2019 i3s - should I walk away?

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JimBmwi3s

Active member
Joined
Apr 13, 2023
Messages
36
Hi - I have been negotiating the purchase of a 2019 i3s with less than 8,000 miles. It was a lease with BMW, has warranty until June, advertised as 1 owner no accidents.

Being close to buying, I looked at CARFAX and it shows a minor accident. Odd it noted vehicle was towed. I questioned the 12 volt battery and was told a new one was replaced April 2022. CARFAX said wire harness repaired. Here is the response I got from BMW dealer to my questions.

“Unfortunately Carfax does not go over specifics, but I will say a damage report is different from an accident which differentiate from value of damage and severity. As far as a tow that would be between their previous insurance and client.

The wiring harness was replaced based on the door handles being broken.

Yes the rear tires were out of spec so they were replace and we always do alignments when we replace tires.

The battery has been checked and the vehicle passes all of our inspections.”

My question to the board - would the engine wiring harness need to be replaced because of broken door handles? Why would door handles break on less than 8,000 low use car. Same with tires with such low miles. Dealer trying to say damage report vs the words on CARFAX as minor accident. The car is on the opposite coast from me so I can’t see in person though they sent video.

I get the feeling there is more to the story.
I could bring to a local BMW once I ship it across the US since still under warranty and say go thru the car. Not sure if local dealer will really hunt for problems.

Any thoughts would be appreciated
 
BMW will not "repair" a wiring harness. They will only replace.
If there was an issue with the door handles not working due to a faulty wiring harness, then they get replaced so the door handles work.
There are MANY wiring harness in the car. Not just one main harness. This seems to have nothing to do with "engine wiring harness"

As for the tow: if the 12v failed, they would have had it towed to the Dealer for replacement. I'm guessing that explains the tow.

The tires on this car are notorious for not lasting long. The rear tires are especially prone to wearing faster if driven hard.
 
So to clarify, this car is being offered by a BMW dealer?

Ask them to provide a full service history? Obviously this would only be services performed by BMW, but it may shed light on the issues.

Doing this remotely makes this difficult, but I presume your contact is somebody in sales, not in service? A technician might be a better lead for you to answer your questions.
 
JimBmwi3s said:
Hi - I have been negotiating the purchase of a 2019 i3s with less than 8,000 miles. It was a lease with BMW, has warranty until June, advertised as 1 owner no accidents.

Being close to buying, I looked at CARFAX and it shows a minor accident. Odd it noted vehicle was towed. I questioned the 12 volt battery and was told a new one was replaced April 2022. CARFAX said wire harness repaired. Here is the response I got from BMW dealer to my questions.

“Unfortunately Carfax does not go over specifics, but I will say a damage report is different from an accident which differentiate from value of damage and severity. As far as a tow that would be between their previous insurance and client.

The wiring harness was replaced based on the door handles being broken.

Yes the rear tires were out of spec so they were replace and we always do alignments when we replace tires.

The battery has been checked and the vehicle passes all of our inspections.”

My question to the board - would the engine wiring harness need to be replaced because of broken door handles? Why would door handles break on less than 8,000 low use car. Same with tires with such low miles. Dealer trying to say damage report vs the words on CARFAX as minor accident. The car is on the opposite coast from me so I can’t see in person though they sent video.

I get the feeling there is more to the story.
I could bring to a local BMW once I ship it across the US since still under warranty and say go thru the car. Not sure if local dealer will really hunt for problems.

Any thoughts would be appreciated

What's the spec of the car and how much do they want for it? Honestly there are enough of them out there that you could find others without this hassle.
 
I more I dug on this California i3s, the more I found they were hiding. Couldn’t believe a car with only 5,000 miles had so many problems. Things didn’t make sense like door handles were loose so they replaced handles and wire harness. Only one key fob.
The cup holder filth looked like a pig owned the car. Under carriage screen protector hanging, different front and back rims. There are two new tires, then there were 4 new tires, then there has been a lot of interest on this car sitting since Dec 2022 to I think there new tires but car has been driven from so much interest. Got printout of the work and no tires on invoice. Advertised No accident car after my investigation changed their story it was just a $1000 accident. Because of privacy to previous owner we can’t say what it was. This is a BMW dealer???? my gut said walk and I walked.
 
Is this the car?

https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale/vehicledetails.xhtml?listingId=671687182&allListingType=all-cars&makeCodeList=BMW&modelCodeList=BMWI3&city=Tujunga&state=CA&zip=91042&searchRadius=0&trimCodeList=BMWI3%7Cs&startYear=2019&keywordPhrases=Technology%20%26%20Driving%20Assistant&marketExtension=include&isNewSearch=false&showAccelerateBanner=false&sortBy=mileageASC&numRecords=25&referrer=%2Fcars-for-sale%2Fall-cars%2Fbmw%2Fi3%2Ftujunga-ca%3FsearchRadius%3D0%26trimCodeList%3DBMWI3%257Cs%26zip%3D91042%26startYear%3D2019%26keywordPhrases%3DTechnology%2520%2526%2520Driving%2520Assistant%26marketExtension%3Dinclude%26isNewSearch%3Dfalse%26showAccelerateBanner%3Dfalse%26sortBy%3DmileageASC%26numRecords%3D25&clickType=listing

Just the mismatched wheel alone says "run." The blacked-out trim and debadging also suggests that it may have had further modifications done to it.
 
