n1o2c3a4c5h6e7t
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed May 01, 2019 12:35 pm

$5,000 HV Battery Repair Not Covered by Warranties

I recently made an official battery warranty claim because my 2014 i3 BEV with 35,000 miles was routinely getting 40-50 miles on a full charge. I paid $390 for that service, which apparently came back "healthy," although I received no corresponding report to tell me what the usable capacity actually was.

As soon as I took it back, the car showed some "drivetrain malfunction" lights intermittently (never happened before), so out of an abundance of caution I took it back within a day or two. My BMW dealership has almost no experience with this car and has had to be handheld by BMW regarding the entire diagnostic process (for which I paid an additional $690), grossly prolonging the diagnostic time alone to almost two weeks (no loaner for any of this either).

At the end of the diagnostic, apparently there is a $5,000 quote for the following: "REPLACE EH ASSEMBLY AND HIGH VOLTAGE CABLE FROM REAR OF CAR TO FRONT, LABOR INCLUDE VENT HV COOLANT SYSTEM, PROGRAMMING AND CODING WITH HV ISOLATION FAULT (INTERNAL CORRSION IN EH HARNESS AND HV COMPONENT)."

I find this curious because the battery was just listed as "healthy" (whatever that means) right before they did this two-week new diagnostic test that finds problems/corrosion in the HV cable and component, and also the "EH assembly" (whatever that means). Notably, the dealership insists that none of this is covered by the 8-year battery warranty, nor is it apparently covered by the 12-year corrosion warranty. (They had no idea about any of these warranties when I brought in the car, and I've had to point to the specific language regarding the warranties in the relevant manuals/guides.) The dealership says that the 8-year HV battery warranty covers cells, not the surrounding cables, and has simply ignored my comments regarding the anti-corrosion warranty. BMW national merely defers to the dealer.

I wanted to share my experience because at best BMW's warranties are misleading, and at worst BMW does not seem to understand/honor its warranties. I can't imagine ever purchasing another BMW EV. FWIW, my car has always been garaged and has very low miles (35k), so none of this makes a lot of sense.
Last edited by n1o2c3a4c5h6e7t on Fri Jan 28, 2022 9:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
Neil
Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2014 10:11 am
Location: Davis, CA USA

Re: $5,000 HV Battery Repair Not Covered by Warranties

Sorry for the trouble you've been having. I have a 2014 Rex with about 74000 miles and i am also getting about 50 miles on a full charge. I'm considering bringing it in to my local dealer for a battery warranty check but not sure it would result in the battery warranty kicking in even though I'm reading Kappas between 12.1 and 12.5. If I did I'd be somewhat nervous that they'll screw something up like they may have done to yours. I am curious if you looked at your HV battery Kappa values before you brought it in. If so, can you please post? Lot's of discussion of Kappas under other topics. Also, others may have suggestions on how to proceed with your situation.
Neil L.
2014 i3 Rex, Giga World, all the trimmings.
3pete
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:03 pm

Re: $5,000 HV Battery Repair Not Covered by Warranties

n1o2c3a4c5h6e7t wrote: Mon Jan 24, 2022 1:17 pm (They had no idea about any of these warranties when I brought in the car, and I've had to point to the specific language regarding the warranties in the relevant manuals/guides.) The dealership says that the 8-year HV battery warranty covers cells, not the surrounding cables, and has simply ignored my comments regarding the anti-corrosion warranty. BMW national merely defers to the dealer.
Thank you for sharing even though it is a real shame and raised my blood pressure! The timing of your drivetrain malfunction issue seems suspicious and it seems like the dealer could take that into account and write off the work and/or provide some sort of goodwill discount... IF they cared about you as a customer. On the other hand, they might be positive they did nothing that could cause the issue because it seems like troubleshooting the i3 involves hooking it up to a computer and letting BMW NA's computer diagnose any issues.

