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My experience with BMW
Posted by on
To whom it may concern, the purchase of this X3 was my first BMW. I bought it used from a dealership in Lincoln. It is in new condition however, passenger door did not open from the outside and the dealership promised in writing that would be fixed and license plates mounted. I took the vehicle to Husker BMW in Lincoln myself. I had only driven it about three days when I had taken it there and was especially concerned about how it shifts on the highway. Husker BMW service manager assured me that it is no big deal and a simple software update should fix the problem. When they told me it was finished, I made a special trip from my home to Lincoln (about 60 miles) only to find the passenger door did not open from the outside or inside. When I finally got my BMW X3 back I noticed small tears to the leather interior of the door and scratches on the tinting of the window and no difference in the of shifting characteristics. After a week of waiting for my for a response to several calls made to Husker BMW; I called John Markel in Omaha and made an appointment the next day.
At Markel they seemed more customer service oriented, I felt they were genuinely interested in solving my problem which was comforting because at this point I felt like I was limping along driving in Manual Mode on the highways and in transit tags about to expire along with factory warranty. I myself worked as a mechanic in a Ford and Chevy dealership in Nebraska City and felt the quality control at BMW of Lincoln was very inferior to standards for GM. I am now a Jet Engine mechanic in the Guard and supervise 20 year olds who know to protect a surface if your tool may damage it. I was concerned my experience is the result of my being a new owner of a BMW and being naive or perhaps less important because my warranty was about to expire, but at this point I was afraid to take my new vehicle back to Husker auto group.
I apologized to John Markel for the in transits about to expire however I had the plates with me but had not been to Lincoln yet where they would install them for free (out of state vehicle that needed a front plate). I placed the most emphasis and time on the shifting issue because this bugged me the most and is the only problem that would keep me from wanting to continue being the owner of this vehicle. I was informed they may have to put as much as 100 miles on the vehicle in order to isolate the problem and ensure it is properly repaired. The maintenance representative said she would drive the vehicle home to a small town about 25 miles south of Omaha which I thought was strange mostly because I expected it would be someone with years of experience behind a wrench who would be attempting to detect symptoms of a problem.
I also informed John Markel that it appeared that the fabric on the pillars along the sides of the windshield was faded and wrinkled, I pointed this out to BMW of Lincoln but they must not have seen this as something they fix under warranty. After a few days I got a message from John Markel stating that they found some strange behavior in the shifting and replaced some things, the pillars were replaced and that they had to charge my credit card $91 for license plate holders, I questioned the $91 and she said the front one was chrome. I figured at the time after I get the plates mounted for free, I can return the $91 plate holder and get my card reimbursed, I didn’t care... I was optimistic it would shift correctly.
When I got my BMW X3 back I first noticed it seemed louder as soon as I started it, and that my license plate holder was black plastic, and then I noticed scratches on the windshield along the bottom where it meets the dash from the installation of the pillars. When I got on interstate 680 south I was cruising at 70MPH and without any acceleration, it downshifted just before the exit to pacific street. There are vehicles with half the power of an X3 that never need to downshift going 70MPH on the interstate. Taking HWY50 south to Syracuse with the cruise control set at 60, my X3 downshifted to go up all but two or three hills which amounted to about 28 downshifts in 34 miles. Hwy 2 is a four lane hwy comparable to any interstate in Nebraska with no hills worth mentioning however, from Nebraska City to Lincoln going 70 down HWY2, it downshifts on 3 occasions. Driving on gravel roads (which I have 5 miles of to get to my house) is especially hazardous when it downshifts hard just as I crest a hill trying to keep to the right. When this first happened, it surged pretty hard despite no movement of the gas pedal. I immediately let off the gas because I did not want to go any faster, because of the amplified torque of being in way too low of gear; it activated the 4x4 antiskid measures. For this reason and the sheer annoyance of downshifting for every hill I drive perpetually in manual mode when not city driving (in Otoe county is most the time).
When I tried to contact the John Markel serveice rep, someone else was taking her place and left her a note for since she “understands” my problem. Several days later called again but she was busy but would get right back to me… which never happened. When I called the third time, she was busy and a note was left for her. By the fourth time and thereafter, my purpose was to inform them I was attempting to return the $91 worth of plastic which I removed from my front bumper and replaced with a free one. When I was available to get to Omaha before closing time, I got a hold of a different representative who was expecting me when I made a special trip to Markel BMW. Upon arrival my new representative was with another client so I had a member of Sales show me to parts department where they told me they cannot take back my $91 plastic license plate holder. To keep from throwing it at them, I bit my lip and placed the $91 piece of plastic on the counter for them to throw away and stomped off.
My next goal for this visit was to attempt to find a code so my Bluetooth phone could sync with my X3. The gentlemen behind the service counter were telling me that since there is no card in my owner’s manual, they will have to plug my X3 into the computer to find the 4 magic numbers which will be in the neighborhood of $100 or whatever the minimum labor rate. I explained gentlemen behind the service counter that if I have to pay for anything such as a number, I will go ballistic on you. In frenzy they had a printout of compatible phones and slurry of comforting promises. A guy I had never seen approached me with a note from one of my phone calls to be delivered to Kelly as though to show me they do know my case and are willing to acknowledge it now. He asked me about the shifting problem. I told him it doesn’t matter; I’m trading it in on a Subaru before fall anyway. By the time I drove home and back, my warranty will have expired; which I began to think is what they wanted… just to get me out of their hair.
I like my X3 otherwise but it seems very sad that a vehicle that advanced has such a weird shifting behavior. This thought mystifies me every time I leisurely cruise up a slight incline at less than 40 mph and the engine rpm over 3K. It is very likely I will trade it in on a Subaru because driving in manual really feels like I’m compensating for a mechanical problem on my X3. I would love a manual transmission in an X3 however I shudder to think of taking it to DesMoines IA or Denver for repairs where I would probably find the same sloppy overpriced maintenance.

