BMW Complaint - There needs to be a better way.
SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI -- I have had 3 BMW's and have enjoyed owning and driving them. Let me restate that. I have enjoyed them until the current BMW. I didn't know until well after the fact that my car was severely damaged when it was unloaded in Baltimore. It went through repair and was sold without any disclaimer at to the damage and repair. That's not a problem because the car is beautiful and you can't tell that it has been damaged. The frame was bent and can't be realigned because of the damage, but the driving of the car isn't a problem.
My complaint is they key system for the car. It's a 1995 740IL and my son took the car 680 miles to a LAN party in Missouri prior to the Memorial Day weekend. When he got in the car to start home last Thursday they car wouldn't turn over. He called AAA and they took the car to Reliable BMW in Springfield Missouri. They determined that the key had lost a lobe and it needed a new key. They also said that it needed a new module. It had to be ordered. Since it was Thursday of a long weekend they said that the parts wouldn't be in till Wednesday of the following week. My son was visiting a guy who had left town as my son was leaving. He was stuck in a strange city 680 miles from home and didn't have a lot of money.
I called my local BMW dealership (Kelly BMW in Columbus OH) and the service manager told me they could start the car and he could drive it home without shutting it off. They could fix the car locally and my son would not have the expense of staying in a strange city for a week more than he wanted to be there. I called the dealership to tell them to start the car and let my son drive it home. They refused because they said it was impossible for that model to be started without the key and module.
Bottom line: I sit here with a bill in my hand for $467.28. That's the charge to replace the key. $45 of that bill is for freight for the key and module. Damned expensive shipping costs for a part that takes 6 days to get delivered. I am upset that a car as modern and as expensive as the BMW 740IL can't have an emergency system so that people could get home when there is a problem with a key. It shouldn't take a week to fix a problem with a key. $467 is an incredibly expensive charge for a defective key.
This is definitely the last BMW I will ever buy. I drive a Toyota Tundra pickup truck that is an incredibly reliable vehicle. I would get in it with no notice and go anywhere in the US or Canada with it and have not the first bit of doubt about making it home. A much more expensive vehicle like the BMW should give an owner the same degree of comfort and security. Mine doesn't. BMW doesn't deserve the reputation that it had earner prior to the last decade. People vote for vehicles and other products by taking their hard earned money and buying products with it. It's how we let the producers of things know we are unhappy with how the do business. With this in mind I am never going to buy another BMW product. When they let a member of my immediate family down they don't deserve my respect or my business. It is no longer the Ultimate Driving Machine in this family.