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Thread: How to improve the MOA forum.

  1. #31
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Setting the example of one member with one bike aside for the moment, (I will get there) I want to comment on the issue of the role of BMW MOA in our contentious society. I think having an Ombudsman (Consumer Liaison) is a good idea. That allows a calm advocate for any member who feels aggrieved by BMW Motorrad USA or a dealer or vendor. It can add a calm voice to try to sort out a given problem.

    But no voluntary recreational membership association has much clout to force or cause a company to do what it is unwilling to do. Trying to do that is both futile and harmful. We have a variety of institutions that do have the ability to require companies to do things. They include warranties; state lemon laws and attornies general; state consumer protection agencies; the US DOT NHTSA when safety is an issue; and of course attorneys, courts, and litigation. Depending on the circumstances they also include the availability of small claims courts.

    I was around and still remember the days when BMW MOA and Butler and Smith (the importer) and later BMW of North America saw themselves as adversaries. When BMW MOA saw itself as having "clout" it took a while but we did discover that we had no such thing really. And the membership suffered to a degree by the bad relationship between BMW MOA and BMW.

    I understand that in these days of mass social media sometimes it is possible to embarrass a big company to cause it to do something it has decided it doesn't want to do (Apple Maps comes to mind). But I would venture that in the many attempts to do this few succeed. I do recall driving by a hand painted yellow car with a big "Lemon" sign parked in front of a Chevy dealer once and recall that I thought it was pretty funny but I still would have bought a Chevy had I wanted one.

    Now to the current case. BMW offers a 3 year - 36,000 mile warranty to protect against defects in materials and workmanship. Honoring that warranty for three years or 36,000 miles is their duty. Beyond that time period, whether we like it or not (and I don't) they are entitled to tell us to go pound big rocks into little grains of sand. The bike in question is now, I believe, seven years old. The real question is whether the defect was discovered within the warranty period but never repaired. It appears from the narrative that the defect was evident within the warranty period. It also appears from the narrative that repeated efforts to treat the symptoms never cured the root problem. Assuming adequate documentation, if that were my circumstance, I might seek redress under the original warranty. That might entail an attorney or self-representation in small claims court. Or, I might not. I might decide that taking a trade offer from the dealer of about half of retail for a 7 year old bike that needs a new motor wasn't all that bad. In my specific case I suspect I would be getting out the tools and putting the bike on my lift to install a used motor.

    But this is all just me. I know others see it differently.
    Last edited by PGlaves; 06-10-2013 at 06:27 PM.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
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  2. #32
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Has the food fight started?
    Cave contents: 99 R11RS, 2013 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & DW744

  3. #33
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
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    Me too.

    As a wrench all my life, bikes and trucks I own, I would likely do same. Find used motor and get r done. Taking the 4000$ offered + BMWs 1200$ or so was fair enough to consider IF both were on the table. The dealer offered 4 grand on trade! Not my choice to make, BUT! BMW has done themselves a GREAT harm, considering such a large org(MOA) as JUST A CLUB, I read earlier here by somebody. That's like saying we do not care if you buy our bikes or not, just comes across WRONG. I too go back to Butler/Smith, owning BMWs myself then. I'm not going on anymore, JUST when a mfg'er of any type goes out on limb and starts dishing its customers/clubs or so on, they are "never" right, no matter what the case at hand. A profit is usually gained by honey and sugar, not the opposite vinegar, etc.. Loss leaders is something in marketing proven to work and "eating" a few bikes that have been pure junk is a good idea. Maybe they do already at BMW, just its a great secret. BMWNA has "only been seen" in person by the majority of us at our yearly national rallies and they always stand up, give nice appreciative speech and so on. They are so stand off otherwise, not in touch at all and from a 42 year owner here. I really appreciate my home BMW dealer, Cycle Specialties, Modesto, CA.. I feel they have stood up many times and brought my case to BMWNA and maybe that's the best way. BMW has done me right, more than not. I think, however, the opportunity exists in BMWNA for a REAL public relations dept that's out and about, like its very serious owners of the BMWs they produce. WE ARE arguably the most serious tourers on the planet, amongst us. I would fall DEAD if somebody from BMWNA actually came to my home and shook my hand, just THANKS, nothing else. I don't care how many they sell, its thousands and thousands ten times over. Just this kind of PR gets out and known...I volunteer for the job BMWNA, anybody home? ...Randy retired, riding GSA1200, easy to find

  4. #34
    Left Coast Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    Has the food fight started?
    Its the second intermission and the refs are restating the rules to the contestants.

  5. #35
    na1g
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    1- Put a used motor in it.
    2- Sell or trade it and get a Honda.
    3- Enjoy motorcycling again.
    4- Don't look back.
    5- Save your sanity.

    Just my opinion.

    pete
    When life gives you lemons, make margaritas

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    ............

