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Thread: Warranty repair doesn't pay for everything...?

  1. #46
    Registered User ajaxthegreater's Avatar
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    Ok, some more information..

    Went to my "other" dealer here in town yesterday, BMW of Denver, and asked for a copy of the 2012 warranty sheet. They could not find one but I have to say it is not because of a lack of trying. A fellow named Bill McConnell, the General Sales Manager, went way out of his way looking for it. I was almost embarrassed by the amount of time and effort he spent, I am really not looking to put anyone out on this. In the end he could not find it but asked for my info and said he would talk to BMW on Tuesday and get one for me. Really seemed like a great guy. Funny how these little things stick in your mind for the next time you are thinking of buying a new bike...

    One other clarification I think that Dave Brick made that bears repeating. At least I think this is what he meant... While an alternator belt by itself may not be under warranty it should be included as a part of a warranty repair if it gets damaged or has to be replaced because of the failure of a warranted part. For example if the alternator under warranty freezes and wrecks the belt, then you shouldn't have to pay for a belt even though it is not under warranty itself. That also brings to mind the "encapsulated" one time use screws I see a lot of on the bike. These may be considered consumables but if part of a warranty repair these should be included at no cost. Of course there are a lot of different circumstances that could cause you to think one way or the other, but the general idea is that I should not be out of pocket more than I would have if the warrantied part did not break. In this case I am for half the life of my oil. Not a lot of money here but it would be a different matter if we were talking about a clutch or brake disc.

    So far this exercise has been an eye opener for me though. I did not know that bulbs had a 6 month warranty, or that paint and chrome finished surfaces were only covered for 12 months. The best one was that a battery is only covered for 24 months. I could have sworn that it was 3 years. Or that any parts that the dealer uses to repair your bike have their own 24 month warranty, regardless of the bikes warranty and not limited by mileage. That's possibly some very good encouragement to get a dealer repair in some cases, like for parts that fail multiple times due to design flaws. None come to mind on this bike that I know of, but I have owned vehicles where the blankety-blank fails every 12 months. Also important to know if you are at 23 months and a part is acting funny or leaking/failing, don't wait another month, get to the dealer!
    Bill in Highlands Ranch, CO
    2012 R1200RT and some other older junk

  2. #47
    It is what it is. Bud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 22600 View Post
    Resets, sight glasses, plastic fuel disconnects, warranty work......I sure like my old airhead.

    DW
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    I used to post here, but now I don't.

  3. #48
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajaxthegreater View Post
    One other clarification I think that Dave Brick made that bears repeating. At least I think this is what he meant... While an alternator belt by itself may not be under warranty it should be included as a part of a warranty repair if it gets damaged or has to be replaced because of the failure of a warranted part. For example if the alternator under warranty freezes and wrecks the belt, then you shouldn't have to pay for a belt even though it is not under warranty itself.
    Bill,

    This scenario is similar to your original situation, and your conclusion is correct. The same goes for one-time screws if any are involved in the repair.

    The general idea is that I should not be out of pocket more than I would have if the warrantied part did not break. In this case I am for half the life of my oil...
    As to the motorcycle: yes. The dealer could have drained and reused the oil; that'd be no injury to you. Or the dealer could have replaced the oil with new, and not charged you; that'd actually be a benefit to you.

    On the other hand, there is no warranty coverage for consequential damages, that is things outside the bike that are harmed resulting from an in-warranty failure. For instance, during the warranty period the bike's on one of its stands, the stand fails, dropping the bike onto other property (a bicycle, a car, a lawnmower) which is also damaged. BMW must fix the bike, but has no responsibility under the bike's warranty to fix the bicycle, the car, or the lawnmower. Similarly, a rider's loss of use of the machine while it's being repaired is a consequential damage, and not covered.