P.S. I see my customer satisfaction questionnaire has expired, so I’ll try to get it to you best I can.

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Add To The List of Horror Stories With Garages!
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
DORVAL, QUEBEC -- I heard a radio advertisement by BMW for a 15 pt fall inspection for only $29.95. I booked a appointment for this offer at a recently opened BMW dealership in the Montreal West-Island district called BMW West-Island. It replaced another BMW dealership in the area that closed previously called BMW Jalbert.
Upon arriving for my scheduled appointment I noticed the former service manager from the now defunct Jalbert dealership where for years I had my car serviced. I had a situation with him when he refused to take responsibility for a wheel that was coming off my car a couple of days after he switched my tires from summer to winter. He claimed that someone was was trying to steal my tire and got interrupted in the act and that was how I was missing half the bolts on the wheel and the remaining ones on the verge off coming off.
After the 15 point inspection I got a report of what needed to be done. What was surprising was on the list were items
new wipers $88.00
rear balljoints $656.00
rear suspension arm $1145.00
That already been replaced this year! I told that to my service contact and he called in the mechanic who when confronted just shrugged his shoulders.
Also they wanted to do repair a leak for my transmission and provided a quote for $289.52 with parts that did not exist on my transmission. My car is standard and the parts were for a automatic transmission. My car did not have these type of parts.
When I was leaving the dealership I noticed when starting the car it would not engage the starter and the key had to be turned twice to engage. I phoned them on this and about the transmission estimate. They told me to return the car so they could verify what was going on with the starting system and what actually had to done to solve the leak on the transmission.
When I called back a few days later to schedule a appointment I mentioned I am not paying for this right? I was told yes at $132.00 per hour as they doubted their mechanic did anything to do this and it was just a coincidence. Just like my tire coming off I thought. I think the mechanic would have mentioned it in his report about the starting problem. I decided to complain, I called back and left a detailed message to the General Manager and got no answer back. I did not bother with the service manager due to my experience with him on the loose tire and I figured that my service contact had already spoken to him on this.

Follow-up: went to an independent garage owned by a previously certified BMW mechanic and had them look at my transmission among other things. The leak was so miniscule on the transmission I was told just to have it checked when I had my oil changed. Why the dealer did not top off the transmission fluid during the 15pt inspection is a unanswered question. They found my coolant needed to be changed as the tests showed it was only good to -20C. Dealer did not look at this, even though the inspection was supposed to get you through winter. Last the dealer said I needed a wheel alignment for $149.00 plus tax and this garage said I did not not. The tires on the car showed no signs of uneven wear.

