Saturday, September 11, 2010

BMW 335i - horrible car cost you my loyalty

In February 2008, I purchased my 4th BMW (I have owned 2-328s and 1-535) from Lauderdale BMW (also known as Holman Lauderdale Imports) in Pembroke Pines, FL.  A brand new beautiful dark blue 335i fully loaded for $55,000.00.  The salesman was knowledgeable and very excited to sell me the car.  He mentioned everything about the car's ability and enhancements....except the run flat performance tires that are a total rip off.
Even during the purchasing process, they talked about this great tire insurance plan for $700.00 that would protect my tires and rims should they need to be replaced due to road damage.  I should have realized something was up, but was still high from that new car smell and said put it on my bill.  I drive off happy as can be, thinking I have purchased another beautiful BMW that I will enjoy for several years.  WRONG.

Issue #1-
In September 2008, with 6,000 miles the engine starts running rough.....and seems to have trouble starting.  Against my better judgement, I take it by my neighborhood BMW dealer, Braman in Miami to get it checked out as soon as possible.  You see Braman BMW is without a doubt the rudest dealership I have ever been in, and they really are not interested in helping you if you are not a Spanish speaking Latin.  However, since I live at least 45 mins from Lauderdale BMW I go there to find out that they need to keep the car for a day, oh but no loaner car because I did not buy it from them.....I threw a fit and they made a quote, "one time exception" and provided the loaner.  PROBLEM: Gasket Seals were leaking oil

Issue #2 -
In April 2009, with 12,500 miles the oil light stays on.  I drive 45 mins to Lauderdale BMW and get it repaired.  Which consisted of a 1 quart top off.  BTW, the manual states the car should have the oil changed every 15,000 miles.  I question if there is another leak in the gasket seals.  Service Rep stated he didn't think so.

Issue #3 -
In June 2009, with 15,000 miles I drive 45 mins to Lauderdale BMW for the 15,000 miles oil change and check up.  Oops, my service rep tells me I need a 4 wheel alignment for $180.00 and then ask if I wanted to replace all four of my tires now???  WHAT??  These are Michelin tires with only 15,000 miles on them and he replied, "I know you usually have to replace them at 10,000 miles."  WHAT??  It was not until now, over a year after purchasing the car did someone from BMW finally tell me those great run flat performance tires my sales rep was so excited about only last based on your driving habits between 9,000 to 12,000 miles.  And then he states each tire is $550.00 a piece.  My answer, "If you are serious, I don't want the car anymore."  The service rep just looked at me.  I also mentioned the car was making a funny chirping sound when you are coasting and also when turning to the left.  The service rep said he would have them look at it.

Issue #4 -
In November 2009, with 21,100 miles I get a nail in my right rear tire.  Drive the 45 mins to Lauderdale and with my tire insurance get the tire replaced at no charge.  Thank goodness....but then I noticed that on the invoice the price of the tire and installation was $478.24.  Why were the same tires in June 2009, $550.00 plus installation?

Issue #5 -
In February 2010, with 24,400 miles I notice that the car seems to ride rough and want to go to the right when the steering wheel is straight up and down.  I drive the 45 mins to Lauderdale BMW, to have the alignment redone, the brake fluid flushed, and yes the chirping sound is still there.

Issue #6 -
In April 2010, with 26, 900 miles my brakes start squeaking and making a grinding noise when applied.  I drive the 45 mins to Lauderdale BMW. Five days later, the car is ready after having all of the brake pads replaced and by replacing the right front brake bracket the chirping sound goes away.  Oh, yes and by the way I need to replace my tires.  Really???  What BMW did not know was I had already replaced them at Tire Kingdom for $370.00 a piece...a far cry from their $550.00 quote.  I leave a message for my sales rep to find me a new car. 

Issue #7 -
In August 2010, with 29,860 miles the rough idle has returned and the car steering is going to the right again.
I drive the 45 mins to Lauderdale BMW to have another $180.00 alignment, the 30,000 mile check up, replaced the low side fuel pressure sensor to correct the rough idle, and oh yes...I need all four tires replaced.  REALLY???  Fortunately, they found an issue with the right rear tire and my insurance covered the cost which again was not the $550.00 I keep getting quoted but $464.13.  They replace the one tire.  I take it back to Tire Kingdom and replace the other 3 for $370.00 each.  I leave another message for my sales rep to find me a new car, because he never called me back from my message in April 2010.  If you are a BMW owner, you know how they cram down your throat that "be sure and give us a 5 rating on the survey, because anything below that is a failure."  I rated them accordingly and asked for someone to contact me about my concerns.

Issue #8 -
In September 2010, with 31,00 miles I start to realize my car is less than 3 yrs old, still under warranty and I have spent more money and been at the repair shop more than any of my previous BMW's had to go during and after their warranties.  I head back to Lauderdale BMW, disappointed in THIS particular BMW, but still a very loyal customer.  I find my sales rep, who by the way never did return my prior calls, and tell him I hate this car, I hate the tires, and I want to trade the car in on a new one that did not have run flat tires.  My sales rep advised me all BMW's have them now (stupid idea BMW), but I could get the all season run flat tires which should last at 20,000 miles.  I was going to get a 5 series but I chose a 328 series.
Here's the kicker, despite my loyalty to BMW, despite my repeat business with Lauderdale BMW.....they quote me a trade in value for my car that is $6,000 less than Cadillac and Mercedes was willing to give me.  In addition, he does not take one dime off of the sticker price...........ARE YOU KIDDING ME?   So even BMW does not value the 335i ... and that's when I knew they knew they had built a car that was full of faults but had no idea how to get out of it.  I advised my sales rep no deal and that he had lost a customer, a very loyal customer.  He let me down by not telling me about the tires when I first looked at the car and now it was coming back on him as I said I would never have purchased the car had a known about the tires and would not do business with him or BMW again.  He did not seem all that concerned and certainly did not care about my loyalty.

Issue #9 -
Get an email from BMW regarding my ratings on the last survey.  They advise someone will be in touch with me in a few days or for FASTER service I can call the 1-800 customer service line.  I choose to call.  I get a very nice lady who allows me to vent for about 15 minutes only to tell me she can't help me.  According to her, once the email goes out it is assigned to a specific customer service rep....but not to worry she has documented my record with everything I told her so when this mystery rep calls me back they will know what to do.

Issue #10 -
Four days later, I get the call from the "specific customer service rep" who is as arrogant as arrogant can be.  Boy, did she have an attitude.  She starts the conversation with how can I help you?  I asked her if she had read my documentation to understand my concerns and she quickly advised me there is nothing documented.  I explained to her that I followed the instructions in the email, called the 1-800 number, spent 20 mins describing my disappointment only to be told that person could not help me, and now she was saying she had no idea my concern.  I simple advised her that BMW has lost a very loyal customer, and especially now that BMW had no respect for my time to make me have to repeat everything again.  She seemed delighted that I was not going to repeat my story and really did not care that BMW was losing my business.

Solution #1 -
I took the car to North Miami Lexus, they beat the trade in value from Lauderdale BMW by $5,500.00 and provided me the best customer service I have ever experienced with any car dealership.  I drove away in a brand new Lexus ES 350 and it is most definitely superior to BMW.

So my suggestion - if you are car shopping DON'T BUY A BMW....if you have a BMW.....go test drive a LEXUS....and see that I am right.

By the way, to this day I have NEVER received a phone call from anyone at Lauderdale BMW to discuss my concerns or at least act like they cared.

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