flynt
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed May 06, 2020 8:07 am

Re: Battery Replacement Under Warranty

Wed May 13, 2020 10:06 am

Just spoke with the shop foreman - My car got a software update. Supposedly it's like your iphone.. the dealer updates it, but even they are in the dark as to what is in the update. So I guess it really is magic that batt kappa max used to say 13.2 and now it says 16.2. Seems shady to me.

Imagine you buy a car that is advertised to have 300 HP. If it gets down to 210 HP within 10 years or 100k miles the manufacturer says you get a new engine. You document as best you can with a hidden menu in the car you're down to 210 HP within 6 years and 58k miles. You take it to the dealer, they reprogram the ECU or crank up the boost (but don't touch the engine - AKA the failing part) and miraculously you're back up to 258 HP.. for now.

I'll shut up for now and enjoy my range. I love my car and I'm glad I'm back up to 86% of advertised battery capacity. I don't love the lack of transparency in this software update I just got. Anybody else get this software update?

i3Houston
Posts: 232
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:30 pm

Re: Battery Replacement Under Warranty

Wed May 13, 2020 11:11 am

flynt wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 10:06 am
Just spoke with the shop foreman - My car got a software update. Supposedly it's like your iphone.. the dealer updates it, but even they are in the dark as to what is in the update. So I guess it really is magic that batt kappa max used to say 13.2 and now it says 16.2. Seems shady to me.

Imagine you buy a car that is advertised to have 300 HP. If it gets down to 210 HP within 10 years or 100k miles the manufacturer says you get a new engine. You document as best you can with a hidden menu in the car you're down to 210 HP within 6 years and 58k miles. You take it to the dealer, they reprogram the ECU or crank up the boost (but don't touch the engine - AKA the failing part) and miraculously you're back up to 258 HP.. for now.

I'll shut up for now and enjoy my range. I love my car and I'm glad I'm back up to 86% of advertised battery capacity. I don't love the lack of transparency in this software update I just got. Anybody else get this software update?

What was in the software update?

And does this update carves out the range from battery reserve?

Don't think dealership would like to go in the details.
TM3 Reservation holder/ 2015 i3 Rex

joni3s
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:16 am
Location: VA

Re: Battery Replacement Under Warranty

Wed May 13, 2020 11:17 am

bitttersweet.

There were folks reporting last year that a previous version of ISTA allowed to affect the kap. wonder if this is what they did?

I would keep checking to see if the kap stays the same.
2018 I3s rex

i3Houston
Posts: 232
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:30 pm

Re: Battery Replacement Under Warranty

Wed May 13, 2020 11:24 am

joni3s wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 11:17 am
bitttersweet.

There were folks reporting last year that a previous version of ISTA allowed to affect the kap. wonder if this is what they did?

I would keep checking to see if the kap stays the same.
Luckily battery is warranted for 10 years right or is it 8? Couple more years in later case.

I read somewhere that a Leaf owner had to give his car DC fast charge treatment because of the timing.
TM3 Reservation holder/ 2015 i3 Rex

alohart
Posts: 2121
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: Battery Replacement Under Warranty

Mon May 18, 2020 8:22 pm

flynt wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 10:06 am
I don't love the lack of transparency in this software update I just got. Anybody else get this software update?
Have you checked the system software version by backing up your driver profiles to a USB drive using the iDrive command, mounting that USB drive on a computer, opening the driver profile file in a text editor, and reading the value of the <i-step> tag? This is how mine looks:

<i-step>I001-18-11-520</i-step>

which means that the system software version on our 2014 BEV was produced in November, 2018.

If your system software was just updated, it should have been produced no more than 4 months ago. However, if software other than the entire system software suite was updated, we don't know which software was updated, unfortunately.

I suspect that the battery management system on 60 Ah i3's reduces the available capacity under certain conditions to reduce the cell degradation rate to minimize BMW's risk of battery pack warranty claims. This "software update" might restore some of the usable capacity for a period of time. We just don't know. It seems that nothing similar is occurring with 94 Ah and 120 Ah battery packs.
Aloha,
Art

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

Unhappycustomer
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:28 pm

Re: Battery Replacement Under Warranty

Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:55 pm

I just came back from my local BMW dealer in Chandler, Arizona, after asking for a warranty replacement. Have a 2014 i3. Love the car! But the battery range is too limited to be of much use in the sprawling Phoenix metro area. Lately, with high temperatures exceeding 110 degrees Fahrenheit my maximum range in comfort mode (you know, when the air conditioning really works!) has been 44 miles. Last winter, when lows sometimes got down to 32 degrees, the range was about 50 miles. In optimal temperatures (60-75 degrees) the range has been around 58 miles.

Checked YouTube videos and learned how to unlock the service diagnostics to check my battery storage capacity. Simple procedure. Takes 3 minutes. According to my car's internal information my battery has a 12.3 kWh storage capacity. Original capacity on the 2014 is 18.8 kWh, so it's at 65.4% original capacity. The car is at slightly more than 40,000 miles and, since it's only 6 years old, is well within the warranty replacement requirements of 70% capacity, 8 years, and 100,000 miles. So far, so good, right?

Nope! The service manager was very nice, but said BMW requires him to run a diagnostic procedure that it will only pay for if the battery tests below 70% at the end. So, I have to pay $215 up front to upgrade my car's software - that BMW won't reimburse - and $400 for the service department to run the test that will only be reimbursed if the battery ultimately tests under 70% capacity.

