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BMW Canada / vehicle problems!

1 St Catherines, Ontario, Canada Review updated:

Attached is a letter sent to BMW Canada in August. Since that letter I have had the vehicle back for major repairs twice. BMW Canada has continued to stone wall my requests for a replacement vehicle. BMW continues to advertise the "BMW Experience", don't buy it, they have no interest in satisfying their clients if there is a problem. Not only has the vehicle been a terrible experience, my customer service experience has been worse with both the dealership and BMW Canada.

See letter below.

August 31, 2007

Attn: Lindsay Duffield, President and C.E.O
BMW Canada, Fax [protected], Phone: [protected]

I recently leased a BMW 530i on June 29th at Performance BMW in St. Catherines on the advice of my business partner Blake Williams, who has leased 3 or 4 vehicles at that location over the past 5 or so years.

In the past eight weeks my vehicle has been returned to be fixed twice for the following repairs:

1. Brakes (twice and still not done properly despite 2 requests in early July and Mid-August.)
2. Sunroof (twice, replaced the motor in August)
3. iDrive was reset because it was not functioning properly
4. Battery - Died and was replaced
5. Speakers were cutting in and out (have been fixed)

Other issues have been regarding the service from Performance including:

1. I had arranged for the car to be picked up while I was on vacation from August 4 to the 10th. The vehicle was to be picked up from my home on Aug 6th, the key was left in the mailbox; they failed to pick up the car and the key sat in my mailbox until I got back from vacation on Aug 10th. I was not pleased because I was not using the car that week and instead had to have the car taken to Performance the following Monday. The car remained there for 10 more days for repairs to the sun roof, iDrive, and the brakes.

2. Asking for brakes to be replaced in July and August only to be told that they were fine. Andy in the service dept assured me that the squealing noise was fixed. When the vehicle was returned to me last Wednesday, August 22nd, the driver returning the car told me I should have the brakes looked at. He did not realize it was in for a brake job. The brakes had not been repaired as promised.

3. On Monday August 27th, I decided to escalate my issue regarding the brakes with Andrew Marchant (Manager) and left 2 messages on Monday and Tuesday. He did not return my calls, but had asked my sales contact John O'Neil to call me Tuesday night. I returned his call on Wednesday morning and left a message to call me back to discuss on-going issues with the brakes and 2 other minor problems that have surfaced since then. I have not heard anything from John or Andrew since.

Lastly, I received a call regarding my service at performance on Wednesday afternoon from a 3rd party survey company about the mid-August repair. I told her the above story and she assured me someone would respond. I have not had that response yet.

I have tried to resolve this directly with Performance but have not had much success. This is my first BMW, I work with 3 other colleagues with BMW's, and I have no doubt of the quality of your cars. That being said, this has been a poor experience for me and has been quite frustrating to continue to have my vehicle in the shop for over 2 weeks since I leased it, and suspect it needs to go back for at least another 3 or 4 days. I have tolerated using the loaner cars. My neighbors, family, and colleagues are aware of what is happening because I have not had the use of my car; and they have asked me why. Since I have had problem after problem with this car, people are referring to my car as the "lemon", this is not good for both of us.

I would like to have this resolved as soon as possible; my first choice would be to return the car for a different vehicle as my confidence is quite low. I'm afraid that I will have continued problems with this car and will have to start paying for it myself. I would recommend that you strongly consider this option, anything less would be a problem for me.

I hope this comes across not as a complaint but means to rectify a very poor product and service experience. John O'Neil at Performance has been outstanding in his efforts but has been limited by the failure of others.

I would appreciate a quick and fair response to this unusual BMW experience.

Doug Eley.

