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      05-20-2010, 08:22 PM   #1
sbefar01
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If BMW voids your warranty . . . .

If your 135's warranty is voided (whatever the reason), what is the best option to take up:

Would purchasing an aftermarket warranty company be attainable if miles are still under 50,000?

What is your best solution if you are flat-out voided on powertrain basically?
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      05-20-2010, 08:32 PM   #2
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I do not understand the term "void the warranty". Do you mean they told you that you did a mofication and they will not cover the impact of the modification to the car? Regardless of what you do to your car, the manufacturer has no legal right to change the term of the warranty. If it is 4 years and 60,000 miles, then it stays for this period regardless. But if you put a chip on a turbo motor to increase boost and horsepower and you blow a head gasket, it would be reasonable for the dealer to claim that the added boost caused the blown gasket. But it would be unreasonable for him to claim that the boost caused a switch turning the lights on when you open the door to go bad. If a bearing went out in the transmission, it would be more grey but I would think you could successfully defend the improbability of that damage resulting from the modification.

Dealers can claim anything they want about the status of your warranty but courts do not typically view very favorably an attempt to dis-honor an obligation voluntarily entered into based upon a frivolous claim. On the other hand, the dealer would have a pretty good case if they could relate the damage to something you did.

If your warranty has just expired, then you may be able to get extended coverage somewhere. But those deals are typically pretty bad deals for the car owner.

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      05-20-2010, 11:26 PM   #3
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Well said JimD. People need to understand that you have to push back when a dealer says to you 'your warranty is voided because you have x/y/z after-market modification." The burden of proof is on the dealership to prove to the court/judge that the modification that was installed directly caused failure of a part.

All to often people hear the dealer says that they have voided their warranty and people don't push back. Many will say its not worth the hassle, but sometimes all it takes is a little push back....

I'm just saying.....
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      05-21-2010, 12:12 AM   #4
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I should have specified powertrain warranty only, but what court levels would this be relegated to and how would you take action without spending $$$$$?
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      05-21-2010, 02:10 PM   #5
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I would do the following things:

Challenge their decision
Try to take it to another dealer
Learn how to fix it yourself if you can
Sell your BMW for something else
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      05-21-2010, 02:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrackRat View Post

Contrary to Net WizDumb neither the dealer nor BMW NA need to prove anything other than the vehicle has been altered from the state it was sold in. That is specifically why the limited new vehicle warranty has clauses concerning "alterations", i.e. Mods. No manufacturer is going to be forced to warranty a vehicle that has been altered and is not in the form it was sold in.

And before the uninformed waive the Magnuson-Moss Act flag in your face, the MM Act states that you can use OE spec replacement parts. It does not state that a manufacturer must warranty an altered vehicle or a vehicle with Mods.
The courts I have worked with (not as an attorney but in a professional capacity) interpret the following to have the intent and purpose of placing a burden upon the warrantor to prove that the consumer and actions of the consumer directly caused the result in question.

"The federal minimum standards for full warranties are waived if the warrantor can show that the problem associated with a warranted consumer product was caused by damage while in the possession of the consumer, or by unreasonable use, including a failure to provide reasonable and necessary maintenance."

This set precedence for courts to disallow warrantor claims that alteration (modding) of any particular part is sufficient cause in and of itself to deny coverage. A direct correlation between the alteration and the damage or failure, must be established. This also offers protection against the age old practice of a warrantor denying coverage if the consumer failed to replace a part with an OEM or OEM recommended part. Used to be that Magnavox would deny your TV warranty of you did not use a Magnavox vacuum tube.
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      05-21-2010, 03:26 PM   #7
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Yeah my dealership is saying that if i take my intake off they would be willing to replace fuel pump and powertrain issues, otherwise they will deny and possibly void. I was just about to get an intercooler so now I am a little reluctant to do so even though it has zero effect on HPFP. I will try another dealer and see if they are more liberal.
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      05-21-2010, 03:39 PM   #8
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Has anyone gotten this voided crap from someone who works for BMW NA? Like a regional service manager? BMW NA is the people you need to talk too... not some smuck in the service dept.

