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Why won't my warranty cover an engine seizure caused by an incorrectly-torqued oil sump plug?

I write to advise extreme caution with regard to the purchase of AA warranties. I am 83 years of age (a retired school teacher) and I have had a number of BMWs in the past. I have had my 2005 320d SE from new and it has only covered 43,000 miles, being serviced entirely at a BMW franchise. When the BMW warranty expired I took out an AA warranty.

On 10 May 2013, the sump plug became loose (according to the AA report because the sump plug had been incorrectly “torqued” following a service by the BMW franchise). The oil ran out and the engine seized. AA Warranty Services refused to indemnify me on the basis that the sump plug is not part of the engine and is therefore not covered under the terms of the warranty. The BMW franchise also indicated that they are not prepared to assist as, although they accept that the car has been fully serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations entirely by themselves, the last service work (in February of this year) did not involve changing the engine oil. I am now left with the option of seeking a reconditioned engine and having this fitted at an alternative garage at substantial cost. If you are able to assist me I would be most grateful.

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This is not a warranty matter and never was. The problem arises wholly due to the negligence of the servicing garage to which you entrusted the servicing of your car. The warranty insurer cannot be held liable for the garage's negligence. What you must do is first threaten to sue the garage. If you do not get a favourable reaction from the garage, first use www.moneyclaim.gov.uk to proceed to a small claims track action (where the claims limit is now £10,000) which will cover a replacement engine for the car. Law here: www.honestjohn.co.uk/faq/consumer-rights/. You could also involve Motor Codes, but I think it's better to sue directly.
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