    ...if you are at 23 months and a part is acting funny or leaking/failing, don't wait another month, get to the dealer!
    Correct.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by cycleman2 View Post
    Yep that would have worked and likely the way I would have changed the sight glass. Heck I've seen BMW bikes laid on their sides to rethread the pan bolts. Most would frown at this but it actually works very well. Consumables are not normally covered by a warranty.
    I have an alternative method for sight glass repair. Very rarely will a sight glass leak. They will almost always seep. I waited until I changed my engine oil & filter. Doesn't get any easier than that.

  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajaxthegreater View Post
    Went to my "other" dealer here in town yesterday, BMW of Denver, and asked for a copy of the 2012 warranty sheet. They could not find one but I have to say it is not because of a lack of trying. A fellow named Bill McConnell, the General Sales Manager, went way out of his way looking for it. I was almost embarrassed by the amount of time and effort he spent, I am really not looking to put anyone out on this. In the end he could not find it but asked for my info and said he would talk to BMW on Tuesday and get one for me. Really seemed like a great guy. Funny how these little things stick in your mind for the next time you are thinking of buying a new bike...

    One other clarification I think that Dave Brick made that bears repeating. At least I think this is what he meant... While an alternator belt by itself may not be under warranty it should be included as a part of a warranty repair if it gets damaged or has to be replaced because of the failure of a warranted part. For example if the alternator under warranty freezes and wrecks the belt, then you shouldn't have to pay for a belt even though it is not under warranty itself. That also brings to mind the "encapsulated" one time use screws I see a lot of on the bike. These may be considered consumables but if part of a warranty repair these should be included at no cost. Of course there are a lot of different circumstances that could cause you to think one way or the other, but the general idea is that I should not be out of pocket more than I would have if the warrantied part did not break. In this case I am for half the life of my oil. Not a lot of money here but it would be a different matter if we were talking about a clutch or brake disc.

    So far this exercise has been an eye opener for me though. I did not know that bulbs had a 6 month warranty, or that paint and chrome finished surfaces were only covered for 12 months. The best one was that a battery is only covered for 24 months. I could have sworn that it was 3 years. Or that any parts that the dealer uses to repair your bike have their own 24 month warranty, regardless of the bikes warranty and not limited by mileage. That's possibly some very good encouragement to get a dealer repair in some cases, like for parts that fail multiple times due to design flaws. None come to mind on this bike that I know of, but I have owned vehicles where the blankety-blank fails every 12 months. Also important to know if you are at 23 months and a part is acting funny or leaking/failing, don't wait another month, get to the dealer!
    Having worked at a BMW dealer I never paid that much attention to the warranty statements as I was in charge of making those decisions. BMW has a very good comprehensive warranty so I "knew" the problem was covered. The warranty statement is attached to the outside of every crate that a BMW is shipped in. I don't know the technical name of it but those square pieces of rippable plastic that contain packing lists are used to hold the warranty statement. A very odd procedure but what can I say. I had a policy where that statement was one of the first things you touched as part of removing the crate from the truck. It was then given to F&I because F&I was responsible for creating the motorcycle "jacket". The jacket contained all of the unit's documentation. That way at time of purchase there was no running around trying to find the owners manual or the warranty statement etc.

    As to your alternator belt example: what you are referring to is normal wear and tear as opposed to a manufacturers defect. There are more people than you would anticipate that seem to get confused on this issue but I tend to think it is because they are cheap and would prefer not to pay for what they just used up. No scientific fact just my gut. If your alternator seizes up and ruins the belt the belt is absolutely part of the warranty repair on a BMW. If however you're belt wears out after x number of miles it's on your dime. Just because your buddy got 80k on his/her belt and you got 40k doesn't imply you're going to end up with a freebie. On the other hand if you got 500 miles out of a brand new belt I would be looking for the causal part. Now I might be willing to give out a belt at 500 miles with no causal discovered but BMW may not want to. No hard and fast rules here but after you're in the business awhile you learn what makes sense and what doesn't. Generator belts failing at 500 miles with no causal discovery presents a problem. And, that problem is probably your technician as opposed to belt quality. I would submit the belt under warranty but I wouldn't be surprised if it was rejected if there is no causal part. But I'm not willing to piss off someone who bought a 20k bike over a $125 repair of this nature.

