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      06-07-2010, 09:53 PM   #1
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wow i hate BMW check this out

ok i had some BS to deal with these last few weeks. LONG story short they had my bmw for service and after i pick up the car i find a two page BMW warranty coverage Modified Vechicles/Anti-tampering print out in my seat. I asked the service guy about it and he said the manager put that there cuz you have some after market parts installed. I said Ok all i have is a oil catch can and a BOV..he didnt know shit about it and so i have to call the manager and ask him wtf..I asked so let me get this straight. BMW will void my warranty for any parts that may be affected by those? He replies yes bmw can do that. I will post tomorrow after i speak with this ass clown in the morning. I will record the convo for future use. I had them look at the car for noises around the turbo wastegates and intake area. This was prior to me installing the stett performance BOV charge pipe. I hate how they try to get out of covering everything. I might sell this car due to the horrible service im getting from this dealer and plan to write BMW as a result. They HAVE to prove that the BOV would make the turbo/wastegates fail.. I know the warranty laws but this one from BMW is much different clearly states: Mod of the vehicle or installation of any non approved after market parts or components attached to the vehicle which alters the original engineering and/or operating specs or which results in damage to the other orig parts voids the warranty coverage on the affected ORIG components ...
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      06-07-2010, 10:32 PM   #2
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Any non-BMW anything (i.e, parts, tunes, even wheels and tires) that damage other components of the vehicle will void that part of the warranty.

For example, if I buy incorrect aftermarket wheels that damage the suspension BMW is permitted under law to refuse warranty service on the suspension damage as it was directly caused by me putting non-BMW parts into my car.

However, if I roll into the service dept. with my non-BMW wheels and ask for warranty service on a failed fuel pump BMW has no legal basis for denying coverage as my non-BMW parts cannot have reasonably caused the damage.

Bottom line, if the blow off valve and the oil catch or their installation directly damage parts of your car you have no standing to ask BMW for warranty repairs.

Any other warranty issue must be covered by them.

Can you scan the document the dealer gave you? I have never heard of it before.

Hope my explanation helps.
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      06-08-2010, 09:06 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audi2bmw1 View Post
clearly states: Mod of the vehicle or installation of any non approved after market parts or components attached to the vehicle which alters the original engineering and/or operating specs or which results in damage to the other orig parts voids the warranty coverage on the affected ORIG components ...
I don't think the essence or intent has been modified here at all in the BMW authored statement. I believe all that has happened is that they paid some legalese and a copywriter to construct statements that while the same as always, sounds more ominous and threatening to help act as a deterrent.

Key here is the use of the words 'damage' and 'affected'. If you install aftermarket mods and they do NOT 'damage' or 'affect' adjacent and related parts in any noticeable, measureable way - no issue and fully compliant with MMWA.
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      06-08-2010, 11:01 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrackRat View Post
You missed the important part which is underlined. No damage is required, just alteration to the original engineering and/or operating specs. Mods clearly void the warranty.

Mod of the vehicle or installation of any non approved after market parts or components attached to the vehicle which alters the original engineering and/or operating specs or which results in damage to the other orig parts voids the warranty coverage on the affected ORIG components ...
No, didn't miss it. Dismissed it. In legal circles that is fluff. Non definable, non-descript hyperbolae that adds no substantial value to the intent or enforceable segments of the clause. That’s the part I was referring to as 'more threatening' or ominous. Clearly not the meat.
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      06-08-2010, 11:17 AM   #5
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Alter a car that then causes damage to an original part, your warranty is fucked. Same with ANY manufacturer. Same reason why your warranty on a PS3 is void if you open the case.

The way BMW sees it, why would they cover your Cat if you installed a cat-back exhaust that didn't work properly and overheated your Cat? That's just an example.

You really have to be kidding yourself if you expect to be covered under warranty if any of your mods cause an issue.

