My car needs £16,000 worth of repairs for a water-damaged engine - am I liable?

I purchased a 2018 BMW X6 with a full service history and warranty until 25 October 2020. It has 22,500 miles on the clock. 140 miles into a journey, a regular clunking sound came from the engine. The car had to be recovered. Two weeks later, BMW is asking for images of the air filter intake as they have identified water damage as the damage to the engine. The garage's mechanic has stated that the engine and turbo needs replacing at a cost of between £16 and £17k if I have to pay. I’m not denying that I’ve driven through large puddles of water but I certainly haven’t mistreated the car and am feeling slightly concerned. Where do I stand?

Asked on 23 March 2020 by Huw

Answered by Dan Powell
If you wish to dispute the damage claim, you will need to pay for the vehicle to be transported to an independent BMW specialist so a third party can inspect the vehicle and provide an engineer's report. If the report states the damage was caused by a manufacturing fault then BMW will be liable for the repairs. However, if the damage has been caused by flood water or a large puddle, I think you will need to contact your insurer and make a claim on the vehicle policy. BMW's warranty will not cover this type of water damage and you will sadly be liable for the entirety of the repair costs. For your consumer rights, see:
Similar questions
My stepson bought a 2013 vehicle with approx. 40,000 miles on the clock four months ago. The clutch has now failed. The dealer claims wear and tear. Do we have any rights in this case? The repair has been...
My friend bought a car from a dealer and within a week it needs a new clutch. He's reported this to the dealer and they have basically said the car was sold as seen, so hard luck. I'm sure I've read something...
My car has developed serious suspension and air con issues 28 days after purchasing from a dealer. If not covered by warranty, what are my rights? The car has only done 987 miles since their MoT on purchase....

Value my car

Save £75 on Warranty using code HJ75

with MotorEasy

Get a warranty quote

Save 12% on GAP Insurance

Use HJ21 to save on an ALA policy

See offer