    I was around and still remember the days when BMW MOA and Butler and Smith (the importer) and later BMW of North America saw themselves as adversaries. When BMW MOA saw itself as having "clout" it took a while but we did discover that we had no such thing really. And the membership suffered to a degree by the bad relationship between BMW MOA and BMW.
    I was around in the Butler & Smith days as well, either Norwood or Northvale, NJ I seem to recall. There is no need to be adversarial. Only a need to do what is right. Knowingly selling large quantities of fuel strips that will fail is probably not "right". Knowingly failing to follow federally-mandated recall procedures 15 times (as per the fed's, not me) is probably not "right". Doing what is "right" is really not that difficult if your management team understands right from wrong. When dollars get in the way those with unscrupulous values will allow the dollars to win. When the defenders of "right" have to deal with unscrupulous people it is the unscrupulous people who tend to turn it into an adversarial situation. Because they don't want others to know about their "wrong". Doesn't anyone ever think how absurd it is that we even need to have this discussion? Can it truly be that no one involved in NA management understands these things? Are they that blinded by arrogance?

    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    Now to the current case. BMW offers a 3 year - 36,000 mile warranty to protect against defects in materials and workmanship. Honoring that warranty for three years or 36,000 miles is their duty. Beyond that time period, whether we like it or not (and I don't) they are entitled to tell us to go pound big rocks into little grains of sand.
    Fully understood and agreed to 100%. Many of the issues discussed here go well beyond normal defects. They involve engineering that was just plain wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    I might decide that taking a trade offer from the dealer of about half of retail for a 7 year old bike that needs a new motor wasn't all that bad. In my specific case I suspect I would be getting out the tools and putting the bike on my lift to install a used motor. But this is all just me. I know others see it differently.
    An excellent point of view from someone aware of the issues with this particular motor. However, what about an unsuspecting buyer? Given the cost of a proper repair it is unlikely that any dealer is going to repair this bike. Hopefully the selling dealer will inform a prospective buyer of the issues with the engine. But what if they don't? Is that "right". If you have a buyer who doesn't do any research on this bike and he/she trusts the selling dealer does it make the sale of a defective product "right".

    I believe the dealer making the trade-in offer was also going to wholesale this unit out. That means they really don't want anything to do with the unit. In general 2005 RT's are readily saleable so that leads me to believe the dealer wants nothing to do with this unit. Now would you want to be the individual that gets stuck with this unit?

    Having worked for a BMW dealer for a few years I can tell you something that comes up in determining whether BMW will consider a "goodwill" repair. Any unit out of warranty is not eligible for "warranty", it may receive "goodwill" coverage however. There are legal differences between warranty and goodwill. The question will come up as to whether the owner is the original buyer and is the dealer willing to assume some of the repair costs. For some reason the dealer is expected to pick-up a portion of NA's defective costs. As to why I don't know. I assume NA feels the dealer should share the burden. A dealer that agrees helps to bolster NA's P&L. An unethical move on NA's part IMO. Although perhaps a grey area. As to not being the original owner my experience has shown this is where NA will typically head for the exit door although not 100% of the time I must say.

    If the OP has given us the entire story this unit should not be resold to anyone unless the prospective buyer has been given the whole story. A buyer willing to assume this risk is fine with me and NA no longer needs to support the unit. It is my fear however that the new buyer will have no clue as to what they are about to get themselves into. And, I call that "wrong".

  7. #37
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    Amazing, none of us have a clue what the dealer would do with the moto and yet your guessing they will screw someone and not detail the problem.
    Given any thought to BMW giving the dealer the 4k, taking and destroying the moto? That would solve the problem and seemingly not involve BMW in the solution.
    Some of you seem to hate BMW so much that I find it funny and frightening at the same time.

    I've owned a bunch of BMW's since I found them in '01. A very few wty claims were settled quickly. I once needed to ask an exec a question and got his number in less than 2 hours.

    What I find sad is that this has turned into an attack on the club. To the fellow who may not re-new...let me know and I'll pay double that year to make up for the clubs loss.
    Marty Hill
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  8. #38
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polarbear View Post
    ... "eating" a few bikes that have been pure junk is a good idea. Maybe they do already at BMW, just its a great secret.
    Sure they do. And in exchange both parties agree to a non-disclosure agreement. The fact it happened might become known but honorable people, and those who fear the consequences don't violate the non-disclosure agreement.

    So we don't know much about it.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by martyhill View Post
    Amazing, none of us have a clue what the dealer would do with the moto and yet your guessing they will screw someone and not detail the problem.
    Given any thought to BMW giving the dealer the 4k, taking and destroying the moto?..............
    Anything is possible... I'm looking at a more likely scenario IMO. Hopefully your opinion is the correct one.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by martyhill View Post
    ...............
    Some of you seem to hate BMW so much that I find it funny and frightening at the same time.
    Dependent on the offender in question you may need to clarify. In my case I love BMW product. I do hate NA. But maybe that's because I dealt with them on a daily basis and perhaps have better insight as to their nature. Of course, it may be just the fact I'm too opinionated and they've never really done any of this stuff. Then again I may know nothing of what I talk about. I don't make a very good corporate talking head other than the fact I own a BMW and I do love both their bikes and the various BMW products made.

