TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

How a BMW Dealer Protected Me?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Mile Erlic, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. Mile Erlic

    Mile Erlic Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2012
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Victoria, B.C.
    I'm not sure where to post this, so I'm putting it here. I believe it is relevant in reference to the discussions on "illegal" Tesla stores, the grievances of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) against factory direct auto sales and against Tesla in particular, and NADA's claim of protecting the consumer.

    Four years back my parents decided to gift their 1990 BMW525 (100,000 km) to my son as a high school graduation present. The car had low miles and had run perfectly for many years. Being the caring grandparents they are, they took an extra step and took the vehicle to the local BMW dealer to be serviced so it would run perfectly for their grandson.

    A few days later my son received his car. He was overjoyed! Well, only a few days went by and the engine overheated severely. I got phone call and drove to the site of the engine seizure. I had the car towed to the dealership to see what was going on and after inspecting it, they told me that the cylinder head and head gasket had warped from massive heat damage, that there was no chance of a repair and that they would do me a favor and take the car away and dispose of it for free.

    Well I looked at this car in the dealership parking lot. It was 18 years old, and yes I was tempted to just get rid of it and get my son something new. The dealership sales people were eager to help. However, I had a second thought and called a tow truck and had the car towed cross town to an independent repair shop.

    The repair shop has a sole proprietor, a very experienced Scott. He did his analysis and the results were quickly in. The dealer had never tightened the cylinder head bolts properly and the oil and coolant were mixing. He did the repair in a couple days and the Beamer purred like a baby once more. He told me to come back once a week for four weeks to flush the oil out. I did that, and the car has been running beautifully ever since. It now has 160,000 km, which is nothing for a Beamer.

    So this is my story about how the Victoria B.C. BMW Dealership protected me. I know very few people who have had good experiences with dealers. I can say that after this gross violation, I hope Tesla will fight with everything it has for the right to serve its customers directly. In my opinion car dealerships are local monopolies protected by political grease that add no value to the automobile supply chain. If they disappear completely, I will shed no tear.
     
  2. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2011
    Messages:
    15,487
    "I'm a Tesla reservation holder and I approve this message."
     
  3. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Messages:
    6,097
    Location:
    Redwood Shores, CA
    Interesting story. Yes, I've been taken to the cleaners by local VW and Mini dealers charging me almost 2X for new brakes and such while the great, independent shops nearby (thanks, Yelp!) did the job for barely X and yes, offered free followup checkups for certain symptoms.

    The flip side of this story is that, unlike with all these brands where there are reliable, independent shops that specialize in one auto brand or the other, with Tesla, their service is the only game in town. Here's hoping that Tesla's excellent, customer-centric approach to service continues well into their adolescence as a company.
     
  4. Adm

    Adm Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,048
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    There are endless stories like this, but I'll share this one. My father bought a '78 Mercedes 280S and had it serviced by the Mercedes dealer for the first 5 years. After that he went to an independent garage who he did business with. They found that that hard to reach 6th spark plug had never been replaced.

    My Iveco (Fiat sub brand) 5 ton truck had been in and out of the garage 3 times leaking oil. On the 4th visit they tell me they have to overhaul the engine at my expense because the warranty had expired. I told them something else and at last they paid half. Karma is a bitch as they forgot to tighten the bolt for the timing belt and blew a valve right thru the top... which had to be repaired on their dime.
     
  5. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    15,853
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Everyone has a story like that. A coworker of mine took his car to a GM dealer for service. They told him the clutch was going and wouldn't last the month - needed replacement ASAP. He didn't believe them and took the car to an independent garage. Answer: "The way this clutch was adjusted it probably wouldn't have lasted more than a week or two". He traded the car two years later, and it was still running the same clutch.
     
  6. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Messages:
    2,427
    Location:
    WY
    Let them take Tesla to court and Tesla would naturally ask for public hearings on the Colorado statute, as recently amended, to confirm how 'dealers protect public'. Public hearings is the *last* thing the NADA wants to have to endure. "Public hearings", "public testimony" are the phrases that Tesla, in any response, should repeat again & again. Colorado residents should demand from their legislators just why they voted for this amendment. Colorado seems to be chosen for a showdown. The last thing NADA wants is a queue around the block and a crush in the lobby.
    --
     
  7. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Messages:
    11,923
    That's my thinking too. Sure, some dealers suck, but we have options when it comes to service. Maybe in 10 years there will be tesla certified shops
     
  8. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2012
    Messages:
    6,890
    Location:
    Drammen, Norway
    I agree with the general consencus in this thread - i.e. dealerships will often not give you the best servicing of the car and certainly not the best price for service. However, how does this apply to Tesla? The analogy would be that in a couple of years, when EV adoption has increased, there will be independent shops/mechanics that will do a better job than Tesla servicing/repairing the car? And at a better price (than $600/year for example)?
     
  9. 78Lion

    78Lion Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2012
    Messages:
    124
    Location:
    Maryland
    I hope there are independent dealers and that Tesla encourages and supports them wholeheartedly. First, that won't happen without a critical mass of vehicles to support (Tesla is successful as a car company) and that Tesla recognizes it has better fish to fry than being in the maintenance business. Ford isn't in the maintenance business, no major manufacturer is. Warranty versus maintenance/repair will be an issue unless Tesla transfers warranty work to independent certified shops. Wouldn't that be nice problem to have for Tesla.
     
  10. Mile Erlic

    Mile Erlic Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2012
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Victoria, B.C.
    Independently owned, Tesla certified repair and maintenance shops make perfect sense to me. Tesla can keep doing their higher value design and development work and the well trained independent Tesla mechanics can serve their local clients.
     

Share This Page