I use to work for a Volkswagen dealer in Washington DC area. We worked on about 150 cars per day! A big service department so say the least. You might get some SA(service advisor) to say that voided bs crap... or even a service manager... but when push comes to shove... the regional service manager from the manufacture will approve the work. They will cave in! It is simply cheaper for the car manafacture to FIX the car, then to fight it out in court! Even for stupid things that should not be covered "under warranty" or even a "good will" - the regional service manager (RSM) will approve the repairs.

I can remember a few cases where it was silly stuff that we should have had teh customer pay for... but RSM told us "just fix it"!

Case one). This guy drove his car for 48K miles. He NEVER changed his oil. It came in three quarts low on oil! And the engine only hold 4.3 quarts! The engine was ticking like you would not believe! it was low on power and in bad shape. It needed a new engine to the tune of $8K! but since the car was still under the powertrain warranty... and EVEN though two dealers had told him no proof of oil changes and no stamps in his maint book... no warranty!!! BUT.... our RSM approved the repair!

The RSM told us... even though we are correct, in that the customer did not do ANY service to the car... other than put gas into the car... VW corperate would loose money trying to fight this in the courts. SO... VW paid us to repair the car under warranty.

Case 2). We had a customer who drove the car until the timing belt broke. At that time VW called for a 60K mile change of the timing belt and rollers. The car had like 72K miles. When teh belt breaks you need a new cylinderhead and MAYBE an engine too! Pistons get damaged. Well... this car only needed a new head. It was several thousands as well. But VW ate the repair. Because.... they would have to provide experts in court... provide tests data from engines that were driven with NO maintance vs ones that got serviced. In the end... it is just cheaper for the car maker to eat the repair and call it: "Good Will".

Now sometimes after the warranty period is over... the RSM would also cover repairs. That is the good flip side. This was mostly pro-rated, but miles out of warranty and time/months. But that is the good side of the car makers.

So... I seriously doubt a dealer can void or even denie a warranty covered part.

1. Talk to the service manager. If that fails, arrange a meeting with the RSM from corperate HQ. Normally he comes once per month.

2. Read your warranty book! Go seek teh advice from a law firm that specializes in these things. Norammly a firmly worded letter to the Service dept AND to the corperate HQ - will make them shake in their boots - and cave in.

3. Stand your ground and do not buy into this "your warranty is voided BS".

Good Luck,
David
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      05-21-2010, 08:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrackRat View Post
A dealer doesn't even have to work on your vehicle if they don't want to as they are independent businesses.

You can fight a voided warranty if you want to spend the money. It doesn't mean you'll win. Every situation is different. If you've altered the vehicle your chances of winning are much lower so it's best to look at the big picture realistically.
They are not independent in that sense of the word. Their agreement with BMW makes them 'authorized agents' of the manufacturer and as such they'd better have a damn good reason for refusing to work on your vehicle.

If you believe in your case, a good attorney or consumer advocate could review it for you and if the concur, and if the prevailing party is entitled to recover resonable costs and legal expenses, I'd be all over it no hesitation.
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      05-21-2010, 09:15 PM   #10
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One must DOCUMENT this BS. Every RO(repair order) is considered a legal document. IF you were ever to go to court... the RO's (front and back sides) would be evidence. This is why most SA's will write things like... "customer says..." and NOT "car does this..."

IF a dealer says they have voided your warranty... get that in writting on your RO! Then when you present your case to the RSM or worse... a court of law... you have a leg to stand on.

I think my main point is this... the dealership or BMW NA must prove in a court of law that the mod caused the failure. NOT could have... or what ever.. BUT DID! And then BMW NA will have to provide evedence for their side. This all will cost way more than just fixing YOUR car. And I think in most cases the RSM would just fix your car under good will.

I highly doubt BMW has a national data base with voided VINs/customer cars. I personally believe this vioded warranty talk is an urban legend. More likely it is a way for a dealership to blow problem customers out their dealership doors and put a little fear into their tuning car hearts. lol
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      05-21-2010, 10:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
And I think in most cases the RSM would just fix your car under good will.

