idea such existed, I just thought I had to bring the car into nearest BMW Dealers to have it checked out, which I did the very next day.
    If it was not 2 AM in the morning I would have probably called the towing company and waited for it. But at 2 in the morning it is not very pleasant to stand in the middle of the street on a side street and wait for that towing truck, especially if you are driving a 6 series, which is what I thought was a pretty good car. All I want is my car fixed, I don't abuse the vehicle, I haven't been in any accidents, my driving record is clear. I wanted to have a Luxury Car with Luxury Service, Unfortunately BMW turned out to be neither...

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    re: this story

    Simply sue them in small claims court. No lawyer will take such a small case, and even if one did, you'll spend more on the lawyer than your current 'bill' from BMW.

    Organize your case. Make notes. Get histories of this clip issue for other 6-ers. Then sue in small claims against the dealer.
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    Re: BMW Sucks

    That is a horrifying story. I can't even imagine your frustration.

    I had a similar, albeit, not nearly as expensive, issue with my previous BMW (M3) regarding the clutch. Took it to one dealership 3 times and 1st 2 times they could not figure out what was wrong with it. 3rd time they blamed it on me and wanted to charge me $600 to fix the issue. I decided to get a second opinion from another dealer and the new dealer figured out the issue on the first try and didn't charge me anything at all.

    It may be worth getting a second opinion at another dealer...although not sure if that will work since you have already spoken to corporate a number of times as well as the engineer.

    May have to go to small claims court as Teeth suggested...not sure what would cost you more, $1800 (your 60%) or going to court...at this point for me it would be more about the principal than the money. If your story is accurate then you didn't do anything wrong, and it would be worth it for me stand in front of their dealership ever weekend for 2 months with a 30FT sign diverting customers away from their dealership. Keep us posted on what happens.

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    Take Personal Responsibility

    My suggestion is to take personal responsibility for the portion of this problem that you own. In my view, there are two issues here. One is the root cause of your cooling system problem, apparently a hose clamp removed by the dealer's service department and not replaced. The other is your personal actions when your car overheated. While rare today, cooling systems do fail. You ignored the temperature gage, the warning message, and the "smoke" coming from under your hood. In addition to driving home, you drove the car to the dealer the next day. Car illiteracy is no excuse. The damage to your car is a direct consequence of your failure to call a tow truck. Do you truly believe that your warranty means everything should be paid for by BMW, no matter what you do? I believe you have been made a fair offer to share the cost. Be an adult and accept it.

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    Re: Take Personal Responsibility (awz)

    " Do you truly believe that your warranty means everything should be paid for by BMW, no matter what you do?"

    No, I do not believe that everything should be paid for by BMW, no matter what I do.

    However, I do believe that at 2:30 AM it is unsafe to pull over on the side of the express way shoulder, while the exit is coming up. Back then, the car was not smoking.

    I do believe that pulling over at the first side street and do exactly as computer stated, "Turn the car off, do not lift the hood" is reasonable decision.

    I do believe that after letting the car cool down, then turning it on after 15 minutes and since the lights did not come on it is a reasonable decision to drive home at 2:30am, because I did not feel safe waiting for a tow truck, especially when there was no urgent need, from my side of understanding.

    I do believe that when putting a key in the ignition in the AM and not seeing an engine sign it is safe to drive.

    I do believe that if I take the car in for Service, the next day it should not be missing any parts.

    I do believe that if there was serious damage done, it should have been noticed the second time I brought my car in, since they kept it there for 5 days and gave it back to me.

    I do believe that the severe damage to the engine might have been caused by me driving the car after they have "fixed" it and gave it back to me.

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    Re: Take Personal Responsibility (awz)

    i keep waiting for the "I'm with BMW of North America, LLC. I've passed this message on to a BMW NA Customer Relations Representative who will be in touch with you soon." message. anybody home? this is lame.-lex
    2005 645ci coupe black sapphire/beige/sport/winter/logic7/ 904 build

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    BMWLEX - "BMW Customer Service Sucks"

    No, BMW NA is not willing to Help, that is why I named this Forum "BMW SUCKS". It should have been "BMW Customer Service Sucks", as I love the car themselves. But, BMW Customer Service is definitely something to be aware of... there will be no help from their end... They already contacted me.
    "We will pass this onto our marketing team... oooops our Marketing team says sorry, pay up!"

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    Re: BMWLEX - BMW Customer Service Sucks

    unforunately i too use field's for service and in the past their service department has done some things less than satisfactorily. my lease is up in november and as i mull over whether to purchase the car, having field's as my dealer is certainly part of my decision making process. plenty of cool non-bmw cars out there for 80-100k.

    admittedly it's a little of a stretch in this case but we have all experienced problems with warning messages that do in fact "go away" after waiting overnight and restarting the car.

    good luck.-lex
    2005 645ci coupe black sapphire/beige/sport/winter/logic7/ 904 build

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    Re: Take Personal Responsibility

    I will have to concur with AWZ. No matter what time it is I would have called BMW assist right away to prevent any further damage to a vehicle I spent a ton of money on, especially when it actually told you to pull over. And yet you still continued to drive 15 minutes later and the next day as if you made your own assessment it was ok to drive since no lights were on? I do believe the car told you it was sick, but yet you just thought it was ok temporarily to to push its limits further without proper diagnoses? I hope you you were not trying to save money by not calling the toe truck.

