How do you go about dealing with poor workmanship? Our 2004/54 BMW 318i went in to the BMW dealer we bought it from for what we were told to be necessary work just before we took it to France and Spain in September. They fitted new brake pads, and one new shock absorber on the passenger side. They failed to tighten the handbrake when they did the work, and it wouldn't hold on the gentlest slope; but they put that right on demand. A few weeks ago, our local garage that does our MOT investigated a squealing noise from the front brake and found a copper sleeve missing. Today, asked to check why the new shocker is higher than the other one, they tell us the spring is not correctly fitted and it has been tied up with a cable tie. They also say that it is safer to fit shockers as a pair. The local garage won't put anything in writing but they have offered to take pics as they strip it down on Tuesday so we can complain to the BMW dealer. The dealer work cost us about £1,000, so we are not best pleased. (We probably ought to have all the other brakes checked as well, but we haven't got that far.) This car was sourced for us from another branch of the dealer group and turned out to have had unacknowledged damage to the rear passenger side, which had been repaired and repainted. Some rust is coming through there. We were really annoyed about that, as well - we didn't expect such a poor deal after 20 years as clients. Incidentally, we took this car in desperation when our original 54-plate 1-Series turned out to be beyond their ability to sort out, and we now think that they may have set it up wrong when it was new. They also failed to check for a safety recall on the 1-Series suspension arms - and we had a problem with that for months. We are now moving on to maintaining our own cars in retirement and will be using an independent garage in West Wickham to do most of the work: the guy there is BMW-trained and inspires more confidence than the main dealer does. We would like some redress for this shoddy level of work, but we don't trust them to put it right. Do you think we have any chance of success?
Try www.motorcodes.co.uk This is an arbitration and conciliation service set up by the SMMT for just this sort of situation. Providing, of course, the dealer is a member. (Almost all franchised garages are.)
Answered by Honest John on