Warranty Issue & Transmission Repair Advice (Toronto BMW)

Hi All,
I own a 2002 MINI Cooper that has a serious issue and I am not getting the appropriate response from my dealership service department.
The auto has 117,000 KM on it. I bought the vehicle after a 3 year lease and purchased it after at 74K with an extended warranty of an additional 40K.
At our service mark as recommended by the car, we brought the vehicle in for servicing (Oil Change, etc) approximately 2 weeks ago. My wife brought the vehicle in. When she brought the vehicle in she mentioned that she was hearing a pronounced grumbling sound below the vehicle, the same sound she had mentioned earlier. We have mentioned that the engine was making a sound during previous visits but this was not marked on our service record. Previous attempts to rectify a clamp sound were noted but ignored, instead being fixed the next time after we were adamant about it.
They replaced our brakes for $1400 (not needed according to successive visits to the dealer) and do not have a record of it.
What we found out was that they would like us to pay for the transmission, even though we were only 2K outside the warranty at the time. They continually delayed and did not respond to our requests.
They also mentioned that they found metal shavings near one of the plugs during their investigation and that the transmission might be loose.
In the process of this service, BMW damaged the rear bumper when washing the car. The dealership admitted then denied that they would repair the damage afterwards.
I have elevated this request to the service manager but he is not responding. He would not meet with me for even 15 minutes to discuss the problems and view the bumper. The last conversation was that BMW would pay for half of the cost of the transmission, only after we paid for the investigation to open the transmission up.
The service has been astoundingly bad. BMW Service for one year could not determine the source of the sound and did not note it on my file for my automobile. Hence, they feel that half of the cost of the part would be adequate as compensation since it cannot be under either warranty (BMW or extended) as there was no note of it on their files (which I have not seen). I believe that I got a bad transmission part and that I am not getting my due attention as a current and still potential BMW product owner.
I am wondering if anyone could give me any advice first on the transmission issue. I understand that the MINI manual transmission is sealed and once it is open it needs to be replaced anyways. The cost for the a whole new installed was told to be $5000 CDN. Since my vehicle is older, it is not worth my while almost to pay this price for something that should have been covered. Even with the half of the parts cost being offered by BMW, it will still be $3500.
Secondly, how can I get this resolved in order for it to be covered as it was covered but was not repaired during the warranty period due to dealership incompetence? Do I need to escalate this action higher to the manager above the service manager? I am willing to do this. I am also willing to contact BMW Canada to try and address this problem. I am surprised that there is no goodwill within this dealership considering the negative press they could receive from their actions (including this email thus far).
You advice would be appreciated.
Kind Regards,
Michael M. Stahl
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

You will find that it's very rare for any extended warranty to do "any" goodwill repairs once the mileage/time is up. It's even true with GM's GMPP plan. When you are over, the warranty is done and that's it! Any kind of "goodwill" warranty is usually done by the manufacturer when you are "slightly" over on the time or mileage of the "original" factory warranty.
Ian
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Ian is probably right...Out of warranty, even by a couple of thousand kilometers, probably means out of warranty. You can of course hire an attorney, but I suspect that will avail you nothing.
I suppose you have the CVT?
I found some examples of these trannies at www.car-part.com and you might be able to find a tranny from a junker that would do the job at a lower price than you were quoted.
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This type of car seems to be full of faults unlike the German buit BMW branded cars, The Mini is assembled in the UK & its parts are sourced from all over the world using bits from the far east & sout america, the cheaper parts compromises qualiy quite often, the smaller pre 2000 model minis as well as being easier to repair are actualy smaller overall, a reconditioned manual box for one of these should only cost about a few hundred pounds.
Steve.

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Steve, you are quite right , parts are made and all over the world, sent to the UK as already assembled components, we here in UK then build the car and distribute it,
The BMW/ MINI network, does not have a in house gearbox repair section, infact even BMW GB LTD don't repair gearboxes in house, they might change auto filters and reverse light switches and various other gearbox related components, but they would not open the box and then rebuild with new parts, 1,, because of the labour costs as opposed to an off the shelf replacement, 2,, they are not equipped with the various special tools required to strip and rebuild, 3,, they don't have staff trained in this field,
I would bring this whole saga to the attention of the dealer principal, he is above everyone, bring it to his attention by LETTER, and if necessary, CC it to your family solicitor, and your local newspaper motoring section editor, and BMW customer services North America, and Canada, and Germany if necessary,
Offer him a way out of this mess by offering him your alternative suggested repair for this vehicle, acceptable by both you and him, afterall you are the customer, and with out you he will be out of a job,
The principal will call a meeting of all staff involved ,,, his main aim will be to impress BMW and his staff by successfully rectifying this problem and demonstrating "customer retention" to his staff,
"Note" I have just completed a replacement g/box in a 02 cooper and the total cost was 1100 this included fitting a new clutch while the box was out, this was a reconditioned box with a guarantee of 12 months or 12,000 miles,, done by a none franchised garage in UK,
Hope that helps, Fitzy
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By the way Michael............. your in the wrong NG, should be alt.autos.new-mini but we don't mind helping out here, Fitzy

