Joff
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:44 am

Software update needed for HV battery capacity check

Sun May 30, 2021 7:26 pm

I brought my 2014 i3 bev to a BMW dealership to get a hv battery capacity check done. I had been seeing the secret menu estimate of battery capacity bouncing around from 13.2 to 12.8 and back. They seemed to want me to phrase the request in the form of a complaint, as in "I am experiencing reduced range" Really, I'm just selling the car, and I am curious if it might qualify for warrantee replacement. They said they would do it for $169, but then came back a few days later and said the have to do a $250 software update before they could do the $169 capacity test. I read somewhere that BMW dosn't charge for the update, but that some dealerships do. Is there a zip drive I can order and do this myself?

3pete
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:03 pm

Re: Software update needed for HV battery capacity check

Sun May 30, 2021 8:36 pm

As someone in a rather similar position, this is a bit frustrating to hear. My only helpful advice would be that you could try calling different dealers around you to see if anyone is more receptive to your situation.

Now, for my griping:
I am not a lawyer but I am perplexed how BMW could require a paid update to software in order to test a warranty threshold. In my (non-lawyer) mind, I would think if you approached BMW to say, essentially, "my car is no longer meeting the conditions we agreed upon when I bought it" it is their obligation to say that you are either a) wrong (hopefully specifying a reason why), or b) correct, but they will "remedy it". I can understand having to pay the dealer for their time and effort if there is nothing actually wrong, but can't fathom how they could say "we can't even test this thing that is covered under warranty from the original purchase until you pay us for an upgrade... that was not stipulated in the original purchase."

Sadly, I'm guessing that's covered in their fine print legalese somewhere, so... please pay them so I don't have to :) and report back!

Between this and the connected services 3G cutoff, it's like BMW is going out of their way to piss off as many people as possible! :(

alohart
Posts: 2401
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: Software update needed for HV battery capacity check

Sun May 30, 2021 9:58 pm

Joff wrote:
Sun May 30, 2021 7:26 pm
Is there a zip drive I can order and do this myself?
Unfortunately, not. Media and phone updates can be downloaded to a zip drive and installed in an i3, but system software updates cannot.
Aloha,
Art

2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, JuiceBox EVSE

Joff
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:44 am

Re: Software update needed for HV battery capacity check

Mon May 31, 2021 8:06 am

3pete wrote:
Sun May 30, 2021 8:36 pm
try calling different dealers around you to see if anyone is more receptive to your situation.
I tried my local dealer first, and they told me the CAR WILL CALL THEM when the battery needs to be checked! I interpreted this as "we don't want to work on your electric" When I brought it to a dealership that does work on a lot of i3s, they didn't check the battery as requested, they said it failed to charge and needs a new EME which will be over $9k! I didn't believe them, it was charging fine before I brought it in and charged fine after I got it home. I said just check the battery like I asked, that's when they came back requiring a software update.

alohart
Posts: 2401
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: Software update needed for HV battery capacity check

Mon May 31, 2021 10:19 am

Joff wrote:
Mon May 31, 2021 8:06 am
I said just check the battery like I asked, that's when they came back requiring a software update.
I'm suspicious about this software update requirement. Might it be that recent software versions fix a BMS problem that results in the gradual loss of usable capacity in 60 Ah i3's? If so, BMW should offer this update to all 60 Ah i3 owners who have experienced significant usable capacity loss. 94 Ah and 120 Ah battery packs don't seem to be losing usable capacity at anywhere near the rate of some 60 Ah battery packs. The fact that reinitializing the BMS with ISTA+ can restore usable capacity on 60 Ah battery packs but doesn't on 94 Ah battery packs points to the BMS as the problem that a software update might fix. This is all conjecture, but it seems plausible.
Aloha,
Art

2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, JuiceBox EVSE

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