    What I find frightening is no one except me (I think) has had an opinion on knowingly selling bad product and knowingly avoiding recall procedures. But that tends to be the nature of large corporations anyway so maybe I'm out of line on this.

    Quote Originally Posted by martyhill View Post
    I've owned a bunch of BMW's since I found them in '01. A very few wty claims were settled quickly. I once needed to ask an exec a question and got his number in less than 2 hours.
    Other than a million and one labor codes, and that's just for brake work, BMW's warranty system and rapidness of reimbursement is excellent IMO. Although their flat rate structure may be off from time to time I also find it to be extremely fair overall. Better than most OEM's actually. Kudo's to BMW for that. Their stated flat rate for bulletin work seems to need help but their no worse and actually better than other OEM's out there IMO. Their brutality when conducting warranty audits is well known and many a dealer in both cars and motorcycles have to cut NA very large refund checks. I know of a car dealer who needed to cut a small 6-figure refund check. Not because work wasn't done but the paperwork audit trail wasn't as complete as it should be. I can understand their point of view but given the fact they will NEVER call the customer to inquire if the warranty repair resolved the problem it's a tough pill to swallow for those dealers being audited.

    The fact that technicians aren't secretaries and tend to be poor in paperwork creates many problems in these audits. I'm on the fence with this and will withhold judgement.

    For those not familiar with a warranty audit: An OEM will go into a dealership and review the dealers paperwork. Any sizeable dealer generates thousands and thousands of repair orders a year. It becomes the perfect opportunity for an OEM to go in and find paperwork errors. This gives the OEM the opportunity to force a reimbursement of ALL payment associated with the repair. Parts and labor. Yes, that means the dealer performed the work free of charge. Tough noogies baby... BMW wants their money back.

    And, then you come to the infamous "ghost" problem. A problem that the dealer is unable to replicate. Guess what? Doesn't matter if the dealer spent an hour or two trying to replicate the customer issue. If the dealer doesn't fix it the dealer doesn't get paid. This is actually a very common scenario given the complexity of technology today. And you thought dealers were raking it in hand over fist with those big hourly fees. Any idea on how long it takes to recover a $10k, $20k, $100k + BMW penalty? Such is life in the big city...........

    So there you have it. Hopefully an opinion presenting 2 sides of the story.[/QUOTE]

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    How many members, again, voted to have a "foundation?"
    Members can't physically vote on everything that comes along. That is why us members elect a Board to make those and many other decisions. If someone objects to something or has an idea or a plan to pass along, they can contact a board member or attend a Board meeting.

  12. #42
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BC1100S View Post
    Its the second intermission and the refs are restating the rules to the contestants.
    You hockey fans...........second intermission?. It reminds me of Tolkien's Hobbits and their second breakfast.
    Cave contents: 99 R11RS, 2013 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & DW744

  13. #43
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    In my circumstance, it was the Service Manager, Kent, at Schlossmann's BMW of Milwaukee, that went to bat for me. My '08 R1200GS blew the Rear ESA shock seals, out of warranty, both in years and mileage. This happened on a trip south and I had the shock replaced at Baton Rouge BMW. Three months later, when having service at Schlossmannn's, Kent asked for the repair paperwork and said he would see if he could get anything from BMW. In the end, BMW gave me a 70% rebate on the repair bill of ~$2200. Also, I am the 2nd owner of the R1200GS, so you know where I'll be buying my next moto and having the current one serviced....
    Dick
    R1200GS '08
    "Hey, where you goin'?" "Nowhere in particular." "Man, I wish I was you." "Well, Hang in there..."

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    You hockey fans...........second intermission?. It reminds me of Tolkien's Hobbits and their second breakfast.
    It killed me that Pittsburgh went down in 4. I'm pulling for Chicago now. Sorry for the thread de-rail!

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjzinc View Post
    In my circumstance, it was the Service Manager, Kent, at Schlossmann's BMW of Milwaukee, that went to bat for me. My '08 R1200GS blew the Rear ESA shock seals, out of warranty, both in years and mileage. This happened on a trip south and I had the shock replaced at Baton Rouge BMW. Three months later, when having service at Schlossmannn's, Kent asked for the repair paperwork and said he would see if he could get anything from BMW. In the end, BMW gave me a 70% rebate on the repair bill of ~$2200. Also, I am the 2nd owner of the R1200GS, so you know where I'll be buying my next moto and having the current one serviced....
    Sounds like they went above and beyond for you. This repair worked out for you well. Just goes to show nothing is cast in stone.

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