2011 BMW G650GS motorcycle
Posted by on
I was heading on a straight way going 20-30 mph roughly on my 2011 BMW G650Gs with 95 miles on it. The next thing I knew I went down... (Beginning rider so needless to say going 40mph right now is more than fast enough for me.) Needless to say I was pretty banged up but that's not the topic here my injuries. Upon getting a closer look at the bike I noticed that the fork had failed, the axle was bent and the wheel bearing looked out of round. I bought this bike since it is an enduro meant for off on road use and I travel a lot of country roads, but if heading on a straight a way on asphalt going this slow caused fork failure - OMG I just shiver at the thought.. Needless to say I am NOT HAPPY ON THIS SUSPENSION PRODUCT PUT ON THIS BIKE.

Don't use BMW to finance or lease your car.
Posted by on
When I turned in my 528 in Sept after the 2-yr lease was up, I had to call BMW to get them to reduce the rate on the over-mileage.

Problem #1: They sign you up for "Paperless billing". Sounds great until you try opening any of the emails they send you. None of the links work. Plus, if you want to find your account information, you need to have your account number, which is NOT the number on the paperwork for your lease. How do they assign your account number? It's a mystery. It doesn't correspond to any of the paperwork I got at the signing. And, no matter how many times you call their customer service line to complain, they never seem to be able to fix this problem.

Problem #2: At some point about 6 months before the end of the lease, they email you a link to allow you to "buy" additional miles at a reduced rate. Trouble is, the links in their emails don't work (See #1 above.)

Problem #3: At end of lease, paperwork from dealer lists over-mileage charges, damage charges (if any), and their "Disposition Fee" of $350. (like they haven't gotten enough out of you by this point...) Well, I called BMW Finance "Customer Service" and after about a week of calls, they finally agreed to lower the rate for overage on miles and waive the Disposition Fee. They sent a form agreement that stated, " lump sum payment under my Lease with BMW Financial Services will be due in the amount of $XXX..."

I made the payment, thinking that was the end of it.

Problem #4: That wasn't the end of it. Four months later, I get multiple phone calls leaving only a call-back number. No information why they are calling. Seems that after they made the deal to waive the dispo fee, someone must have had heartburn about that because NOW they claim the agreement they made was only for miles and I still owe the dispo fee.

I've talked with three people and they all have the same horrible attitude. No matter how reasonable you try to be, they all fall back on the same company line. "We're not going to do anything more for you."

It doesn't matter if you have owned BMWs for years! (which I had, but don't now). They don't care.

There used to be accountability when your company representative made a mistake. In this case, they admit they "probably used the wrong form", but that it's the customer's fault. How does that grab you?

My recommendation: Don't use BMW Financial to finance or lease your BMW. (I would recommend that you not even buy a BMW, but this is not the dealership's fault.) Proceed at your own risk because they will never take responsibility for their errors.
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Hydro ABS System Shot at 37,000 Miles
Posted by on
Rating: 2/51
MELLBOURNE, FLORIDA -- I took my 328i into the dealership for a recall issue and also allowed them to change the oil. I drove it home and everything was fine. I put it in the garage and three days later I pull it out to drive it to church and my 328i that was my dream come true car started displaying all these warning lights. I find two things ironic. This happened not 3 days after they took my car in to fix the recall issue and also after my warranty expired.

I called the dealership and told them that my car was displaying 3 warnings so they told me to bring it back in. I took the car back and had to pay over 100.00 just to get it on the diagnostic machine and then they called me and dropped a hydrogen bomb in my lap. They stated that it was the ABS Hyrdro Unit. My car only has 37,000 miles on it and now needs over 2,300 dollars worth of work.

From doing my online homework this appears to be a common problem with the BMW's and they should recall this item as well. It's strange but the people that work at the dealership - mechanics and customer service all stated that they would not own a BMW. That should say a lot about the quality of these cars. They are supposed to be high end but, I tell you the truth my Hyundai Santa Fe is more efficient. I am so disappointed in how a luxury car dealership treats their customers. You spend a ton to but these cars and the upkeep is more expensive than the actual car itself.