BUT... (a bit of a rant here):
One of the arguments in favor of car dealerships' existence compared to a direct sales (Tesla) model is that your local BMW dealer is "independent" and can advocate on your behalf that you should get a repair that the manufacturer doesn't want to fix "for free". That sounds good in theory, but with the i3 it seems that the dealers:
1) aren't aware of the warranty
2) don't know how to/ want to work on the i3 or
3) don't know anything beyond what BMW NA's computer tells them

So, if the dealer is just plugging the car into the computer--and charging you for the privilege--it removes their independence when it comes to repairs the manufacturer should be obligated to do.

I think it is extremely sleazy if BMW claims the HV Battery is warranted for 8 years, the car has a corrosion warranty for 12 but the HV cable off the battery can be corroded and that's not covered by either. :x

A couple other thoughts:
1) Ask the deaker what the EH is.
2) Are there any other dealers (or independent shops) that might be more i3 friendly?
3) I hate saying this but a lawyer might be helpful. Even if it's nothing more than having them send essentially the same questiosn you've already asked on their letterhead via certified mail to the dealer and BMW, it might get some different results.
3pete
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:03 pm

Re: $5,000 HV Battery Repair Not Covered by Warranties

Neil wrote: Mon Jan 24, 2022 3:42 pm I'm considering bringing it in to my local dealer for a battery warranty check but not sure it would result in the battery warranty kicking in even though I'm reading Kappas between 12.1 and 12.5. If I did I'd be somewhat nervous that they'll screw something up like they may have done to yours.
I took my 2014 BEV in for a check that you can read all about here: https://www.mybmwi3.com/forum/viewtopi ... 10&t=17409 but the short of it is: my Kappa went from 13.0 to 15.4 (that was six months ago and it's around 14.2 now). Not sure how this happened, maybe it was the software update they did, or just the process of the test itself. Just hazarding a guess, I'd suspect something around $400 will net you a possible software upgrade and a few extra kWhs. Either way, be prepared for the dealer to not be aware of the 8 year warranty on the HV battery so it might be helpful to take the pamphlet with you.

I don't know what they actually did for the test but I do know they removed the motor cover in the trunk. I wouldn't think there is any risk of screwing up the HV system by having it tested, but OP's story suggests it might be possible (or is a very unfortunate coincidence).
n1o2c3a4c5h6e7t
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed May 01, 2019 12:35 pm

Re: $5,000 HV Battery Repair Not Covered by Warranties

3pete wrote: Mon Jan 24, 2022 4:27 pm
n1o2c3a4c5h6e7t wrote: Mon Jan 24, 2022 1:17 pm (They had no idea about any of these warranties when I brought in the car, and I've had to point to the specific language regarding the warranties in the relevant manuals/guides.) The dealership says that the 8-year HV battery warranty covers cells, not the surrounding cables, and has simply ignored my comments regarding the anti-corrosion warranty. BMW national merely defers to the dealer.
Thank you for sharing even though it is a real shame and raised my blood pressure! The timing of your drivetrain malfunction issue seems suspicious and it seems like the dealer could take that into account and write off the work and/or provide some sort of goodwill discount... IF they cared about you as a customer. On the other hand, they might be positive they did nothing that could cause the issue because it seems like troubleshooting the i3 involves hooking it up to a computer and letting BMW NA's computer diagnose any issues.

BUT... (a bit of a rant here):
One of the arguments in favor of car dealerships' existence compared to a direct sales (Tesla) model is that your local BMW dealer is "independent" and can advocate on your behalf that you should get a repair that the manufacturer doesn't want to fix "for free". That sounds good in theory, but with the i3 it seems that the dealers:
1) aren't aware of the warranty
2) don't know how to/ want to work on the i3 or
3) don't know anything beyond what BMW NA's computer tells them

So, if the dealer is just plugging the car into the computer--and charging you for the privilege--it removes their independence when it comes to repairs the manufacturer should be obligated to do.

