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      12-06-2012, 06:03 PM   #1
bvanderbilt
Private First Class
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Drives: 2011 E92 M3
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Baltimore, MD


Posts: 123
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Dealer denies warranty claim for differential bolt failure - $6100 bill

Apology in advance: I am bad at summarizing; I will try to be concise as possible.

1. I love M cars. I currently have two E46 M3s and a 2011.75 E92 M3. The E92 M3 6MT has 26,000 miles on it. Unlike my E46s, I drive the E92 to relax and it has never seen the track. The car is completely mint and 100% stock (never modded) inside and out and has not been abused. Dealer confirms this. I have not driven the car much in the last four months so I know exactly where and when I've driven it.

2. A few weeks ago I began to hear a faint clunking from the rear. Next weekend heard the same clunking followed by a metal scraping sound on a downshift. Parked car immediately and had it towed to dealership where I bought the car.

3. Dealership calls me a week later and says BMW FSE inspected the vehicle and claims I must have run over something (I was shocked to hear this) so there is no warranty coverage for "accident damage." Says that differential bolt is broken and there are signs of impact to the underside. I am handed a $6100 quote for a new rear axle carrier, differential, and fuel tank. I am told by the technician that my car is "perfect" "very well taken care of" and "obviously not abused" and that they "have never seen a broken differential bolt before."

4. I am told to contact my insurance; I do and find out claim will be considered an at-cost accident and will likely result in a rate increase next cycle. I have a perfect driving record that I do not wish to ruin.

5. Since I bought the car from this dealership I would expect them to argue my case against BMW (be on my side) if BMW is denying warranty coverage. I am (or was going to be) a repeat customer -- I was in the process of negotiating the purchase of a 2013 M3 on the other side of the dealership when I got the call telling me there was a $6100 bill and a denied warranty claim.

6. I ask to be shown evidence of impact and find that evidence consists of a tiny scratch to the fuel tank, a slightly bent fuel tank hanger, and a little burring on a couple differential fins. I took some pictures:

Failed differential bolt:



Dealership claims this is evidence of impact to differential:



The pictured scratch on the fuel tank and slightly bent belt/frame are the dealership's primary claims to deny warranty claim:



Obviously no impact damage:



I would like to get your advice on how to proceed.

I feel very wronged by the dealer for the following reasons. I am:

a) adamant that I did not run over anything
b) do not believe that the 1/2" long scratch on the fuel tank is somehow related to the differential when the exhaust that sits lower has no damage whatsoever
c) after reading numerous threads on this forum (one over 100 posts) about differential bolt failures I feel I am being unjustly denied warranty coverage and that the dealer/BMW searched for a problem to blame it on. It seems they were unable to find any evidence of abuse, mods, or damage, and resorted to using what is essentially rock chip damage.

Thanks for reading!

Last edited by bvanderbilt; 12-08-2012 at 01:26 AM.