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.