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Hi Fitzy and Steve,
Thanks for the response. I will copy everyone I know to see if I can get some improved attention to my vehicle and resolve this once and for all.
Quick question: for the transmission on the 02, was it a complete replacement? i am wondering if BMW Toronto's exploratory session is just BS? I thought that the transmission was sealed and he would have to replace it anyways if you could as you mentioned (equiment, trained mechanics, etc).
thanks,
Michael

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I doubt a dealer has mechanics trained to work on autos - and at their labour cost it would be uneconomic anyway.
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*Welcome to Shit Creek - sorry, we're out of paddles*

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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London SW

Hi Michael, Yes is the answer to your question, the dealer is not equipped or staffed to do internal repairs to auto's or manual gearboxes, When the dealer took your car for diagnostic's, all he would have done is, 1) Road test by quality controller and/or senior technician, 2) physical examination of the trans, to make sure nothing is externally insecure etc, Dave said ,, its a question of labour costs,,, he's right,, its more economical for the service dept to buy in a new trans, then work to the manufacturers scheduled time for removal and re fitting, HTH Fitzy
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On 30 Dec 2006 16:54:13 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I've been to a lot of dealerships for service in a lot of places within the US. Never once have I been to a dealer and had service work done and NOT gotten some kind of paperwork. If you were having issues that weren't documented on the paperwork they gave you then you should have done something about it then... Now it is your word against theirs. Sorry, but it sounds like you should have been more persistent in having the noise diagnosed and repaired while the vehicle was under warranty. As it stands now they have offered more than I would expect they would in this circumstance so I would take them up on it before they change their mind!
Steve B.
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I think you were extremely stupid to not have documented the problems 'while it was under warranty'. Especially with the 'sleaze' reputation of car Dealers, used or new that you seemed to have been the recipient of already in the past from these bozos.
I also think you are extremely lucky they are willing to pay for any of the repairs.
It is out of warranty...
Mike 86/00 CJ7 Laredo, 33x9.5 BFG Muds, 'glass nose to tail in '00 88 Cherokee 235 BFG AT's Canadian Off Road Trips Photos: Non members can still view! Jan/06 http://www.imagestation.com/album/pictures.html?id !15147590 (More Off Road album links at bottom of the view page)
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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The sheer fact that they are willing to pay for a "percentage of the repairs" is almost an admission of responsibility, regardless of any paperwork, and I am sure that somewhere in there computer system is the documentation you need, providing the car was booked in with the dealer for diagnosis, a job card opened up and a invoice submitted to the owner for this service,
Fitzy
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Yes, I think so as well. I am going to ask them for all of their service records on my vehicle so I can look through them to see what was reported and what was acted upon. I believe that they are just hoping that I will consider and accept their offer immediately.
Kind regards,
Michael

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I assumed that they documented this on their system. Guess I was wrong that customers would not trust BMW to completely document everything on their system. However, I will be asking for all documentation that they have on their system to be printed out. I assumed when they said that they went through my service history they would be honest but I guess I will find out if they were. I do not trust them anymore.
On a side note, we fixed the brakes on the car at one point and currently they printed out a bill yet they did not have this documentation on their computer system anymore.
Kind regards,
Michael M. Stahl

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Write a letter to BMW Canada and explain the problem. I believe there is also a Canadian equivalent to the BMWCCA. If you aren't a member, you should become one. They can probably help as well. It's clear the dealer will not.

Manual transmissions shouldn't fail like that. I have a 535i with 320,000 miles on the transmission and it's just fine. Transmissions fail for a reason. Somebody needs to find out what that reason is.

I am surprised you haven't done so already.

My advice is never to buy a front wheel drive car. Dropping the transmission on the 535 and putting it back is a three-hour job in the driveway. Dropping the transmission on the new Minis is... well... not fun. --scott
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"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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Hi Scott,
Thanks for the information.

I think that I will write a letter to BMW and the the principal of the BMW Toronto dealer and see what he says.

What do you think the reason is? Simply a defective part? Any reasons would be appreciated. They think that the whole assembly holding the transmission is off. Hence the shavings (metal) in the engine (not sure where ... they would not tell but told my wife who is not sure now).

Thanks. I am not looking forward to their "exploratory work" on the vehicle to determine if in fact it is a transmission which it very likely is. They will not commit to whether it is or not. They are in a we will open it up and then tell you what we will do. I want some commitments and not be stuck with a partially disassembled transmission (which I believe is sealed anyways - so don't they have to replace it anyways?).
As for the BMW instead of a MINI, I was going to buy a three series wagon but not sure I will anymore as I do not have much confidence in BMW anymore.
Kr,
Michael
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So sorry that my post ignored the fact that this is a manual... Junkyard trannies still offer a potential solution to you.
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Hi,
I am considering fixing it with a transmission that is not new by a mechanic who fixed my Hondas when I was driving them instead.
How much would a tranny cost from a junkyard? Do you know if the MINI transmissions are sealed? I think that I am screwed once they open it up. Or at the very least committed to replacing it.
Kr,
Michael
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Don't buy bmw muck... :)
Get a REAL mini. :)
Mick
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wrote:

Hi Mick,
I am seriously considering not buying a BMW product anymore and telling everyone I know not to purchase a BMW product. At the very least, I am not going to deal with this dealership anymore as the other Toronto area dealerships have to be better in terms of service.
Kind regards,
Michael M. Stahl
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