I highly doubt BMW has a national data base with voided VINs/customer cars. I personally believe this vioded warranty talk is an urban legend. More likely it is a way for a dealership to blow problem customers out their dealership doors and put a little fear into their tuning car hearts. lol
I think you may be on to something here.
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      05-22-2010, 05:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrackRat View Post
Virtually all service work on new models by dealerships is done via the VIN including ordering parts. It's a very simple process to flag a VIN for a voided warranty. The dealer can't get paid for warranty work without providing the VIN.
Yes true. But I highly doubt that "they" (a dealer) can do that!

I want to see some written PROOF that someone's warranty was voided. Not just told that by some SA! I still think this is all BS. No one can void your warranty.
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      05-22-2010, 12:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
One must DOCUMENT this BS. Every RO(repair order) is considered a legal document. IF you were ever to go to court... the RO's (front and back sides) would be evidence. This is why most SA's will write things like... "customer says..." and NOT "car does this..."

IF a dealer says they have voided your warranty... get that in writting on your RO! Then when you present your case to the RSM or worse... a court of law... you have a leg to stand on.

I think my main point is this... the dealership or BMW NA must prove in a court of law that the mod caused the failure. NOT could have... or what ever.. BUT DID! And then BMW NA will have to provide evedence for their side. This all will cost way more than just fixing YOUR car. And I think in most cases the RSM would just fix your car under good will.

I highly doubt BMW has a national data base with voided VINs/customer cars. I personally believe this vioded warranty talk is an urban legend. More likely it is a way for a dealership to blow problem customers out their dealership doors and put a little fear into their tuning car hearts. lol
So the Magnus Moss act says BMW must prove the mod caused the failure as apposed to "could have" caused the failure? If my dealer wont fix my fuel pump bc I have intake and "interface fault codes" (not tuner codes), should i call up BMW NA and stake my claim? They want me to take my maddad exhaust off too, no way thats happening!

Last edited by sbefar01; 05-22-2010 at 12:32 PM.
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      05-22-2010, 03:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrackRat View Post
NO the Magnuson-Moss Act does NOT say that BMW must prove that a MOD caused an issue. The MM Act says your warranty is still valid if you install OE SPEC REPLACEMENT PARTS such as an OE replacement oil or air filter designed specifically for your make and model engine as a service part, not as a MOD. The MM Act does not cover MODS. Alterations to a vehicle most definitely voids your new vehicle limited warranty. Read it! The MM Act says that BMW must prove an OE SPEC REPLACEMENT PART caused a failure, not a MOD.

People constantly mis-interpret the MM Act because they fail to read and comprehend the entire act.
With all due respect . . "Legally, a vehicle manufacturer cannot void the warranty on a vehicle due to an aftermarket part unless they can prove that the aftermarket part caused or contributed to the failure in the vehicle (per the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act (15 U.S.C. 2302(C))"
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      05-22-2010, 03:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbefar01 View Post
With all due respect . . "Legally, a vehicle manufacturer cannot void the warranty on a vehicle due to an aftermarket part unless they can prove that the aftermarket part caused or contributed to the failure in the vehicle (per the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act (15 U.S.C. 2302(C))"
EXACTLY!!! I called 2 BMW dealers last week to discuss adding some aftermarket goodies....BOTH mentioned that if the aftermarket part causes any issues with a OEM part than the OEM part in not covered....A aftermarket engine mod will not void any other part of the car except engine related failures proving what caused the part to fail will be up for evaluation with the dealer but rest assure if BMW detects a a aftermarket tune on the car and anything engine related like a Turbo goes you will not be covered...This is as it should be...I WISH it were different but for BMW to cover issues that could of been aftermarket mod related is not really fair....Even with the Dinan Tune of with there aftermarket engine parts hardware/software...after 50,000 miles you are out of warranty engine wise....there tune once downloaded is flaged forever...With JB you still have a chance to pull it out and possibly have coverage...I just PM a fellow member on this forum...and the bottom line is as i have heard over and over again the last 6 years that i have been moding...If you want to play you may have to pay....This is as it should be again!!!
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      05-22-2010, 09:12 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrackRat View Post
No court is going to make a manufacturer warranty a product in a form they never produced it.[/b]