I think it is extremely sleazy if BMW claims the HV Battery is warranted for 8 years, the car has a corrosion warranty for 12 but the HV cable off the battery can be corroded and that's not covered by either. :x

A couple other thoughts:
1) Ask the deaker what the EH is.
2) Are there any other dealers (or independent shops) that might be more i3 friendly?
3) I hate saying this but a lawyer might be helpful. Even if it's nothing more than having them send essentially the same questiosn you've already asked on their letterhead via certified mail to the dealer and BMW, it might get some different results.
(1) Will do, but at this point they are completely non-responsive. They have not even returned the car, and are now just prolonging how long they are keeping it even though I have stated that I am not going through with the entire $5k in repairs at this time. Who knows when they return my calls or return my car at this point. Really terrible dealership experience.

(2) If anybody has any suggestions for better dealers in Houston, I'd appreciate it.

(3) Lol I'm a lawyer. Perhaps it would be worth it to sue this dealership and BMW national for breach of contract/warranty and see where that goes. But needing to litigate (which costs money/time, even if it is only my own) is super annoying given that this is an allegedly premium product/service. I'll consider it anyway.

This whole thing makes me very nervous of buying any non-Tesla in the future. BMW doesn't care too much about its EV owners/early adopters.
Arm
Posts: 226
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:53 pm

Re: $5,000 HV Battery Repair Not Covered by Warranties

Get a lawyer ASAP.
n1o2c3a4c5h6e7t
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed May 01, 2019 12:35 pm

Re: $5,000 HV Battery Repair Not Covered by Warranties

Update: "EH" = Electric Heater. And they are denying the anti-corrosion warranty because that warranty allegedly covers body panels, not the electrical components.
Last edited by n1o2c3a4c5h6e7t on Fri Jan 28, 2022 9:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
spartacus68
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:07 am

Re: $5,000 HV Battery Repair Not Covered by Warranties

I've spoken about this a few times. Most BMW dealerships do not have what I would call time-served master technicians that use what we call in the UK, nouse, the ability to use common sense. What they do have are EV trained or certified technicians - who simply dial into BMW Germany and effectively go through a step-by-step factory manual diagnosis, and replace entire units which given BMW labour rates and unit part prices makes it almost impossible to recover given the car is now 8 years old.

I had a similar experience with a REx engine that failed to fire that they flatly refused to investigate in my lay assessment. I should point out I've been working on diesel and petrol cars for over 30 years, suspension, brakes, electronics, but I'm a designer by profession. One fuel tank and oxygen CO2 sensor later and a £1k GBP bill they accepted that the fuel pump relay was to blame which I'd identified from the outset. No goodwill, and I was met with obstructive and dismissive staff.

So what are your options? First off - take it away from BMW for starters. If you are spanner-handy enthusiast, then it's something you potentially could investigate, but at the the very least identify an independent electric vehicle garage that is trusted.

Look on Hubauer Shop - that will show you the EV cables. Now my understanding is that the high voltage cable that goes from the front to the rear, and additional HV cables, then you need to drop the battery to replace.
https://www.hubauer-shop.de/en/carparts ... 0-hv-kabe/

The garage that works on it, or indeed yourself - then get a copy of ISTA+ diagnostic software. It really is invaluable to clear fault codes, and it's exactly the same software the dealer uses including the repair procedure.

There are a couple of things you could do meantime. Just shut of the power under the hood (frunk) before attempting. Now this is for a REx vehicle, and your car is a BEV but some of the cables will be universal to the generator. Again - no liabilities taken given you are a lawyer! :D

Shaun Dobbie on YouTube. Don't ask me why he's standing in water in the inspection pit! :D
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eX4TVIfD-mk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnD9j5gRWEU
2015 i3 REx, 60ah, solar orange. Reversing camera, leather interior, sunroof, park assist, professional navigation.
frictioncircle
Posts: 299
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 11:23 pm
Location: USA West Coast

Re: $5,000 HV Battery Repair Not Covered by Warranties

n1o2c3a4c5h6e7t –

Are you the original owner of your i3 BEV?
n1o2c3a4c5h6e7t
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed May 01, 2019 12:35 pm

Re: $5,000 HV Battery Repair Not Covered by Warranties

frictioncircle wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 12:31 am n1o2c3a4c5h6e7t –

Are you the original owner of your i3 BEV?
Nope, I purchased this in 2018 with 18k miles as the second owner (I believe).

Appreciate the suggestions so far.

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