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  • St
      5th of Jan, 2016

    I will share my experience with Performance BMW service. The staff have been amazing and I have always been taken care of. I purchased a used Mini and after doing much review, I worked in an extended warrantee as part of the deal. Never buy a used BMW product without a warrantee. Within a week the check engine light came on. I took the car back and it was repaired that day with no charge. I also had the power window motors replaced shortly after that at no charge. I called in almost 9 months later to see what service had been done and when my next oil change should be scheduled. I was told it was long overdue and I should be doing this every 10k. I hadn’t even put 7 k on the car. For the short time I owned the car and the work that had been done. I could see that the process they claim they go through to prepare a car for re sale is not always followed to a “T”. All the above should have been taken care of prior to re sale. More recently, I had the car looked at as it had developed an engine rattle. It was determined that the timing chain was the issue. They kept my car for three days and replaced the required parts and it is fine now. The down side to this visit was the car was never put back together correctly, so back the car went the following week. They had to remove the headlamp to do the job, and left out bolts leaving the headlamp in crooked and resetting against the hood. Because of this the flashing around the headlamp was no broken. It has now been repaired.
    I still can’t believe this kind of stuff happens at high end dealer. Sure all the work was done for a small admin fee and the staff a great. But C’MON. My once amazing Mini experience has soured and that's just not cool.

    0 Votes
  • Bm
      21st of May, 2015

    I wish I did my homework too before I bought my 2015 BMW X1 (Sport Edition), and should have seen this site before signing the papers. The car have been with me for just a week and I am already experiencing alot of discomfort. My sales rep did not even mention to me that X1s have hydraulic steering. I got used to EPS in my previous cars, and noticed that hydraulic is more difficult to steer. I mentioned this to my sales rep and told me that BMW made it that way to make it cheaper for just less than $2, 000! I paid $56, 000 for the car, and this could have been mentioned to me beforehand. I am petite and the steering wheel really gave me alot of discomfort. And for those planning to buy a new car, look at the exterior from afar too. This is my another mistake, because I did not.. From afar, X1 have a terrible look at the back. The steel box which connects to the muffler can be seen from a distance. It's like wearing an Armani tuxedo, but your underpants are showing! Lol! For a luxury car, that should have been considered. And I agree, most BMW associates, after making a sale, are difficult to reach. You paid for a luxury car, you would expect only the best. Unfortunately, this is not the case for BMW. I had a better experience with non-luxury automobile companies in terms of customer service.

    0 Votes
  • A2
      15th of Oct, 2014

    Stories told above sound too familiar. I too, have a story and tried to contact Kate Robison, Supervisor at BMW Canada, only to be told that warranties are in place and a Lease is a Binding document. I reminded her that the Lease agreement was signed for a new, BMW in working condition, not a LEMON. I asked to speak to someone who supervises her, but was informed that she sits at the top. What a shame! I have not seen my 3 series in a month and a half.
    Dear consumers, Please make your problems and the total lack of support and willingness to offer any solutions from BMW Canada PUBLIC. Perhaps they will become more helpful when BMW car sales and leases start DECLINING.

    0 Votes
  • Gr
      12th of May, 2014

    Wish I did my homework before I bought my BMW.
    Back in December of 2013 I have purchased 2009 335d bmw with the excitement that I will own a nice ride with great fuel efficiency. And believe me, since then I have filled up this car only twice, but unfortunately it is cause I only had the car for two weeks. So last 5 months my car is at the dealership being fix and I don't know when it will be ready for me to drive it more. Even dealer give up communicating with me as all they always said was "this is new, we never had this problem, very unusual or the parts will be here in 3 weeks". Since then I have done more homework and realized how bad they really are, how expensive it is to maintain one since they constantly break and are out of the service for months at the time. :( BMW sucks, it is the ultimate driving machine when it drives, but they do not mention that this machine is in the shop more that it drives. BMW - Bring My Wallet!!

    0 Votes
  • Gu
      6th of Feb, 2014

    Watch before you buy your next BMW from Maranello BMW

    I need Help Please BMW Big Brand and high Payments with Lemon cars

    HI Kate

    I book a Service at Maranello BMW weeks ago for feb 5 2014 since they always have a car loaner problems, it take weeks before they would give one, as you know Kate I have major issue with your 3 series car. I called in this morning Feb 6 2014 to let them know that due to yesterdays snow storm I will be dropping off the car today and wanted to make sure that they would have my loaner ready with in no time the gentleman on the phone replied no we don't have loaner for you sorry. I am really frustrated with Maranello BMW sales staff, service staff and managers they provide a very POOR service or I should say they don't provide any service at all. I took my car back to them due to several issues and got no where with them. It's my 3rd generation BMW car and I was dealing with Mississauga BMW for Long time and never have any issue. Now that car has more issues including Poor Braking, Heating system shuts off, speaker stops working, transmission issue, black smoke from the exhaust got worse, Emission Recall we got the letter, major window noise form all windows and also the roof leaking water which still hasn't been repaired, its been 3 months that none of the inside lights works and they don't care..

