Can you hit them with the Magnusson-Moss Act? Shouldn't the burden be on them to prove that your aftermarket modification resulted in the failure of the engine?
I spoke with a few attorneys who are well versed in lemon laws and the Magnusson-Moss Act. It would be complex, expensive, and a long drawn out process that of course has no guarantees. I currently have some personal things going on in my life that require attorney's hands in my pockets so rather then go bankrupt fighting BMW I decided to move the car to someone I trust.
I can replace the engine with a slightly used one from a wrecked 335is or Z4 35is for around 10K so I'll likely go this route.
It is ironic that I replaced the charge pipe to avoid any problems since so many folks were having issues with the stock pipe, only to have it blamed for the failure. It gave no performance gain but did give peace of mind, for a short time.
To be clear, I feel my service advisor at the dealership did everything in his power and then some. He went to bat for me and it's greatly appreciated. It's the regional technician who pointed the blame and would not budge. He basically dared me to a legal fight. The stories I've heard are pretty crazy. This is a guy who denied to warranty a TPMS fault code because the owner of a 5 series changed the tires to a different brand from OEM and he blamed this on the problem because the tires weren't OEM. He claimed the friction from the new tires was causing the TPMS to trigger. I hate to use the term "nazi" but I can't help but go there.
Here's the letter I sent to my SA and to BMW Customer Relations:
United BMW Service Advisor
Customer Relations and Services
On July 31st of this year, my 2011 BMW 1M (VIN WBSUR9C54BVP75967) suffered a catastrophic engine failure while driving in the North Georgia mountains. The car was transported to United BMW of Roswell where BMW technical personnel reviewed it. Severe damage was found inside the #6 cylinder. I have been told verbally that this has not been approved for warranty repair because I had added an aftermarket charge pipe to the engine. This charge pipe’s only function is to contain the pressurized air from the turbo. It does not increase boost pressure or add horsepower to the engine. I had replaced the stock charge pipe in response to complaints of failures of the stock charge pipe as posted on various 1M forums. BMW’s solution was to simply replace them even though there was an obvious problem with the part. The failure of the stock charge pipe is widely known and I didn’t want to be a victim of this failure. In June, after I brought my car in for a between service interval oil and differential fluid change, my service advisor told me the aftermarket charge pipe was a cause of concern so I uninstalled it and reinstalled the factory part. This is a car I planned on keeping a long time and its warranty is very important to me. I was told, verbally, that the regional technician would not allow BMW to fix my car under warranty due to his belief that an external part entered the engine during the charge pipe installation. The failure occurred approximately 45 days and 700-800 miles after the BMW charge pipe installation was performed, so a part suddenly making its way into the engine is not plausible. *No part has been found in the engine, and no part is or was missing from the charge pipe assembly. I know this mysterious part was never introduced to the engine yet no further investigation as to the root cause of this failure would be performed. *Once this hypothesis was generated, no further investigation was done. Removing the turbos, downpipes, and analyzing the engine oil for any metal content and identification are some of the primary things that should have been done, but instead the car sat at the dealer’s facility while I made over $2,400 in loan payments. *Failure to complete a thorough root cause analysis of the engine to support or rule out the technician’s hypothesis is simply unacceptable. *It is the sole responsibility of the manufacturer to prove that this supposed external part caused the failure and in fact that any such external part exists.
Due to the verbal denial to warranty my 1M I am having it and all of it's parts picked up by Harrison Motorsports on Thursday, November 1st. *The car has been in your possession since August 2nd (over 90 days!) and since I've been told BMW will not warranty the car I am taking it and all it's parts back. *I have asked repeatedly for a written explanation and never received one from either United BMW or BMW North America. *As stated, when I received my courtesy loaner car I will be returning it within 24 hours of the 1M being picked up and may be able to return it earlier. *Due to the fact I am nearly 2 hours away and have to arrange assistance in getting home I cannot give an exact time but it will be at least within the 24 hour period of the 1M's pickup.
This experience with BMW is very unfortunate. *As a result of this failure and all the delays associated with the determination of the status of my car, I have incurred $2,400 in loan payment on a car that I cannot drive, significant time involved in unsuccessfully resolving this failure, and I am left with additional expense and time in reassembling an engine that is now severely damaged, at my own expense. I am not sure what I will be left with in the end. I have been a loyal BMW owner for many years, having owned multiple BMW’s, and being an active BMWCCA member. I feel as if this current situation is unfair to me and not reflective of my previous brand loyalty to BMW.
Again, I request that I receive a formal written response to my warranty claim and this letter so that I can evaluate my options going forward. I would like to remain a loyal and supportive BMW customer, and BMWCCA member but under the current scenario, I can honestly say that I cannot.