agzand
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2020 3:00 pm

Re: Edmunds TCO - Fact or Fiction?

Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:40 am

If you buy CPO BMW offers 0.9% for 3 years or 1.49% for 5 years. So the finance charge is also questionable.

I also think both repair and maintenance are exaggerated on average, regardless it could have a higher running cost than a new Kona. If you want a low cost EV try Leaf or Bolt or a new Ioniq.

i3Alan
Posts: 300
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:08 pm

Re: Edmunds TCO - Fact or Fiction?

Wed Mar 31, 2021 12:36 pm

JASmith wrote:
Tue Mar 30, 2021 7:36 pm
i3Alan wrote:
Tue Mar 30, 2021 3:25 pm
How many $23,000 repair bills at 5 years old (e.g., my i3) does it take to bring the average up to this level?
Was yours one of those ones where the AC failed and contaminated the battery with metal shards and what not? :(
(Answering eXodus, too.)

My then 5 year old 2014 i3 BEV had the AC go out and it did fill the entire system, including the lines through the battery with metal shards. They opened and photograph for me a few AC lines in different locations, and all had visible metal filings inside. It was a year out of warranty, and BMW said here is $1000 as good will (avoiding any explicit apology or acceptance of any responsibility). The dealer said it was BMW's issue, not theirs.

My car had a book value of about $16K at the time, and I got about $8K as salvage value on a trade in for a new LEAF. My loss was about $7000 after the goodwill check. The LEAF was intended to hold me over until the upcoming Tesla Y came out. When the Y did come out, I was disappointed in a number of ways and passed. I am now driving a brand new Mustang Mach-E First Edition with dual motor all-wheel drive and about 300 mile range (88KWh useable battery).

agzand
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2020 3:00 pm

Re: Edmunds TCO - Fact or Fiction?

Wed Mar 31, 2021 3:54 pm

Since battery was damaged you could have pushed for battery warranty. But unless it is not a common failure the manufacturer doesn't have an obligation to cover every single occurrence. There is some risk with purchasing any car (including Mach e), the only way to completely mitigate it is to purchase an expensive extended warranty.

i3Alan
Posts: 300
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:08 pm

Re: Edmunds TCO - Fact or Fiction?

Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:25 pm

agzand wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 3:54 pm
Since battery was damaged you could have pushed for battery warranty. But unless it is not a common failure the manufacturer doesn't have an obligation to cover every single occurrence. There is some risk with purchasing any car (including Mach e), the only way to completely mitigate it is to purchase an expensive extended warranty.
My i3 battery was in fine shape when the AC went out. Had I continued using the vehicle without cooling, I likely would have damaged the battery, but I question whether there would be any valid battery claim. Even if there was a valid battery warranty claim, it still does not address the $23K repair bill on the AC, only an eventually destroyed battery. Most probably, the car would have shut itself down before letting the battery be damaged. No battery damage is no battery warranty claim.

When a car is designed without adequate attention to maintenance, then the manufacturer needs to fix related maintenance issues, including adding to the warranty where appropriate.

BMW decided to use an AC system with huge additional complexity over conventional auto AC systems. It included two separate heat pumps with significantly increased number of control valves required. This much is fine, as it provides huge user advantages. However, they decided to run the AC lines through the battery, rather than interface with the battery cooling using heat exchangers like every other EV (except for Nissan which does not actively cool the battery at all). Then, the really serious problem here is that in spite of the far more complexity designed into the i3 HVAC system, BMW insanely REDUCED normal protection for the AC components. They left out an effective trap for particulates inside the system. Such traps are typically part of the dryer design, or added separately after the compressor, and such a trap would have prevented an AC compressor failure from taking out an additional ~$18,000 of downstream components should the compressor fail. BMW should take responsibility for catastrophic failures caused by their inadequate design, as well as improve the design to avoid future failures. It seems that they did fix the design, since all reported failures like this that I have heard of are in 2014 and 2015 i3s only.

BTW, the Mach-E does not have a heat pump. That sucks for cold weather folks as the hit on range is far greater with electric-resistance heating. However, for me in Phoenix where heating needs are minimal, I enjoy a simpler system with lower potential maintenance risks. Given 300 mile range with the Mach-E, the advantage of a heat pump is further reduced, as most who need that range, will be doing more driving and less sitting, meaning the battery will spend more time self-heating (it keeps itself warm once warmed up and kept in use), and the heated seats and steering wheel is adequate for much of the cabin heating needs, which is more efficient than even a heat pump for the entire cabin.

jadnashuanh
Posts: 5196
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Edmunds TCO - Fact or Fiction?

Mon Apr 12, 2021 9:46 pm

As a percentage of people that have had a catastrophic battery cooling problem, it's miniscule, so putting that into the equation for average running costs is kind of flaky. That is not a wear item. If you take into account normal wear items (brakes, maintenance, oil change, filters, checks), the cost should be much less.

Then again, my 2014 i3 BEV only has about 17K miles on it, and I'll be getting rid of it probably this week, but it has been pretty reliable. I did have a nearly $1K unexpected bill on it last year which was related to the a/c system...it was a valve that was stuck, so they had to dismantle things, purge the system, replace the valve, then refill...it's been fine since.

BMW sells 50-70K of them a year, and you don't hear about many with that failure. If you're the unfortunate one to have it, that has little help, but it is what it is.
Jim DeBruycker
2014 i3 BEV, 2021 X5 45e
(The i3 will be sold soon, <17K-miles, interested?)

iflyadesk
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon May 10, 2021 6:04 am

Re: Edmunds TCO - Fact or Fiction?

Mon May 10, 2021 9:22 am

i3Alan wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 12:36 pm
JASmith wrote:
Tue Mar 30, 2021 7:36 pm
i3Alan wrote:
Tue Mar 30, 2021 3:25 pm
How many $23,000 repair bills at 5 years old (e.g., my i3) does it take to bring the average up to this level?
Was yours one of those ones where the AC failed and contaminated the battery with metal shards and what not? :(
(Answering eXodus, too.)

My then 5 year old 2014 i3 BEV had the AC go out and it did fill the entire system, including the lines through the battery with metal shards. They opened and photograph for me a few AC lines in different locations, and all had visible metal filings inside. It was a year out of warranty, and BMW said here is $1000 as good will (avoiding any explicit apology or acceptance of any responsibility). The dealer said it was BMW's issue, not theirs.

My car had a book value of about $16K at the time, and I got about $8K as salvage value on a trade in for a new LEAF. My loss was about $7000 after the goodwill check. The LEAF was intended to hold me over until the upcoming Tesla Y came out. When the Y did come out, I was disappointed in a number of ways and passed. I am now driving a brand new Mustang Mach-E First Edition with dual motor all-wheel drive and about 300 mile range (88KWh useable battery).

I would think the lesson learned with your A/C disaster wouldn't be "don't ever buy a BMW" but rather "don't ever buy a car in its first year of production... particularly if the design is a significant departure from what the brand has done before."

I've never designed a car, but I've been both an engineer and a manager and the tension between management and engineering as the looming deadline approaches is for real scary and painful. Some things don't get addressed because some engineers don't have the political sway or people skills/tact to get the right information to the right people in time or the financial and legal costs of missing a deadline are unacceptable. All of this crap usually gets resolved "eventually" but buying any new-for-the-team product that had to make a deadline is scary in my book.

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