    Pleases note this letter below that was send and nothing was resolved :---

    Dear BMW Management,
    > >
    > > To whom it may concern,

    Domenic D'Elia GM at Maranello BMW

    Address: 55 Auto Park Cir, Vaughan, ON L4L 8R1

    Phone:(416) 213-5699
    > >
    > > We purchased our brand new 3 serious and were really excited
    > > to experience our 3rd BMW. Unfortunately,
    > > since then the car has been giving us nothing but issues, which we would never
    > > expect from BMW cars. We faced problems
    > > including completely stalling couple of times on the road, roof water leakage, Exhaust
    > > issues like black smoke which was mention to service adviser at Maranello BMW
    > > dealership and their advice was its going to go away since it’s a new car. Another major issue is with both front driver
    > > and passenger window’s loud noise on the road. The car was with the dealership
    > > for two days to be fixed but after picking it up and driving it on the road the
    > > issue never went away. After taking the
    > > car to dealership few times they were able to diagnose that roof leak was due
    > > to the rain. We are extremely disappointed with the 3 series BMW and since we
    > > had too much hassle and negative experience we are requesting the BMW to
    > > replace this lemon car with another car as soon as possible. In fact, this is embarrassing to drive a
    > > brand that is well known for their class and reputation in the industry around
    > > the world. We believe customer satisfaction maintains high level of loyalty and
    > > that’s why we are requesting for our future satisfaction by BMW.
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >

    Brampton Ontario

    0 Votes
  • Vi
      7th of Jul, 2012

    I'm weighting this message on behalf of my customer who was told by BMW dealer that he needed a timing chain and try charge him saying they did a diagnostic check. So due to the high amount of labour and parts they came to me for advice I checked the car out and I found the cam shaft broken right in half so I called BMW in Vaughan and they wouldn't warranty it because of its mileage being 86000 is this really fare for the customer? Especially an internal damage like that ? Can this issue be resolved? Or dose my Customer has to pay for a defective engine

    0 Votes
  • Mr
      7th of Jun, 2012

    I would like to join for a class suite with BMW canada. Had so much problem with my X5d since day one. been driving it for about 3 years but I been to service more than my ACURA MDX I had in 7 years. Watch out also your mileage reading it looks like it reads incorrectly. I burn 85k in 34 months and only have 156k on my acura i drove for 7 years. We used the acura more than the BMW .


    0 Votes
  • To
      29th of Apr, 2012

    Very true and accurate portrayal of BMW Service. It looks like they make every effort to avoid warranty repairs. The service is fundamentally flawed, and they will try to trick you in in believing the charges are not related to warranty but wear n tear. I bought my X5 in 2011 and took it 11 times so far, resulting in over $1000 charges, which apparently they said are not covered by the warranty. Nobody at BMW Canada listens, and the dealership are ripping people blind. They sell lemon cars, and do not back it up. The time lost by leaving your car at the dealership is actually not taken into account at all and most of the time you do not get a loaner either, but stuck with a compact rental.
    All these folks complaining about the service are 100% genuine and portrays the facts. I mean don't take me wrong, the car drives great, but the problems with the car are very well hidden under the guise of "Ultimate Driving Machine". It's only ultimate for 4 years (under warranty, where you drive it for 3 years and 1 year lost to repairs, tho free of charge), where after the warranty, you are in deep waters if you do not have deep pockets.
    You can easily tell how bad BMW vehicles are when you goto Service dept. and see how frantically busy they are. Tells you how bad these vehicles are that need repair all the time.
    I must mention about the CPO warranty as well, it's a sham. Do not pay for it. The CPO warranty covers only those parts which have chances of breaking down once in a red moon (which usually never happens). They charge you over $5000 for CPO from the market value of same BMW, but try every single thing to avoid fixing problem with the vehicle under the warranty. They WILL charge you, if its under CPO, no matter how much you argue about the facts.
    Avoid CPO at all costs, and try to lease the bimmer new, as long it's in warranty, you will only lose the time, once it's on CPO or no warranty, you are deep waters with this german engineering which breaks down more often than a chinese made iphone copy.