I was offered 10% off the repair but that was a standard coupon so no one went out of there way to help me. I still fill that the dealership is responsible for my car issues especially when the car was under warranty it was perfect I brought the car used and it still had a two year warranty. I have only put about 4 thousand miles on the car since I purchased it because I have another vehicle that I use as my primary vehicle..My husband owns a Mercedes and that dealership treats people with the class they deserve. DO YOUR HOMEWORK ON THESE CARS BEFORE YOU PURCHASE ONE THEY ARE A MONEY PIT!
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Poor Service Followup
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND -- We live in Salisbury Maryland which is about 90 miles from Annapolis where we purchased a new 2012 BMW 328i about 0ne (1) year ago. The car now has less than 10,000 miles on it and has not had its first service requirement as of yet. Last week there were torrential rain storms on the Eastern Shore and we were driving the car during these storms. Salisbury quickly closes streets that are flooded and the streets have what you would expect regarding wetness and puddles. On one of the main streets, the car started missing, and the engine light came on as well as a warning notice, "engine malfunction Drive Moderately". We drove the car home and parked in the garage for several days thinking that may be the electronics got wet, but the error messages did not go away. We called BMW service in Annapolis and they said bring the car to Annapolis. After much discussion, they finally had me call BMW road service to haul the car to Annapolis. They called me the next day and said that water had got into the engine and they recommended that I change the air filter and the engine oil. I told them go ahead since it was under warranty, they then stated that it was not covered under warranty. After discussion with the service representative for 10 minutes, I told him to have a manager call me. The next morning, (No call from the manager), the service representative called again and stated they changed the oil and filter, but they still had the error message. He said they checked it out and found a rod was bent and the car needed a new $21,000 engine, and by the way it was not covered under warranty. I asked why, and he stated that this was flood damage. I asked how high the water would have to get to have this damage, and he stated up to the windows. Since he had the car I asked, "Do you see any signs of a water mark, or indication anywhere on the car that water even got up to the floor boards?" The answer was in the negative. My next question, "You mean to tell me I can't drive a BMW in the rain? No response. I said have a manager call me. Well 48 hours later, still no call, they have the car, and I am absolutely frustrated. This is my 3rd BMW, and it will be my last, as well as letting all my friends know of this great experience.
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"2006 BMW 750LI Valve Job at 75,000 miles car is a waste of money"
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
Always wanted to own one so bought the car with 25,000 miles used through BMW financing, did all of their regular maintenance and had an oil leak. Took it to BMW and they hit me with a $7200 bill to fix a car with $75,000 miles. Needless to say I will never own another. The seat motor is bad, leather on windows pulling up so can't raise electric shades, several times I have rolled down a hill and then stopped and the tranny kicks in and it feels like someone rear-ending me. CD changer fails to eject and I have used it maybe two times, gloss on buttons rubbing off, paint on door jamb by floor matts flaking...should I keep going or do you get the point it is not the "Ultimate Driving Machine" Talked with representative from BMW and they said sorry there is nothing we can do...
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Better Customer Service At Wal-Mart
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
DALLAS, TEXAS -- I had a flat tire on my 2005 745 li yesterday on a very busy interstate in Dallas. After jacking up car, removing the lug bolts I was unable to get wheel off car. I called BMW roadside assistance. I gave them the vin off of car, they knew what I was driving and proceeded to tell me the only people that can change my flat tire was the dealership. Unbelievable!!

They would not help me until I gave them my credit card info and charge me for wrecker service to pick up my car. After sitting another hour the wrecker company called me to say it was going to be another hour and a half before they would pick up my car. This puts me getting to a dealership after hours. So I called the dealership and talked to service dept. They informed me that the info I received from BMW roadside was totally incorrect and that I could change the tire myself. They instructed me on tire change that I completed. I sat on side of interstate for 2.5 Hours because of the poor info I received from them.

I called back to cancel seeing how the wrecker hadn't left yet and wanted my money back. Now I have to wait 3-5 days to get a refund on the money BMW wrongfully took immediately. In my opinion I was almost scammed out of $120.00! If that would have been my wife or daughter they would have been scammed! How many people have been scammed by the incorrect info they are receiving from your roadside assistance company? I purchased the BMW because I believed the service would be above par compared to less expensive car companies, apparently I was wrong! I am very disappointed in BMW customer service!