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      06-08-2010, 12:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrackRat View Post
Tell it to the judge. Dismissing doesn't change reality. How can you say altering the engineering specifications is non definable? it is precisely the point and exactly why no manufacturer would be required to warranty a product in a form they did not sell it. I'd like to see you win this one in court.
"Tell it to the judge."


I have actually, now that you mention it. Both privately and professionally. But you seem to have deep knowledge of the issue. What exactly do you consider an 'engineering specification'? How is it iterated in the product creation process? Is it part of the PRD (PRS) Product Requirement Document (Specification)? Is it a factor in Cost of Quality? Or is it an element of Life Testing? Is it the spec of the part, the sub assembly, the assembly or the product overall? Who created the spec?

And how does an aftermarket part actually change the specification of another part? Or are you referring to its standardized operating environment? Is it then a specification or a range?

And keep in mind that a warranty is not a singular legal entity. It is made up of multiple parts with differing conditions, ranges and expectation.

No one expects a manufacturer to warranty a product 'in a form they did not sell it' unless there is an implied merchantability issue around its purpose in the final consumer experience.
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      06-08-2010, 06:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrackRat View Post
Yes is the answer...

Any time you Mod, i.e. alter the vehicle, the intent is to alter the original specifications to something else. It doesn't matter what the original specs were or what something else is, it's the intent. Thus a mfg. can not be responsible for your desire to Mod, i.e. alter the original product into a form it was never sold.

That being the case people can spend their dime to have their day in court or accept responsibility for their desire to Mod. It's a pay me now or pay me later scenario where you will ultimately pay-to-play.
What about mods like an FMIC that are actually designed to preserve the systems operating parameters to keep associated parts running within the PRD's optimum range rather than altering original 'specs'? Or an aftermarket exhaust that is really designed to do nothing but increase dB output to please the ears of the owner?

The courts, and consumer groups, are tired of manufacturers trying to overstep reasonable boundaries in order to walk away from their responsibilities. So, in most cases you have a reasonable outcome from the 'day in court' where consumers are not categorically hobbled by manufacturers and conversely manufacturers should not be abused by irresponsible consumers. Warranty and liability cases involving consumer goods have hit a happy medium where the intent of the law is overriding the teutonic wording of manufacturer wishlists called 'warranty terms and conditions'.

Kind of like that sign in the parking lot that says 'not responsible for theft of or damage to any personal property'. Wanna bet....?

But ya gotta love em for continuing to try and intimidate the sheepish.
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      06-08-2010, 09:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrackRat View Post
The purpose of "Mods" is by design to "alter" the engineering of the vehicle to some specs other than what the vehicle was produced and sold - be it good, bad or indifferent specs. The Limited new vehicle warranty is a contract between a car maker and consumer that covers defects it design or workmanship for the product as delivered to the marketplace. The warranty provides rights and obligations for consumers. In this case the rights are repair of said product for defects, if you maintain the product as required. The warranty states up front that any "alterations" of the product void the warranty and rightfully so because the new product is not the product the manufacturer produced and sold to the customer.

If you want to Mod, i.e. change the product engineered specs, you are free to do so as far as the car maker and warranty is concerned, as long as you don't expect the car maker to honor the Modded product that you have created and that was never sold by the car maker.
Very well said. +1

However if the modded product directly causes an issue with an OEM part covered by warranty, the warranty will not cover replacement/repair of the OEM product. Actually ran this past a family member who is a lawyer today.

He said it's standard causation. If the alteration directly causes damage/failure, warranty will not cover the repair/replacement.
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      06-08-2010, 09:43 PM   #9
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Anyone here an attorney? The warranty between BMW and the end user cannot say whatever BMW NA wants it to. Well actually it can, but those parts that do not conform to Federal and State warranty laws would be unenforceable. I think TrackRat is taking a harder line on modification of the vehicle than a court of law does.