    0 Votes
  • Sa
      19th of Apr, 2012

    I own a 2008 528i, Few months back i had the same issue as some of you have mentioned regarding battery drain. I took my vehicle in to have this problem checked out and was also told that the vehicle is not being driven enough. This sounded strange to me however decided to use this vehicle exclusively as we have two other vehicles in the household. I have been driving the vehicle to work for the past 3 weeks now (60km one way) One would think 100+ kilometers of driving everyday would keep the battery fully charged. However I have had to boost the vehicle atleast 10 times in the last 5 days. I took the vehicle in to the dealership and they gave me the same old story of not driving it enough, recharged the battery 100%. Drove it home and next morning the battery was dead again. BMW the ultimate driving machine is really not livig upto its name. My patience has ran out. Another meeting with the dealership manager tomorrow. Lets see what he has to say this time. Hopefully they can find a permanent fix to the problem.

    +1 Votes
  • Mi
      6th of Dec, 2011

    Performance BMW is absolutely the worst place I've ever had my vehicle serviced!!!

    +2 Votes
  • Ha
      25th of Sep, 2011

    I too bought a BMW 325XI and after just two or three months, it started to act up. First, for a little signal light bulb, I was charged $75. I could have bought the piece from Canadian Tire for $1 or 2 and fix it myself, but NO, BMW Canada does not recommend any other brand parts!

    The rear tire on the passenger side was always leaking and I had to add more air to it. BMW Canada suggested to switch the front tires with the rear ones, I agreed and they charged me quite a bit, do not remember the exact amount.

    The odometer was reading 35000 KMs when I took the car to BMW Canada for an oil change, they suggested that I need to have the oil flushed out and then refilled again, I was charged $275. Now I know why BMW owners are saying that the BMW Canada is in the "money making" business and tries to reap off the customers using a lot of excuses. I had also asked to check the air pressure in the tires, they said they did it when I asked if it was done when I was paying. Well, it was NOT done, nothing whatsoever, I could not believe it, I drove away to fix it myself!

    Then I had an issue with the door, it was jammed and the electronics would not open the door, I had to get in the driver seat using the passenger seat, way to go BMW Canada, it really looked bad when people saw me how I was getting in the driver seat! I took it to BMW Canada on Dixie Road in Mississauga, they fixed it and it cost me $900. The car had only 40, 000 KM on it! Can you believe it?!

    Then, it was problem after problem and I made one the greatest decisions in my life, I SOLD it and got rid of it!
    I was thinking of buying another BMW, but after reading all the feedback here as well as the feedback from Americans, I will NEVER ever buy another BMW "The ultimate UGLY driving experience"!

    I honestly can not believe that Germany manufactures BMW with so many issues, how on earth they do NOT fix the issues reported!!!?

    We should all prepare a petition to hold the BMW Canada accountable for selling BMW and if possible take them to court to cover the expenses incurred to all BMW owners.

    +1 Votes
  • Mc
      27th of Jul, 2011

    Quality is an issue for the high price you pay, I have had an Audi - top of line which was worse, the best has to be the Mercedes never had any issues at all, maybe lucky.
    My current BMW has lots of small problems that keep returning. I would not overly mind, but the dealer in Oakville “Budds” is awful... service desk guys are rude; the simple repairs under warranty take days. What is worse, if you bought the car from any other BMW dealer, you are a second class case... High charges for replacement vehicle, last in the queue for repairs and forget getting the feeling you are a valued customer.
    I guess the days of winning new customer at Oakville are over and they just focus on repeat business and ensuring they keep current customers happy. If anybody has a good dealer in Toronto let me know... be happy to take the car here...!
    Oh BMW Canada... The feedback I have from them is really clear, they import the vehicle only and the dealers are a private network of which they have little control - nice way to protect your brand in Canada BMW! I wish I could run my business like this... just import and sell to a private dealer network and wash my hands of product issues... maybe a new business model to try - I will call it the "rip off Canada business model for success" I think the MBA school is wrong... who needs brand protection and business values to succeed.
    Sorry little of topic with my rant… point is… BMW Budds are shocking avoid…! Not sure any dealer is any better… but I only have experience of those guys!
    I will give credit for to Audi Pfaff… I would not buy an Audi in the current range due to the issues I had with my last car… but the service in Pfaff was top class…! Always tried to deal with the issues and communicate to the customer progress and actions/remedies attempted or taken. The best bit the service with an attitude of trying to make the customer feel valued, it costs nothing, but means so much…especially when you have a problem. This is honest feedback and trust me my Audi was junk totally falling apart from day 1 as a brand new car… made in Germany! I had a lot of dealings with Pfaff and they always seemed to step up or at least make the effort to make you feel like they were.