I knew I should have bought another mercedes.
Every time I took my mercedes in for anything, they made sure I had a loaner car to drive for free!
Every time I take in the BMW I have to rent a car? Unbelievable!
At this point I do not see myself ever buying anymore of your products.
Don't buy a BMW
Posted by on
I bought a 2009 F 650 GS bike from BMW on 9/13/08. Since I was one of the first to buy a new model bike the promised delivery date was continually put back. The experience of buying the bike was a nightmare as a result. I should have walked away.

Since then I have had problems with the bike varying from minor to major. All of them due to manufacturing defects. The first problems were recall issues and a nut that hel the headlights to the bike that worked loose and had not been properly torqued at the plant. The minor repairs cumulatively took 8 days to fix. They even tried to charge me for the replacement nut for the headlights. I had to argue with them to avoid the approx. $10 charge. Later a major problem with the rear wheel came up. The bearings went requiring complete replacement of the rear wheel. It took 4 1/2 weeks for the replacement wheel to show up from Germany. I lost the use of my bike for that time and was not provided with a replacement.

Last Friday I had my bike in to a private shop for its 12000 mile service. This involves amongst other things checking and adjusting, if necessary, the valves. Upon removal of the surrounding parts, (the valve covers are hidden on this bike), my mechanic discovered a leaking valve cover gasket. He had already researched the replacement gasket when he called me to let me know it was a newly designed gasket and new bolts. To my knowledge the new gasket was redesigned and the hold-down bolts had a sleeve removed that kept the covers from being further tightened. The new gasket cost $68.97 plus 7.75% tax for a total of $74.32.

I called San Diego BMW Motorcycles and was told that the problem would have to be diagnosed by a BMW technician and even though Dave Campbell, the owner of the shop was a former BMW technician as was the mechanic doing the work I would have to bring the bike to BMW to get it diagnosed by them. Since it took a half hour's work to get to the valve covers it would take another half hour's work to put it back together. The result would be an hour's work for nothing which I was to be charged $80. It then would have to be taken apart by the BMW tech at the dealership.

Even though it was obviously leaking prior to the 9/13/11 deadline BMW was holding firm on their denial.

I had the shop put in the new gasket and finish the repair. On Saturday I called Irv Seaver BMW dealership in Orange, CA. A technician there told me there was a service bulletin about the gaskets as they had been leaking on numerous other bikes. The new part was designed to fix the obvious manufacturing defect.

With that information in hand I again called BMW North America and plead my case. In spite of the prior usage loss due to manufacturing defect and the obvious fact that they had documented the design flaw internally they still refused to reimburse me for the gasket. They continue to say that since it was not diagnosed by a BMW technician they will not take responsibility. (If it had been visible I would have taken it to them prior to 9/13/11 just to avoid any issues but I didn't have that option. They also declined to let me know of the design flaw in the gasket even though a replacement had been designed an manufactured).

If you own one of these bikes get it to a dealer immediately and have them check the gasket and replace it with the new one.
I'm filing in small claims in the morning.
Bad Customer Service From BMW
Posted by on
Took my car in for service and this is the fourth time that it has been in for the same problem. Every time I take it in they always ask me to bring it back another day after keeping the car for a few days already. For the money that you pay for a BMW, you'd expect that the customer service would be A+, but in fact it is quite the opposite. Not only do they provide poor customer service, but they don't care about their customers one bit at all. I spent over $120K on a M6 and the stitches on the seats are coming undone. My inspector was Rick Brown who handles all the inspections for Orange County. I would never take it to service at any OC dealership anymore if Rick Brown is working there and inspecting the cars. He basically told me that it was wear and tear which I know can't be, since the car is only a year old. I would rather drive to Los Angeles. A few of my friends have taken their cars to a few dealerships in BMW and they have all had a bad horrible experience with Rick Brown. If you need to take your car in for service, stay away from this man, or you will not get your car fixed even if it is under warranty.

To be honest, I drive a Toyota and a Mercedes as well and I receive way better service from all of their dealerships than at BMW. Unlike BMW, they understand customer service and try to keep their customers happy. It seems I won't be buying another BMW from any of the Orange County dealerships again, I would rather spend my money on a Mercedes because I know they provide top notch customer service. They care more about their customers than trying to make money.
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