This is standard language that usually is put into contracts where a judge may decide that the terms violate legal rights that cannot be signed away even by consenting adults "Each provision of this Agreement is severable. If a court should find any provision of this Agreement to be unenforceable, all other provisions of this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect. "

BMW cannot make an owner relinquish rights granted under consumer protection laws. Even if I am a legal adult, agree to the terms, and sign to that effect it isn't a valid contract.

I do not think that simply modification of the vehicle can void a portion of the warranty. The modification must actually do harm. BMW's written language says to the contrary only to discourage modification.
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      06-08-2010, 10:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMT II View Post
I do not think that simply modification of the vehicle can void a portion of the warranty. The modification must actually do harm. BMW's written language says to the contrary only to discourage modification.
Exactly, but it's going to be up to the owner to prove it. Companies know that this is a losing effort on the consumer's part 99% of the time simply based on dollars and "sense." As mad as the consumer may be, are they willing to shell out thousands and spend the time to fight for a repair that costs as much? What if the repair only costs half as much? What if it's only $200?
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      06-09-2010, 12:16 AM   #11
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If it, the aftermarket part, directly affects the operation of that area of the vehicle then the manufaturer has every right to void warranty. The Magnuson-Moss act protects you if you install an aftermarket part and another area fails ie. you change the exhaust and the manufacturer refuses to replace a failed stereo or bad brakes.
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      06-09-2010, 12:47 AM   #12
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Nothing I said was inaccurate. The mere installation cannot void the warranty. If the aftermarket parts damage the car, that part of the warranty is voided we all know that. Of course BMW will aggressively deny warranty claims knowing that most customers will not pay to go to court. That does not mean they would necessarily be correct in denying the claim.
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      06-09-2010, 08:10 AM   #13
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The federal law that you may want to review is Magnuson-Moss. One of its prohibitions is against tie-in sales. If BMW were to say that they will only honor their warranty if you use strictly BMW parts for service, or BMW service, it would be a clear tie-in sale and be prohibited by Magnuson-Moss. They are skirting the edge of this by trying to claim that if your part modifies the engineering of the vehicle then the warranty is not valid. It is a moot point at best, however. Unless there is an issue with the vehicle, there is no warranty claim to be made. And unless BMW can show that the modification caused the damage, they cannot "void the warranty". Magnuson-Moss also requires the manufacturer to prove to the FTC that their refusal to honor the warranty is valid - they have a burden of proof.

I still think the wording of these things does not help. Lawyers love their jargon. If BMW was to say something like "We noticed you have installed aftermarket parts on your car. You own the car and that is your right. If, however, the aftermarket parts cause damage to the vehicle that damage is not covered by your warranty from BMW. Have a nice day." - I think it would be more clear to people what they are saying. They may try to say other things but that is just noise. The point is if you damage the vehicle it is not their responsibility.

Proving whether the modification caused the damage could be messy. If it seems like a modification could be related to the need for a repair, I would expect to have to argue with the dealer to get it covered. If the dollars are low enough, you might be able to use small claims court if you cannot resolve with the dealer. There is a hassle factor regardless. The fact that the dealer will also be hassled will, hopefully, allow for a reasonable resolution - if there is an issue. Once you make a modification, and then have a problem that might be related to the modification, you should read up on the law and expect to have to do some talking to get it covered.

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      06-09-2010, 09:08 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMT II View Post
Nothing I said was inaccurate. The mere installation cannot void the warranty. If the aftermarket parts damage the car, that part of the warranty is voided we all know that. Of course BMW will aggressively deny warranty claims knowing that most customers will not pay to go to court. That does not mean they would necessarily be correct in denying the claim.

That is pretty right on.
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      06-09-2010, 11:04 AM   #15
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Quote:
Does anyone really think a manufacturer should warranty a product they never produced or sold? I mean really.
I agree with the intent of your statement, but it is a bit vague. There are of course two perspectives to look at this. If I use aftermarket wheels and my radio breaks, are you saying they can\should deny my warranty because the 'product' is one they did not produce or sell?

On the other hand, if I replace the turbos and my engine fails catastrophically, then IMO, BMW would have every justification to deny engine warranty claims.