    +1 Votes
  • Up
      20th of Jun, 2011

    I leased an x5 diesel in december 2010, after owning a gas x5 lemon, ithought i would give it another try, WELL after 5 months of driving, it left me on the hiway stranded. BMW sent out a tow truck and delivered it to the dealer, after two weeks of investigating, they saw it needed a new engine, so they ordered it from Germany and they instaled two weeks later, now after six weeks, they still have my x5 and cant figure out the other problems that didnt excist before. I asked to exchange the car for another, they said that they are not in the business of replcing cars. WOW... I give them good money for a new veichle that is not supposed to give me problems and here i am, stuck with a lemon. I would consider this an act of fraud.

    +2 Votes
  • Mo
      31st of May, 2011

    i had an issue with BMW Canbec Service
    I bought a brand new serie 535 xdrive with two sets of tire, after the winter, i went thereto put the summer set, guess what they put used tires on my cars and the service manager was lier enough to tell me they were new.
    After putting the tires, the rep left with my keys for 40 minutes while i was waiting there.
    He was trying to convience me that i needed alignement for a 3 months new car ????
    Do not go at BMW Canbec Service on Jean Talon, they are just after your pocket
    What a heak is wrong with these managers...where did they go to school ... this is my last time buying a BMW
    M Kane

    +1 Votes
  • Mi
      24th of Jan, 2011


    +1 Votes
  • Zl
      28th of Nov, 2010

    BMW is the WORST company we have ever worked with. There customer service is great if there isn't an issue but as soon as there's a problem they bail and return no calls. Voice a complaint and you just keep getting re-directed. Very dishonest sales and managers to boot only care about making a sale and the commission that comes along with it! Would never purchase another BMW ever and have advised all family and friends not to as well. Still trying to get contact information to write a formal complaint with no avail. Endras BMW of Durham is the most dishonest dealership around with absolutely horrible customer service.

    +1 Votes
  • Jz
      23rd of Nov, 2010

    I disagree with the phrase "great product terrible service" if you own a V8

    It should be "terrible V8 product, even worst service"

    I bought a 2006 750i 2 years ago and the car has been consuming about 1L of oil per 1000 km and most recently consumed about 1.2L over 800 km. I have been complaining about the issue for about a year now and have been going to the dealer ship every single time I needed to "top up and tag" my car. This was being done as part of an investigation on their part to "make sure" there was really something wrong with my car.

    Well, the last couple of times I was unable to drop it off at the dealer (about 1 hour away from home and work) because of my busy schedule and so I topped up and tagged the vehicle myself (I even took some photos to document the mileage and low oil warning). Mind you 80% of the time the dealer did that for me.

    Well now, the vehicle is back in the shop and BMW is not acklowledging the problem of excess consumption (as usual) despite the fact that I have sufficient documentation from the dealer showing that my oil consumption was beyond normal. Bunch of crooks if you ask me! If anyone wants to discuss the matter further feel free to drop me an email john.[protected]


    +1 Votes
  • Ca
      31st of Oct, 2010

    BMW - WORSE THAN A BMW SERVICE DEPARTMENT?... Cannot think of anything worse. If quality is consistency them BWM has plenty of it in the BAD AFTER SALES EXPERIENCE DEPARTMENT.

    +1 Votes
  • Ca
      31st of Oct, 2010

    BMW SUCKS 100% - great product but terrible service, they can keep ALL of their cars!

    +1 Votes
  • Ca
      31st of Oct, 2010

    BMW has terrible after sales service. It is a terrible experience all round!

    +1 Votes

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