BMW Canada appears to be tightening its warranty return policy.
The company expects returned parts to undergo a forensic diagnosis at a BMW dealership before it will issue any refunds. This is the case for all parts, not just electronic parts. The cost of the diagnosis is not covered under the warranty.
While that has been the policy for some time, the carmaker is said to have been observing it more strictly in recent weeks.
A strict adherence to this policy was confirmed by two dealerships — one in London, Ont., and one in Montreal, Que.
The Quebec dealership noted that the policy is mainly in place for electrical components, but that it applies to all parts, especially when visual damage is not evident.
A CARS magazine reader in London, Ont. said he brushed up against the policy this week when he tried to return a wiper motor.
Tony Vieira, owner of Integrity Auto London South, said BMW would not honour his claim on the defective part unless the vehicle had been diagnosed at a BMW dealership first. The diagnosis came with a price tag of about $140.
“I’m just wondering if anyone else has run into this situation,” Vieira said. “Apparently, the diagnostic fee still applies even if the part was found to have been defective.”
The local dealership said that was BMW policy.
Vieira, who has bought about $4400 worth of BMW parts in the past few months, with no returns or warranty claims, asked the dealership for a written copy of the policy, but was not provided with one. BMW/Mini Canada confirmed the policy on the phone to him, but also declined to provide a written explanation of the policy.
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