I've been leasing my car for three years and had my third annual oil-changing appointment today. By the end of it, I was told there is light oil leaking and a serious problem with one rear tire (see the pictures). And the possible reason for leaking is that some small rock may pierce through the protective cushion and hit the oil tank inside.
That made me confused.
- First, the cushion is supposed to protect the machines inside. I drove only on Calgary's city roads and rarely exceeded 80 km/h; what kind of rock can get through that cushion?
- Second, the machine is supposed to be of high-quality. Why a small gravel, after its forwarding momentum had already been relieved by the cushion, could cause serious leaking damage on it?
- I only drove about 37,000 km on city road, how the quality of the tires can be so unreliable?
They told me the problems are completely out of their warranty scope and I have to pay more than $4,300 to fix them. I think at least for the leaking problem, there might be something wrong with the car itself. So, I talked to the service manager. The manager, even without checking the problem, repeated the same thing as their service advisor, i.e., no matter what, it's not BMW's problem, it's all your problem as a driver, you have to pay yourself or talk to your insurance company ------ When I expressed my concern about the possible quality issue with the car, the managers (there are two of them) just claimed he/she never saw such a problem before (without checking any historical data or even bothering to have a look at the computer records. I don't understand without hard data as supporting evidence, where did they get such confidence for their claim? or perhaps just out of some groundless defensing habit?).
As I know nothing about mechanics, I called someone later who knows it better than me and sent him the pictures. He told me this kind of problem could also be caused by the mechanic when they changed oil. But of course, the customers cannot get any proof or evidence. Even if they go third-party authority for investigation or legal resort, they have to think about how much time and energy they may waste in the process ----
Seems I have no other choices but paying for fixing. ---
I share my experience here for anyone who hope to get some useful information to make wise purchases decisions. My lessons:
- Don't blindly believe in brand.
Before I leased the car, a friend once told me in the current auto industry, the quality advantage already doesn't exist with those so-called upscale brands as the production level of almost all brands converged to be similar because of the maturity of this category of products. I didn't listen to him and stubbornly believed higher prices mean higher quality and more security. Now I know he might be right. The higher margin I paid stupidly is just for the brand premium. There is no the higher quality I blindly expected.
- Please spend a little bit time and check the historical recall information for this brand. (No such info on their own websites; I did it too late.). Hundreds of models have been recalled in the past 15 years! The following website provides detailed info: https://www.auto123.com/en/recalls/details/bmw/ on the long list of recall models and accurate descriptions of the quality problems.
- Don't expect to solve your problem by talking to customer service. The good attitude and smiles are only for the potential purchasers. After you bought, they only care about if they can make more money from you. The customer service people are more like defenders for we-are-perfect-no-matter-what-it-can't-be-our-problem. An insider once told me accidently that they don't rely on selling new cars to make profits but on the post-sales services. Unfortunately, I didn't pay much attention then, now I kind of understand what those words really meant. -----
- Lastly, read non-five-stars comments for advice. Online marketing firms get paid to pile praises online for their clients. There is nothing really valuable in those perfect comments.