I'd been considering a new BMW this week until somebody handed me a copy of
an article in the Los Angeles Times dated October 19th that said basically
that on new BMW's if any kind of front end sheetmetal repairs are required,
insurers are junking the car!
I'm a lurker with a real interest in BMW - not a troll. Go to latimes.com
and read the article yourself under Highway 1 before you comment. It's too
early to contact my insurance agent this morning but I'm guessing they'll
tell me the cost of insuring one is going to be prohibitive. Or maybe not.
Anybody have any experience on this?
Err no. BMW has gone to adhesive bonding instead of welding on certain body
assemblies. Changing requires:
1. Significant investment in new equipment (BMW dealers must install this
2. Additional training of body shop workers (BMW dealers must get their
personnel up to speed).
Independent body shops feel frustrated by the new equipment needed and
training of their employees (who resist learning new things at all cost).
BMW is doing this to reduce the cost of manufacture. Others will surely
In recent years, however, all body shops have had to learn how to deal with
aluminum body panels (such as hoods for example). The welding technique for
aluminum is a bit different than for steel if for no other reason than that
aluminum conducts heat so much better; hence it is harder to keep the metal
That was sort of the thrust of the article. The writer also said it had to
do with BMW engineering's desire to lighten the front of the car to improve
weight distribution but the upshot was a car that was VERY difficult and
expensive to repair, and the independents - even if they bought all the
pricey equipment and had BMW trained personnel could never be "certified",
thus the only acceptable repair on a BMW could only be achieved at an
authorized BMW dealership, otherwise the car would probably have zero resale
value. And of course with BMW dealers realizing they have an EXCLUSIVE the
predictable result is preposterously high repair estimates --- thereby
forcing insurers to "total" a lot of late model cars that might be
satisfactorily repairable at reasonable prices if they were steel.
I never did make contact with my agent today (a lot of football games, ya
know?) to check rates on BMW's vs. competing models so I'm still curious.
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