Joff
Posts: 76
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: 156
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: 2450
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: 76
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: 2450
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

3pete
Posts: 156
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:03 pm

Re: Software update needed for HV battery capacity check

Fri Aug 06, 2021 7:13 pm

Joff wrote:
Mon May 31, 2021 8:06 am
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.
Just curious if you had any luck on this front? I think what I've learned in the last month is to not believe anything that BMW NA or the dealer says unless it's legally binding. When I took my car into the dealer for a capacity check I wasn't really getting anywhere until I referenced the 8 year/ 100k warranty which is federally mandated and BMW chose to include a 70% capacity provision (even though that is not required by US law).

Since then, I also have my strong suspicions that a software update increased my capacity by about 20% (viewtopic.php?f=10&t=17409) so if you have any gripes about range/capacity, I think BMW should upgrade your software for free.

djbrh
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2020 5:57 pm

Re: Software update needed for HV battery capacity check

Mon Aug 09, 2021 2:31 pm

For the guy who said they wanted to do an EME replacement first, that sounds like what Fiat is doing on owners with failing battery packs on 500e’s. They’re claiming the inverter is bad, not covered under warranty, and for $7k you can get that replaced and THEN they’ll be able to tell *if* the battery needs to be replaced. The 500e is a cheaper car than the i3, so at this point $7k effectively totals it and folks just walk away from it entirely, keeping Fiat from having to put the battery in it.

As for the required software update, they can’t make you pay for that. They can try, but they can’t make you pay for it. You may have to scream from the mountaintops, but they will do the test without it. But what they’re going to end up doing is a “free” software update that “fixes” your battery issue. What it’s really going to do is just open up more of the capacity that is locked out from day one, which is essentially just kicking the can down the road some on your battery replacement requirement. It will mean that your battery will be charged to a much higher percentage of its available capacity than it has been in the past, which will accelerate degradation. But it’ll probably get them past the warranty period, so they still win.


—Donnie

tjsean0308
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:30 pm
Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA, USA

Re: Software update needed for HV battery capacity check

Tue Aug 31, 2021 4:51 pm

Joff wrote:
Mon May 31, 2021 8:06 am
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"
This is what will happen on normal gas BMWs when the 12V dies or there is a high drain from something like the lights getting left on. It's called teleservice battery guard and it's not available on the i3 at all. So either that person you talked to has no idea about i3's or they were actually trying to discourage you. It was probably actual ignorance, but it's also likely that they don't want to work on the i3 as well.

samorth
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2021 3:20 pm

Re: Software update needed for HV battery capacity check

Tue Oct 12, 2021 3:34 pm

I have just had the same issue. Battery capacity down to about 65% of original (2014 22kwh battery version) as calculated for each trip and also on the Kappa Max feature on the computer.
BMW were very reluctant to deal with this, but eventually did. They took the car for 6 days and after 2 days asked for me to pay for the software update. I refused as it is a warranty claim and I could substantiate the failing battery. After the upgrade and then testing they said the battery was at 75% of its original capacity. I was VERY sceptical BUT after getting the car it is now running at about 75% capacity as tested. The conclusion has to be that the software update is fixing a BMS issue, or they are manipulating the battery electrically during the testing process to get its capacity up. Either way capacity is not great, but is better by about 15% (of 65%) so they save a warranty claim.
What disappoints me most was the attitude towards me making the claim. I gave them a poor review for the service (survey sent to me after service) and I then got a phone call back from them telling me basically I had no right to give them a poor review. And there I was thinking the survey was to improve their customer service. How silly of me.

Arm
Posts: 159
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:53 pm

Re: Software update needed for HV battery capacity check

Tue Oct 12, 2021 4:43 pm

These people are children. Companies want all the benefits of being companies...the tax breaks, the incentives, the corporate protection, all the BS they get away with, the mass amounts of money and profit they make. Yet when it comes to honoring contracts and agreements, they become psychopaths and rabid fools.

They get away with this because we...as consumers...almost never take them to task. Just look up the Formosa Plastics debacle.

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