When it doubt spend your money on a lawsuit and see if you win.
1) Been there, done that.
2) Not asking BMW to warranty a part they did not make. Just asking BMW to PROVE the non BMW part in question CAUSED the malfunction of the BMW parts/system that failed rather than arbitrarily witholding coverage merely because the non BMW part is IN the system.

A whole different scenario yet the most litigated.
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      05-22-2010, 09:55 PM   #17
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Sbefar, I've discussed my case on here a few times. I have been modding my car for a while. When I went in for my first hpfp related evaluation the service department where I bought my car (funny enough United BMW where Dan works) recorded my suspension and drivetrain mods and it was entered into the database. The SA came off a little hard and liked to use the term voided warranty. He acted like they did me a favor to not charge me for that service visit.

I took it in stride knowing my rights and also knowing that you really may have to pay if you play. When the hpfp finally got where I was pretty sure it was on it's last leg I phoned BMW NA. They confirmed that my car was written up in the database so any dealer I'd go to would react the same. After minute or two and a mention of the known flawed hpfp and how I was sure that was not related to my mods and a court would agree then my call was referred to a higher person. This person set it up so that whenever I took my car in a national service person would check the car at no charge and we'd go from there.

They treated me fine the whole way and did replace my hpfp at this second visit. Somehow it's also wrote up that my hpfp extended warranty is still intact. But my suspension and drivetrain are listed as modded in the database. I agree with others, it's really not a voided warranty, but for example if my turbos go out, it will be very hard to prove that my downpipes etc are not responsible so I'll probably have to pay.

I'm not a big warranty/insurance type of person. It doesn't bother me and now I don't have to run around hiding my mods. It may cost me but I doubt it, as stated the warranty only covers you for 50k anyways.

Still, if you can avoid being written up then you should do it.
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      05-23-2010, 01:20 PM   #18
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Things must have changed at United if your story is based on recent experience. I bought my E46 from them in 2003 at thier Roswell location and continued to bring it to them for service for 5 years. Over those years the can became highly modded and they knew it. When I used to pull in back to the parts department all the parts guys and a couple techs would come out and shoot the shit about how much they liked what I had done. I went through a couple of recalls and TSB's with them and never a word from them.

This was before they started selling aftermarket stuff and I had to go to Global Imports for my Dinan stuff. But I had mods from a lot of the local shops and most of the usueal parts suspects (UUC AA Stoptech etc).

But if they had tried anything I would have done what you had and let them know thet were not going to win the battle of innuendo and intimidation.
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      05-23-2010, 08:28 PM   #19
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I'd actually assume a service tech could get in trouble with BMW if he just ignores mods. I don't mind at all as long as BMW does not try to get out of fixing a part that is obviously a manufacturers flaw.
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      05-24-2010, 12:28 PM   #20
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Any BMW dealers in NJ/NY area that are mod friendly?? Im willing to travel to make things easier!
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      05-24-2010, 01:49 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Any BMW dealers in NJ/NY area that are mod friendly?? Im willing to travel to make things easier!
they are alway's friendly, and dealerships these day's go through service mgrs and techs pretty quick so it's hard to figure....one day all is cool the next at the dealership a BIG regime change and no one know's you and could give a shit about your aftermarket mods ESPECIALLY if the mod is involved with an issue like mine was.....mod friendly of course till something goes wrong..then you are on your own...i learned the hard way!!!
You want to play...be prepared to pay
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      05-24-2010, 11:50 PM   #22
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if i have an intercooler installed and a cat back exhaust, and they are functioning properly, i cant see the logic or possibility of that causing engine issues, of course my dealer just might decline service repair anyways. I guess that's where u call up BMW NA and have the RSM take care of the issue.
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