BMW Motorcycles Complaint - Don't buy a BMW - No warranty coverage for a known defect.
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 it's 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.