It has been said many times that if a mod causes an OEM part or system to fail and this can be shown to be the case, then coverage could reasonably expect to be denied. If a mod is unrelated in any way to a failure then coverage should not be denied.

This seems sensible and reasonable to me (which is why I will never run a tune or touch my engine except to change oil, plugs or filters), but it seems counter to what you are saying.

Do you believe this to be unreasonable Trackrat?

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      06-09-2010, 11:06 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrackRat View Post

In regards to the MM Act it is for OE spec replacement parts, not for Mods. The MM Act has nothing to do with Mods so you can forget it as it's not relevant at all as it's designed to prevent tie-in sales. All a manufacturer needs to do is show your altered the product from what they sold you - which you are free to do but you lose your warranty coverage as a result. Does anyone really think a manufacturer should warranty a product they never produced or sold? I mean really.
Where do people get this idea? The exact wording in the MM Act states:

No warrantor of a consumer product may condition his written or
implied warranty of such product on the consumer's using, in
connection with such product, any article or service (other than
article or service provided without charge under the terms of the
warranty) which is identified by brand, trade, or corporate name;
except that the prohibition of this subsection may be waived by the
Commission if -
(1) the warrantor satisfies the Commission that the warranted
product will function properly only if the article or service so
identified is used in connection with the warranted product, and
(2) the Commission finds that such a waiver is in the public
interest.


The burden of proof is on the warrantor to prove that the MODification you did has compromised the PART that has ceased to function properly in order to deny your claim under the warranty provided. There is NO OE-spec restrictions included nor recognized in the courts about this act....

Couple that with the rather 'open-to-interpretation' statement contained in the act "Warrantors cannot require that only branded parts be used with the product in order to retain the warranty."

AND the intent that the MMWA is NOT even the primary legal vehicle to cover warranty rights "The Act is not the dominant regulation of consumer product warranties, and while it prescribes certain disclosures and restricts certain limitations on warranties, it leaves other warranty law untouched - Richardson v. Palm Harbor Homes, Inc., 254 F.3d 1321 (11th Cir. 2001)"

I'd say modders have a LOT of substance to stand on. But I agree that the intent of the act certainly is not to abuse a warranter and to allow consumers to screw up a product and then try and get it fixed for free. So some risk always will exist in modding.
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      06-09-2010, 12:23 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrackRat View Post
Again you missed the central theme of the MM Act which is to prevent manufacturer TIE-INs for OE replacement parts, NOT MODS, i.e. alterations to the vehicle. You can use OE spec replacement (service), parts from other suppliers but if these parts cause damage then the car maker must prove the part caused damage. This has absolutely nothing to do with MODDING a car, i.e. the use of non OE spec parts intended to ALTER the vehicle's engineering and/or performance vs. service parts meant to maintain the O.E. engineered specs.

There is no warranty law that I am aware of that forces a manufacturer to warranty a product they never produced.

.
I wasn't aware anyone was saying that they expected BMW to warranty a part they did not produce. What I believe folks are saying is that BMW can not arbitrarily deny warranty for a part they DID produce just because of the mere presence of a part you installed - unless it can be proven that the part you installed caused the part they produced to fail. It's really quite simple. Really it is.
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      06-09-2010, 12:58 PM   #18
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Quote:
What I believe folks are saying is that BMW can not arbitrarily deny warranty for a part they DID produce just because of the mere presence of a part you installed - unless it can be proven that the part you installed caused the part they produced to fail. It's really quite simple. Really it is.
Ummm... Yes, that's what I was saying...

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      06-09-2010, 01:19 PM   #19
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TrackRat,

I will grant that putting on another manufacturers part whose intent is to alter the performance of the vehicle is a little different from something like putting in a non-OEM cabin air filter from a legal standpoint, they are at least strongly related to each other. MM is not about tie-in sales, it is about warranties. It states that manufacturers cannot disclaim responsibility of the implied warranty of merchantability, for instance. It deals with a lot more than tie-in sales.