    Your warranty exception list is a good one and it's fair to say most people are not aware of the exceptions. BMW is a stickler on batteries. So make sure you own and use a battery tender if the bike is going to sit more than a few weeks at a time.

  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajaxthegreater View Post
    ............. Also important to know if you are at 23 months and a part is acting funny or leaking/failing, don't wait another month, get to the dealer!
    This can be easier said than done sometimes. If you have a sporadic problem all bets are off with BMW. They will not warranty "ghost" problems; problems that can not be replicated. I understand their viewpoint and happen to agree... to a point. The problem comes where you are having a ghost problem at 35 months (new) or 23 months (parts). Should you be able to finally identify the issue in the 37 month or later you can have very real issues trying to get the work performed under goodwill. The car guys go through this all the time. And, airhead owners take note: A BMW automobile is one complex piece of machinery. It is not uncommon to have ghost issues. Like your sunroof opens up all by itself in the middle of the night while parked in your garage. Or, you come home to have lunch and you find your R1200CL to have turned on the radio at FULL volume all by itself while sitting in the garage. A couple of times. BMW won't hand out one thin dime to a dealer if that dealer is unable to replicate the problem. This causes both the customer and the dealer to go insane.

    The introduction of computers into transportation has created all sorts of strange issues. I can't wait to see what happens with cars that are supposedly capable of driving themselves. Talk about a foreseeable event... your mind can already envision people getting killed with these things. Attorneys will love them.

  7. #52
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    Couple of days ago "mine" told me I'd left something on & that "it" had turned "it" off for me. I never knew what "it" was, as the HL's are on auto & starter is push button.
    I honestly love the way new stuff runs but am all into the "old ones" when it comes to understanding how they work.
    "If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up... I would take fewer things seriously...take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more rivers...eat more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges at age 85.

  8. #53
    Registered User ajaxthegreater's Avatar
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    I agree, but

    Quote Originally Posted by billy walker View Post
    I have an alternative method for sight glass repair. Very rarely will a sight glass leak. They will almost always seep. I waited until I changed my engine oil & filter. Doesn't get any easier than that.
    Billy, when I called to make the appointment I actually suggested that it was not a major problem and that I could wait, but the Service Manager said if I did and it led to bigger problems like an engine failure that BMW would not cover that under warranty. I felt a bit threatened by that statement so I caved and made the appointment.
    Bill in Highlands Ranch, CO
    2012 R1200RT and some other older junk

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajaxthegreater View Post
    Billy, when I called to make the appointment I actually suggested that it was not a major problem and that I could wait, but the Service Manager said if I did and it led to bigger problems like an engine failure that BMW would not cover that under warranty. I felt a bit threatened by that statement so I caved and made the appointment.
    That statement by the service manager is not only true but appropriate for the given problem. My window was actually seeping for awhile before I took the time for repair but I did keep track of it by looking at it a few times a week. The problem in the real world is you never know the skill sets of the individual you're dealing with. On top of that just because they say they can do something doesn't mean they actually can. Therefore you need to give whatever the appropriate answer is for a given problem while taking safety into consideration as well.

    Being in a business that kills some of the customer base it is important you word things in a way to make sure the customer understands the safety risk involved, if any. Oil sight glasses blowing out are rare but I have personnaly seen it happen. Not only can you destroy the motor at that point you may crash the bike. Because I have no right to play with someone else's life the only appropriate answer becomes the one that is safest. The service manager you mentioned did the right thing because even if he told you to keep an eye on the window there is no guarantee you won't forget or have the window blow out 10 minutes after you looked at it. Simply not worth it for the price of an oil change.

