BMW 520d G31 turbo failure - what are my rights?

In June 2021 we bought an approved used BMW 520d G31 with 35,000 miles on the clock for £22,500. About two weeks ago a warning came up with a drivetrain fault and the car wouldn't go more than 15 miles an hour. There had been no odd noises or smoke before this and nothing had seemed out of the ordinary. The car now has 52,000 miles on the clock.

Having had it recovered to the main dealer that has serviced it since we brought it, they had diagnosed it as a failure of the turbo which has led to metal swarf passing into the oil pump. We have now been quoted over £6,500 for the parts and labour to replace. The year's warranty from the Approved Used expired in June 2022 so we are facing a huge repair bill.

Given the car is four years old and is Approved Used and the dealer can't explain why the turbo fault has occurred we are feeling very frustrated. We have requested BMW look at this for a goodwill gesture but would appreciate any further advice as to how to proceed with any other levers we can pull.

Asked on 13 December 2022 by Simon Turner

Answered by Dan Powell
Turbo failure can be linked to a number of reasons. The most common are manufacturing faults or carbon build-up (caused by the car being used for lots short journeys of less than 15 miles).

You do have legal rights under the 2015 Consumer Rights Act, but you will need to prove the turbo fault was present or developing at the time of sale - obviously, this is difficult to do after 17 months.

It might be prudent to have the car inspected by an independent BMW specialist so you can pinpoint the cause of the failure. Only then (armed with a report that clearly shows the fault was pre-existing) could you argue the dealer that sold you the car is liable for the repair.

If the cause of the fault can't be found, the independent BMW specialist may still be your best bet for a repair - the costs will be much lower than the dealer.

For your rights, see:
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