Not only that, but BMW won't replace my 2014 battery with an 80 mile range with their new 2019 battery that has a range close to 150 miles. I understand they don't want to give me something better than I originally bought, but come on - they're still making a 2014 battery rack just so they can use it for warranty replacements? What other conceivable reason could BMW have for continuing to manufacture an outdated system? I know from friends that when Nissan replaces batteries under warranty it replaces the old batteries with the latest model available, currently with a 220 mile range. Can't BMW do the same for its loyal customers? This is BMW "quality"? Ha! What a joke! I'm getting a Nissan next time.

In the meantime, I'll ask to pay the difference in cost between the warranted battery replacement and the new battery. But after this experience, I'm not holding my breath.

i3Houston
Posts: 232
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:30 pm

Re: Battery Replacement Under Warranty

Thu Jul 16, 2020 5:13 pm

Big if is that whether their diagnosis will qualify battery replacement. Some have said, software update unlocks the reserve battery increasing the overall capacity.


Regardless the warranty, most of i3 owners will be willing to pay out of pocket to get an upgrade.

Maybe BMW consider this strategy might hurt new car sales or just an supply chain problem, not really sure.
TM3 Reservation holder/ 2015 i3 Rex

alohart
Posts: 2121
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: Battery Replacement Under Warranty

Fri Jul 17, 2020 11:23 am

Unhappycustomer wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:55 pm
Not only that, but BMW won't replace my 2014 battery with an 80 mile range with their new 2019 battery that has a range close to 150 miles.
Apparently, the 120 Ah battery pack has changed enough that it is not a direct replacement for a 60 Ah battery pack. It's possible to install the 120 Ah battery pack in an early 2014, but doing so requires replacing expensive components that aren't part of the battery pack.

On the other hand, BMW USA has upgraded 60 Ah battery packs to the 94 Ah version in a few early i3's but stopped doing this for some reason. That would certainly be a worthwhile upgrade if you could convince your dealer to do it (probably unlikely even if you agreed to pay a cost difference).
Aloha,
Art

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

opossum
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Dec 14, 2019 7:21 am

Re: Battery Replacement Under Warranty

Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:31 am

To "Unhappycustomer" and others like us experiencing significant range/capacity loss (and possible headaches with dealers, capacity tests and warranty claims), we should probably keep in touch. If you don't want to post your experiences on this forum, feel free to reach out to me directly in a private message and we can chat offline and/or build our own little group to communicate.

Unfortunately, my wife and I have been through this whole mess before. We had S/N 500 of the first model year of the Nissan LEAF (2011) and were at the very front of the wave of early owners seeing significant capacity loss in hot climates. After just a year of ownership (Phoenix, AZ, USA), we had lost 15% capacity. By 1.5 years of ownership, we had lost about 30%. In summary, we had to help lead the fight against Nissan by teaming up with other LEAF owners, doing several stories with the news media, contacting various advocacy groups, running our own capacity test event, etc. Nissan even took 6 of our cars to their test facility near Casa Grande, AZ for detailed analysis. Long story short, they ended up buying back our car and several others. They have since changed battery chemistry a time or two, but have yet to implement active thermal management for the LEAF battery pack to account for the extreme heat of asphalt in the desert! The newly announced Nissan Ariya EV *will* have active thermal management, and there are comments online about Nissan learning from their experience with the LEAF. But I digress...

We didn't think we'd see this issue with the i3, given that it has a more aggressive thermal management system. But here we are. Whether it's truly capacity loss or 'just' the software losing track of the battery capacity, as noted by someone earlier, we are seeing some of the same dealer/manufacturer issues we saw with Nissan. Claims of no battery issue when there is clearly capacity loss. Reluctance to give information to the owner on the state of health of the battery. Reluctance to run tests.

Here's our history:

2/9/15: Approximate date our 2014 BMW i3 was received by its first 'owner' (leased vehicle, somewhere in California)
11/4/17: Purchased by us as CPO at BMW North Scottsdale (37,000 miles)

We noticed significant range loss in 2019 and started tracking the Kappa Max value monthly. At the beginning of December 2019, we took the car to the dealer for a few warranty repairs. I also stated a concern about range/capacity and asked them to do a diagnostic/capacity test. They updated the car's software, held the car for a day or two, did the test, and documented a capacity of 72%, which aligns with the Kappa Max values I had been tracking. But when I picked up the car, sure enough, the car's projected range was consistently about 10 miles higher than it was right before the service, and the Kappa Max values were also up. The values dropped a little by March, but then the Covid apocalypse hit and we haven't been driving much, so the values have 'improved' even more.

Date / Calculated Capacity / Kappa Max Value / Mileage
6/14/19 77% 14.5 55147
7/30/19 76% 14.3 55937
8/29/19 75% 14.1 56761
9/18/19 75% 14.1 57256
9/29/19 74% 14.0 57609
10/28/19 73% 13.8 58570
11/27/19 73% 13.7 59653
12/5/19 79% 14.9 59819
12/28/19 81% 15.2 60503
1/28/20 81% 15.2 61608
2/28/20 80% 15.1 62347
3/28/20 80% 15.0 62347
4/28/20 81% 15.2 63374
5/28/20 84% 15.8 63679
6/24/20 82% 15.4 63934

I'm rather concerned about these anecdotes about BMW being rather tight-lipped about battery health and the company reluctance to run diagnostic tests and warranty batteries. Again, please reach out to me privately if you are experiencing range/capacity loss and do not feel comfortable posting publicly. Much like our very long, stressful fight with Nissan, this may require some teamwork to figure out the way to make resolving these issues as painless as possible.

Mason

Relliott
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2020 4:15 pm

Re: Battery Replacement Under Warranty

Tue Jul 21, 2020 4:18 pm

Just got mine (2014 Rex) checked today:
76% - so close, yet so far away. My dealer misquoted the new battery warranty and swears the battery warranty is 10 years 150k not 8/80. $370.

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