  10. #55
    Registered User mpmarty's Avatar
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    Bottom line for me is BMW-NA markets a product based on supposed reliability and durability and then they refuse to stand behind common failures beyond warranty periods. FAIL!
    Marty - in the western Oregon mountains.'06RT, (gone '04RT, '86 Venture Royal, '81 Yamaha Virago920, '82Suzuki GS1100GK, '76 Suzuki GT750, Triumph 750 Bonneville, BSA Road Rocket 650, 61" Harley knucklehead)

  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpmarty View Post
    Bottom line for me is BMW-NA markets a product based on supposed reliability and durability and then they refuse to stand behind common failures beyond warranty periods. FAIL!
    Please don't be combative. Thank your lucky stars BMW will allow you to ride one of their bikes.

  12. #57
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpmarty View Post
    Bottom line for me is BMW-NA markets a product based on supposed reliability and durability and then they refuse to stand behind common failures beyond warranty periods. FAIL!
    This is pretty normal across the automotive industry.

    It's also fairly normal that regular dealer service customers get treated better than folks the dealer's never seen before.

    Also you should understand what a warranty really is ... it's a service contract that YOU HAVE PAID FOR when you purchased the motorcycle. You are perfectly welcome to PAY FOR an extension of this warranty, probably via a third party.

    The only things the manufacturers are REQUIRED to fix for free after the warranty has expired are safety items and emissions control items and this occurs when they are ordered to do so by the government.

    As previously noted, when something fails past the warranty period you usually--unless maybe if you're a really good customer--have to pay for it, but remember that part of what you pay for this item includes a 2-year parts warranty (although that's probably not applicable when the part is not dealer installed).

    Yes, a warranty is an insurance policy and insurance policies are not free and often have lots of deductibles in addition. The risk is shared among the company, other policyholders, and you. Being a small town guy I like to find a mom/pop insurance agency if I can and I'm for sure not buying policies online. Same thing with giving my dealer most of my service business. You get the best service when you pay for it, and I'd pretty much forget about "entitlement" outside that.

    Oh, the notion of "stand behind your product/no risk sharing." What a quaint concept. Let me know where you find that. It's better to have realistic rather than la-la land expectations. A little business education. BMW motorcycle ownership is NOT cheap and you've never been promised that it would be.

    Just a note on fuel strips: It's pretty clear there's little solution to this problem, as BMW has entirely abandoned this technology. BMW (and its supplier I imagine) has paid plenty on this and so have lots of BMW owners ... risk has been shared for sure. Good luck with trying to get this defined as a safety problem. You wouldn't mind owning a newer bike with float technology anyway.
    Kent Christensen
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    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    This is pretty normal across the automotive industry.

    It's also fairly normal that regular dealer service customers get treated better than folks the dealer's never seen before.

    Also you should understand what a warranty really is ... it's a service contract that YOU HAVE PAID FOR when you purchased the motorcycle. You are perfectly welcome to PAY FOR an extension of this warranty, probably via a third party.

    The only things the manufacturers are REQUIRED to fix for free after the warranty has expired are safety items and emissions control items and this occurs when they are ordered to do so by the government.

    As previously noted, when something fails past the warranty period you usually--unless maybe if you're a really good customer--have to pay for it, but remember that part of what you pay for this item includes a 2-year parts warranty (although that's probably not applicable when the part is not dealer installed).

    Yes, a warranty is an insurance policy and insurance policies are not free and often have lots of deductibles in addition. The risk is shared among the company, other policyholders, and you. Being a small town guy I like to find a mom/pop insurance agency if I can and I'm for sure not buying policies online. Same thing with giving my dealer most of my service business. You get the best service when you pay for it, and I'd pretty much forget about "entitlement" outside that.

    Oh, the notion of "stand behind your product/no risk sharing." What a quaint concept. Let me know where you find that. It's better to have realistic rather than la-la land expectations. A little business education. BMW motorcycle ownership is NOT cheap and you've never been promised that it would be.