Tie-in sales are an attempt to say "I will only sell you A if you also agree to buy B from me". For instance, "I will only sell you this shiny new BMW if you agree to buy all the parts and service you need for it from me". Putting in an aftermarket part that is meant to be a direct OEM replacement versus a part intended to perform differently may seem a lot different to you but legally they are close to the same. The only thing a little different about a part that is not intended to perform the same is that fact could be used by the dealer to support their claim that the non-OEM part caused the damage. While that would be evidence they could cite, they still need to show the linkage between the modification and the issue you want a warranty repair for.

A non-OEM cabin filter might contain a chemical that damaged the dash or the air ducting in the cabin. Even though the part was not a "mod", it could damage the car. And the manufacturer would not be responsible.

The intent of the non-OEM part is at most one additional factor to be considered in deciding whether the issue is the responsibility of the manufacturer under its warranty or the car owner - because they did something that caused the damage. The federal law I cited is directly applicable because it limits the rights of the manufacturer to disclaim responsibility, regardless of the nature of the non-OEM part you install. The law says directly that the manufacturer cannot disclaim responsibility simply due to the non-OEM part - it does not say even if it is a mod but it doesn't need to. By not limiting the prohibition, it covers all non-OEM parts including mods.

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      06-09-2010, 03:26 PM   #20
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This is from SIB121008(SUBJECT N54 – Aftermarket "Engine Performance Tuning" Kits)

WARRANTY INFORMATION
Modification of the vehicle or installation of any non-approved performance accessories or components attached to the vehicle which alters the original engineering and/or operating specifications or which results in damage to the other original components voids the warranty coverage on the affected original Drivetrain and Emission Control components.
In general terms, the BMW warranty on Drivetrain and Emission Control components is void due to a modification where the modification, alteration or installation of a non-approved aftermarket part was responsible for the failure.
Please make sure to inform BMW customers considering purchase of an aftermarket "N54 Engine Performance" kit of the above legal and technical implications.
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      06-09-2010, 04:11 PM   #21
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And that is really what matters. No arbitrary 'if you mod you'll void your warranty crap'. And the burden of proof is always on the Warrantor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NL-J View Post
This is from SIB121008(SUBJECT N54 – Aftermarket "Engine Performance Tuning" Kits)

WARRANTY INFORMATION
Modification of the vehicle or installation of any non-approved performance accessories or components attached to the vehicle which alters the original engineering and/or operating specifications or which results in damage to the other original components voids the warranty coverage on the affected original Drivetrain and Emission Control components.
In general terms, the BMW warranty on Drivetrain and Emission Control components is void due to a modification where the modification, alteration or installation of a non-approved aftermarket part was responsible for the failure.
Please make sure to inform BMW customers considering purchase of an aftermarket "N54 Engine Performance" kit of the above legal and technical implications.
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      06-09-2010, 04:35 PM   #22
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Ok guys after a long convo with the service manager he said I will be fine. I asked so let me get this straight" You guys will not cover my turbos/cats/waste gates becuz of the charge pipe and catch can. He replied" I'm not saying that. We didn't even record that you did any mods we just have to give you that paper per BMW NA. The warranty is fine unless they prove that the charge pipe directly causes the turbo, waste gate, etc to fail. Unless the tial Bov stays shut during release I don't ever seeing it cause Any sort of damage. It's simply amazing and IMO safer design than stock and more reliable than those cheap plastic DVs which are know to stick and fail,At least on the audi and Porsches.
Even changing from DV to BOV is still the safest bet unlike most cars that have issues due to the MAF sensor getting incorrect airflow info. (stalling or rough idle as a result)
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09 135i montego blue 6speed..RR catch can,CDV,DCI intakes,stett charge pipe and tial bov, the above mods are not installed on my car, i just want to seem cool

Devils own water/meth dealer-PM me for info
former car/ 2001 audi TT ~290bhp :w00t:
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