    When I had to call BMW assist when I had a tire blown on my previous M3 they asked if I had pulled over to a safe area or if I would like a police officer to come by and keep me company while I wait for the toe truck if I was not feeling safe.

    Good luck to you and hope things can go your way. Keep us abreast. /


    Proud owner of 2007 Alpine White with Pearl Beige leather 650I Convertible with all options fully loaded Automatic Transmission. She's a beauty!!


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    Re: Take Personal Responsibility

    I guess I could have spelled toe correctly with tow....lol/


    Proud owner of 2007 Alpine White with Pearl Beige leather 650I Convertible with all options fully loaded Automatic Transmission. She's a beauty!!


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    Re: Take Personal Responsibility

    While your argument is sensible, is it not legally sound. But for the improper clamp installation (assuming that's provable), none of this would have happened. His actions after the fact were not malicious or fraudulent. He has no interest in damaging his car on purpose.

    While I a a big fan of personal respnsibility, this case is different.
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    Re: Take Personal Responsibility

    I'm not saying that Yan B.'s intent was malicious or fradulent. My main point is that Yan
    B's actions in the face of clear warnings resulted in damage to his/her car. Although the root cause appears to have been a missing clamp, there would have been no damage had Yan B. called a tow truck rather than continuing to drive.

    A somewhat similar situation happened to me with the car I owned prior to my 645, a 2000 Porsche 911. The 911 has a cooling system hose connection below the engine. While backing out of a parking space, I managed to lightly hit the connection on a curb. Coolant began to leak copiously, Since I was only about a mile from home and had no BMW Assist equivalent, I chose to drive home gently while carefully monitoring the temperature gage. The car was flatbed towed to the dealer where the water pump was replaced at my expense. I wouldn't have dreamt of driving the car many miles home, then driving on to the dealer the next day.

    I don't expect everyone to agree with me. I can understand that some would think that the dealer should eat the whole cost regardless of Yan B's contribution to the problem, but there is no BMW Santa Claus. When owners fail to own up to their share of a problem and expect BMWNA or the dealer to totally absorb the cost, the rest of us pay in the form of higher prices or service costs.


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    "You ignored the temperature gage"

    No gauge in these newer cars, when the light came on he had only about 60 seconds before it was going to start "overheating".
    He had no idea as to how long it was rteading at or near 3/4 since there is no gauge, if there was I 'm sure he would have pulled over sooner.
    What would you do at 2 in the morning?

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    Yes, there is a temperature gage

    Geez Tech, since you're normally so authoritative, I went out to my '04 645 (same MY as the complainant's) this morning to see if my memory was failing me. There most certainly is a temperature gage, albeit oil temperature. While not as immediately indicative of a cooling system failure as a water temperature gage, it must have been reading high. The manual states that a warning message is displayed in the control display (i-drive screen) when the oil temperature is too high. That's very likely what Yan B saw. There is no dedicated yellow light for overheating in the instrument panel,according to the manual.

    What would I have done at 2:00 in the morning? If I felt I was in an unsafe spot, I might have driven a short distance to a safer one before calling BMW Assist for a tow. But I would have known that I was assuming some risk of damaging my car after seeing the very clear message on the control display, observing the vapor coming from under my hood, and, yes, seeing the high temperature indicated on the gage.

    Furthermore, I would not have driven my car to the dealer the next morning, somehow assuming that miraculous healing had occurred overnight.

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    Re: Yes, there is a temperature gage

    awz, it is not hard to say now what you would have had done if you were in my position...

    If I would read my own poll, I would probably say the same, I would have done this differently, I would have done that differently...

    Under the circumstances I acted in a way that I thought was appropriate, at no point did I want to or intended to cause any more damage to my car.

    I guess if someone chooses to drive a 6 series they should take a BMW Class as well... I did not know that there is such a thing as a road side assistance, I thought I would have to contact the Dealer and have the car towed there directly, yes because of my ignorance I am not facing the consequences...

    However, what about the missing part and how about Fields BMW giving the car back to me and then after driving over the weekend when I brought it back in and BMW NA Engineer looked at it there was damage for $3,700 found that is not covered by warranty...???

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    He lost coolant so rapidly it wouldn't............

    ..really matter what gauge he could have looked at.
    1. The vapors he first saw was from the coolant itself rushing out of the disconnected hose.
    2. The coolant came out so fast that it probably emptied the block to the point where the temp sensor was now reading the air within the block, not the coolant. This "air" would not have been hot enough to trip any other warning light.
    3. The owners manual may not state it, but I have seen the overheat message (text in CID) come up in E65's, the 6 and 5 series should be the same way. BMW may have taken away the COOLANT gauge, but they certainly want to warn someone of a overheat condition. Which doesn't matter now as his coolant came out too fast to have this message get tripped.
    4. Since he was concerned about the vapors and coolant coming out of the hood, I dont think he had the time to sit there and ponder as to which gauge he could look at to see what was changing instead of looking for a safe place to pull over.
    5. This is a classic situation of hindsight.

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    Yes | No

    shouldn't there be a coolant level warning

    I don't know about the E63, but my 1986 BMW 6 series had a Coolant LEVEL light that would turn on when the coolant dropped below a certain level, (ie. leak). Dani Compain
    1986 BMW 635CSi
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    Yes | No

    I was talking "coolant", much the same way........

    ...you made it sound until you went out to a car to check for a "gauge".

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