    Just a note on fuel strips: It's pretty clear there's little solution to this problem, as BMW has entirely abandoned this technology. BMW (and its supplier I imagine) has paid plenty on this and so have lots of BMW owners ... risk has been shared for sure. Good luck with trying to get this defined as a safety problem. You wouldn't mind owning a newer bike with float technology anyway.
    Kent, how would you characterize the fuel strip issue? I look at that particular issue as BMW knowingly supplying bad product. How could it be viewed any other way? What kind of company knowingly sells bad product? One that wants to deplete its inventory? Putting things down in print and calling it a warranty doesn't automatically do what's right. There are issues that can arise in running a business where right becomes more right than sticking by the terms of your agreement. I say this knowing full well that opinion hasn't a leg to stand on. So I guess that makes me wrong.

    How would you characterize a company that was fined millions because they chose to ignore federal recall regulations 15 times? Much of what you discuss is true. But BMW in particular seems to have real ethics issues. Maybe the CEO of BMW grew up in a family with no ethics and that same individual skipped the ethics course at college? Honda motorcycles to use an example just don't seem to have the same weaknesses over and over and over again.

    Working with BMW was a real eye opener for me. You could write a book on their level of arrogance but who really cares? Obviously not many. And, as for me, more than I should. I had never experienced a sales rep from any other OEM lie to my face and then tell me he didn't care what I thought. And, the truth is he didn't care. And, that my friend is part of the problem.

  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    Oh, the notion of "stand behind your product/no risk sharing." What a quaint concept. Let me know where you find that. It's better to have realistic rather than la-la land expectations. A little business education. BMW motorcycle ownership is NOT cheap and you've never been promised that it would be.
    .
    I don't think anybody has said that ownership of a high priced piece of machinery would be cheap. The seller of high end equipment put themselves out there for greater scrutiny. BMW has not performed well. Before I purchased my bike I asked around a bit and got favorable beviews. I must have talked to some that have not had to deal with BMW and a defective machine. The company should be embarrased with about some of the products it sells and how they deal with their customers problems. I love the wy my bike rides but I have not been done right. If I had read this websight before purchasing I would have passed on this brand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hogwide@aol.com View Post
    I don't think anybody has said that ownership of a high priced piece of machinery would be cheap. The seller of high end equipment put themselves out there for greater scrutiny. BMW has not performed well. Before I purchased my bike I asked around a bit and got favorable beviews. I must have talked to some that have not had to deal with BMW and a defective machine. The company should be embarrased with about some of the products it sells and how they deal with their customers problems. I love the wy my bike rides but I have not been done right. If I had read this websight before purchasing I would have passed on this brand.
    Here is the reality when viewed through my eyes:

    BMW does make some outstanding product. And, in many instances it easily surpasses much of what is out there. On top of that it is important to realize that most of the customer base will not experience any really serious issues if any issues at all. There is a subset of customers however who unfortunately go through some of the more common problems that BMW just seems to have a problem getting a handle on. And, some of these issues tend to make some folks forevermore pissed off at BMW. I can't tell you why they seem unable to eliminate some of these issues but they just seem unable to do so.

    Knowing all this I would still highly recommend the product. As stated in previous conversations the preceding statement basically makes me an idiot but I guess I'm OK with that. Other positive BMW-ownership factors come into place. Organizations such as MOA are an example. The promoting of the camaraderie is another. The fact that BMW riders tend to be a more serious motorcyclist is of a pleasurable importance in my book. It's a safety-oriented group and that's a plus. The Anonymous Book is another example. The fact that the bikes are capable of 6-figure mileage numbers you don't typically see on other brands. I have always advised potential customers of this variety list, good and bad. In general, BMW riders skew older and are typically well educated and I do believe the vast majority can understand what I'm saying and are OK with the purchase despite some potential issues arising.

    Long story short if you happen to be one of the individuals who run into issues with your bike all I can recommend is to hang in there. I know how frustrating it can be. It may even cost you some of your own money. Once those issues are resolved the chances of you enjoying an exceptionally long relationship with your BMW is a good one.

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