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BMW ‘sheer driving pleasure’? Think again


New member
Don’t be fooled by the BMW ads, the 650i is the worst car we have ever owned.

We bought a brand new BMW 650i in 2008 - it was supposed to be our dream car - and we have had nothing but trouble since. The car had a serious defect which left us stressed, stranded and frustrated.

On numerous occasions the car took us to our destination and then mysteriously refused to start. We returned it to BMW Sydney for its first service. After servicing, BMW attempted to return it a number of times but couldn’t as it kept breaking down.

As the defect could not be fixed, BMW reluctantly supplied a 2010 model upon payment of an additional $55,000. Unbelievably, the second car exhibited exactly the same fault, refusing to start for us and BMW staff on numerous occasions between 2010 and 2013.

To happen in one vehicle is unlucky, but twice? That’s a serious problem which BMW refuses to deal with fairly.

During its very first service, the second car failed to start even for the BMW service manager. In December 2012 after many more no-starts, BMW sent a driver to collect the car, which again failed to start. In May 2013 the car was trucked to the BMW service centre in Sydney where it spent over three months.

We refused to accept return delivery until BMW guaranteed the defect was fixed. Their response was nothing short of contemptuous. Incredibly, BMW claims that the no-start fault is our fault, caused by low battery power from insufficient use (>21,000 kms since new). Really? For a luxury car that cost $225,000 you’d expect it to start under water. Every time.

Why does it start first off and then die after the first leg of a journey? And why does it sometimes miraculously recover if left for half an hour or more, when other times it won’t restart at all. That doesn’t sound like low battery power to us.

BMW then sent us a trickle charger to maintain the battery. We diligently kept the battery charged. Even after that, the car sometimes failed to start mid journey.

BMW has made the astonishing claim in writing that as a rough guide the 650i “needs a trip every second day for a period of more than 25 minutes and at least one trip exceeding one hour each week” to avoid the no-start issue. This information was not disclosed on purchase. Had we known this from the start, we would never have bought the car.

BMW acknowledges the car has a no-start issue and yet refuses to settle our case fairly, offering to buy the car back for a fraction of its new price and substantially less than the advertised online price of the same model car. This shows the contempt BMW has for its customers.

We even wrote (chapter and verse) to both the chairman of the supervisory board and to the chief executive officer of BMW in Germany but received a reply from their subordinate placing the blame upon us. How can it be our fault?

It seems that lack of customer care and lack of pride in their reputation is the basis of a culture that permeates the entire BMW conglomerate.

BMW customers beware, BMW does not care. If you want a quality, reliable car that won’t leave you stranded, do not buy a 650i. If you want decent customer care and an organization that stands behind its vehicles, do not buy a BMW at all.