I bought this car last night, it was very strange with the history, I'm pretty sure tires were still the same ones from factory. The car didn't seem modded, nothing was coded or that anything seem aftermarket. It did seem that it sat in the sun for awhile, no degradation on battery, rex didn't appear to be used due to the gas funnel had no scratches or any sign of use. Few things were missing, but i had them pull them from the other i3s they had there. Charge door a little sticky, and they replaced both handles but didn't paint them so they're primer still, under carriage splash guard needs to be replaced but didn't see any damage besides the guard when it was on the lift. It drives great, navigation doesn't work and bmw connect won't work, it's still under warranty so I'll get that fixed. But after pointing out all the flaws in person i got them to 27k out the door. It had every option possible, was a steal. I also live in California so i get that 150k carb warranty, not complaining at all for getting it at that price. In my city for purchasing a phev or ev, i get 4k in cash and 1k in tax credits so yeah I'm definitely happy with my first i3, coming from a 2016 cadillac elr and 2022 kia sorento phev.

P.s there's a fully specd 2018 i3s at a ford dealership in costa mesa, both keys present and brand new rears just put on, they are asking below 25k , has 42k miles and comes with level 2 charger. I almost got it but they were waiting on tires. Battery was at 28.5 if i remember, car was in really nice shape, don't ask them what options it has they don't know, but it has everything 2018 offered, hk system, tech pack, leather and moon roof...
 
JimBmwi3s said:
I more I dug on this California i3s, the more I found they were hiding. Couldn’t believe a car with only 5,000 miles had so many problems. Things didn’t make sense like door handles were loose so they replaced handles and wire harness. Only one key fob.
The cup holder filth looked like a pig owned the car. Under carriage screen protector hanging, different front and back rims. There are two new tires, then there were 4 new tires, then there has been a lot of interest on this car sitting since Dec 2022 to I think there new tires but car has been driven from so much interest. Got printout of the work and no tires on invoice. Advertised No accident car after my investigation changed their story it was just a $1000 accident. Because of privacy to previous owner we can’t say what it was. This is a BMW dealer???? my gut said walk and I walked.

I don't think you need to use your "gut" to walk away from this. I'd never buy a car that's kept filthy...no matter how good a deal it is.
 
prevailz said:
I bought this car last night, ...

Wow, congrats are in order, I think? Welcome to the forum in any case. Please keep us updated as to what more you discover. It seems to have a background that makes a compelling story. Somebody knows!
 
eNate said:
Wow, congrats are in order, I think? Welcome to the forum in any case. Please keep us updated as to what more you discover. It seems to have a background that makes a compelling story. Somebody knows!
Like what's the story with the one mismatched wheel on the driver's rear? I'm not sure if it's a painted or wrapped i3 pizza slice wheel or a 3rd-party wheel like the other 3 if I recall correctly. Maybe an artsy person just liked having one different wheel. Why not?
 
Thank you, glad to be apart of the community. Been researching the forums and everything I could find about these cars for the past month, didnt even leave the dealership parking lot before coding the hold charge.

There were a few issues but nothing that seemed like a truly serious problem that couldnt be attended to. When i got there all the proper wheels were on there, not a scratch on them. Rears have about half life on them. Floor mats looked brand new. The small accident appears to be something to that got hit on the lower right rocker panel, front fender had a little warping that didnt look flush and the small rocker panel plate was missing probably all from the tow truck which i explain below, cheap replacement part, fender not that cheap though but its hard to see. Interior didn't show any wear and tear or any stains.

I'm happy with the car but just strange they couldn't tell me how they got the car, i believe it was repo car (hence why the low miles and no keys because key they provided was new) and the repo people damaged the car while getting towed and it sat for awhile in the sun for who knows how long, probably broke the door handles trying to get into the car as well, 12v battery died which probably caused other issues. That's the only story i can think of that makes sense from what the carfax says and other info that you guys brought up. The car being dirty was most likely from it sitting in a tow yard. But they did clean it up well. I did ask them why they posted those horrible photos of the car, no real response but that they needed to rush photos, guess they didn't want to sell the car, i took a chance and drove 4 hours to pick it up, then i get a call the next day telling me i had to go back because they left 5 sets of keys in the car from the other i3s they had there and that i had to come back, said no but that they could send someone to come pick them up. I do wish they fixed everything before selling it but i guess they couldnt afford it even though they charge mark ups and unnecessary addons that you're forced to buy.

Anyways, car was worth it to me, once i get the minor things fixed I'll start working on little upgrades, like getting a paint correction for some of the swirls & clearcoat imperfections and a ceramic coating, thinking of also going with lower suspension and struts.
 
The California i3s was black exterior and only mileage was in the 5000s. For a car with such little mileage it had a lot of history. They needed to replace all the tires, I found things wrong from pictures and the undisclosed accident was deflected to saying it was minor- door handles and wiring replaced - the different tire rims on the front and back they didn’t pick up on … that oops moment, along with the hanging front under carriage made me walk. Another sales person tried to sell me a more high mileage i3 - didn’t get the model I wanted - you have to be careful-all this time the warranty expiring in June as time was wasted with their deception - I felt I made the right decision. I think the low mileage was an accident vehicle that took a while to repair.
 
JimBmwi3s said:
The California i3s was black exterior and only mileage was in the 5000s. For a car with such little mileage it had a lot of history. They needed to replace all the tires, I found things wrong from pictures and the undisclosed accident was deflected to saying it was minor- door handles and wiring replaced - the different tire rims on the front and back they didn’t pick up on … that oops moment, along with the hanging front under carriage made me walk. Another sales person tried to sell me a more high mileage i3 - didn’t get the model I wanted - you have to be careful-all this time the warranty expiring in June as time was wasted with their deception - I felt I made the right decision. I think the low mileage was an accident vehicle that took a while to repair.

Sounds like you did the right thing. I just picked up i3 with 61k miles. The bones looked pretty good and body was average for the miles. Keep looking and keep inspecting. If it doesn't look right, just walk. You'll find one you love, just keep looking.
 

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