Used BMW - Numerous Faults - Daniel Richards
I'm looking for a solicitor to help me with the following:

I purchased a BMW 530D M Sport back on the 18th December 2016, I've had numerous problems with the car and phoned up to ask for a refund/repair which happened to be on the 30th day of ownership. The trader has refused, I then wrote a detailed email listing faults and the Consumer law act 2015(I can forward on if needed), I also sent this via guaranteed royal mail delivery letter, I had no reply for 12 days so I phoned the garage, he's offered to have a look at the exhaust manifold but nothing else, I've asked for this in writing on the 31st January and haven't received anything however I did record the call. I've now had the car checked over by a BMW specialist local to me which cost £57 inc VAT to find out there are more fundamental problems with the car. I have had to keep using the car due to work, having a 6 month old son the use of a car is needed. The vehicle was advertised as having 125k miles, when purchased it had 129.5k, it's nearly on 131000 now due to use. I have also still not received the logbook. The car is also due a service when I was told it had not long had one, done by themselves priced at £130 +VAT from BMW. I've already had to replace some serviceable parts.

Below is a list of problems:
Exhaust Manifold Leaking fumes into the car.
Oil Leak
Windscreen wiper linkage has only 1 bush not two, thus making the wipers ineffective and damaging the paintwork on the bonnet and not secure.
Parking sensors have a fault, (PDC Failure)
Clunking from suspension and car pulls to the side when going over bumps.

Inspection from BMW specialist:
Engine Oil Leak,
EGR Valve Pipe Blocked off with a screw
Oil Leak on Gearbox
Steering Rack noise
Read PDC Failure
Exhaust manifold blowing

Hope to hear back from you ASAP to finally get my car sorted.

Edited by Daniel Richards on 13/02/2017 at 14:40

Used BMW - Numerous Faults - madf

How old is it?

And why buy it if the mileage was understated?

Used BMW - Numerous Faults - Avant

I think you do need a solicitor. I hope you don't think you'll find one on this forum: it is just a forum, and we are all amateurs.

Unfortunately you're too late for the sort of advice that we normally give, which is to avoid diesels with high mileage, and that premium brands like BMW are no more reliable than, say, a Ford, and quite a lot less so than a Toyota.

You'll need to make it clear to a solicitor which of these faults you think were there when you bought the car, and which have developed in the past 30 days and 1500 miles: also if most of the faults were there from the beginning, you may need to explain why you waited till the 30th day to complain.

Used BMW - Numerous Faults - RobJP

As madf points out, you make absolutely no mention of the age of the car or the price paid for it.

Basically, the CRA covers 'reasonable expectations'. So if you buy a shed for £1k, you can't 'reasonably expect' it to be as good as a car costing £10k.

The Park sensors not working properly - well, the question is was it clear that was the case when bought. If they were not working at time of sale (and bear in mind that faults like that will be logged by the ECU), then you were aware of the fault, and accepted it as such.

Same for the mileage - when you bought the car the mileage on it was clear. As such, you were aware, and should have negotiated a discount or walked away at the time.

As to the suspension 'clunking', it's going to be worn, and a bit loose. As long as it passes an MOT you've got no cause to complain. If you Want new, tight suspension with no clunks or rattles, you buy a new car.

Next, the car 'pulls to one side'. These are notorious for tramlining, like all 'sport-spec' cars. Big wheels, run-flat tyres and 'sports' suspension will do that every time. It would have been obvious on a test drive, so unless you can SHOW (by proof, an inspection of the suspension showing problems or faults) that it's faulty then you've no comeback there.

The rest of the faults, as I say, you may have comeback on. But what is 'reasonable' to expect depending on the price you paid, nobody can say without knowing the price paid.

EDIT : also 'steering rack noise'. If it's working, then it isn't faulty. You can only ask for FAULTS to be fixed, not items that are a bit worn and noisy.

Edited by RobJP on 13/02/2017 at 15:40

Used BMW - Numerous Faults - Daniel Richards

Age: 56 Reg

Price: 5450

Model: 530D M sport

Parking sensors stopped working after I'd contacted him the first time.

As for the suspension, just because it's worn doesn't mean it's perfectly acceptable to drag you sideways when you hit a minor pothole or divot in the road. As for tramlining, this isn't my first 'sport-spec' car none have done it to this standard.

Steering rack - It works, I'm only going by what the garage picked up.

Knowing the price paid, what are your thoughts?

Used BMW - Numerous Faults - pd

The problem is that it is a 10 year old car which has done 130k miles. Many would consider 130k pretty high and the sort of mileage where a car is quite worn out and a fair bit in need of replacement.

I can't see you getting anywhere on minor things like a dodgy PDC sensor or worn out suspension at this sort of mileage. The other things really depend on how bad they are - small oil leak is probably one of those things but if it is pouring out and was when you bought it then maybe you have a case.

This sounds harsh but £5650 would have bought an Aygo with 25k and maybe some warranty if you wanted something reliable and low maintenance - to a certain extent nothing in law mitigates the personal decision to buy something which is obviously not at the cheap end of cars to maintain.

In terms of legal comeback you have to ask yourself what happens if you end up in front of a judge who always changes his/her car at 25k miles before it "gets too high mileage and unreliable". My gut feeling, and that is all it is, is that you might struggle with this car unless you can conclusively prove it was dangerous at the very moment you purchased it.

In truth - no one can actually tell you one way or another if you have a case because you'd only know that if/when it went to court and you got a judgement.

Used BMW - Numerous Faults - TedCrilly

Another high mileage beemer with a list of faults......people really do need to look further than the badge!

Every fault you mention apart from the blocked off EGR is commensurate with age and mileage, therefore the argument will be....."well what did you expect?"

Did the seller make any claims about condition that could be refuted?

Used BMW - Numerous Faults - RobJP

I am constantly amazed by people.

You've got a 6 month old son, you NEED a reliable car for work, money is obviously tight, and yet you go and buy a 'premium' brand on an 11 year old 'luxury sporting' saloon with 130k on the clock (to put that into perspective, it's been round the planet 5 times).

And you seem to think that's a sensible course of action.

Edited by RobJP on 13/02/2017 at 19:20

Used BMW - Numerous Faults - scot22

because you'd only know that if/when it went to court and you got a judgement.

pd is absolutely right. People have lost lots of money following a solicitor's advice that they have a case, also by ignoring solicitor saying not to go to court.

Unfortunately, nobody can change the past. We've all made mistakes - I've made plenty. I suggest trying to look for a way to minimise losses. Perhaps not possible but would somebody (knowing the faults and price adjusted) take it in P/X. Descend into legal action and costs could be major. Only a thought. Best wishes, we all hope you can get out of this with as little loss as possible.

Used BMW - Numerous Faults - Chris James

Don't want to add to your woes, but a 3.0 litre diesel at that mileage will soon be needing a new particulate filter (DPF), as they are serviceable items which need replacing at the end of their life. I think BMW advise 120k mile replacement in the service book so if its not been done already it will probably need doing soon. Its possible you may get more out of it if its not a problem currently, but its certainly something which you should be budgeting for if you intend to keep the car for any length of time, and of which you should have factored in when haggling price with the dealer.

BMW's are endless money pits once they are several years old, and have a bit of mileage on them. I've just got rid of a 320D also on a 56 plate, it only had 73k on it but I spent close to £2000 in my first year of (second hand) ownership, as it needed a new clutch & DMF and then an ABS pump and EGR Valve. The last straw was when the Air Con evaporator corroded and started covering the interior and occupants in aluminium oxide powder from every vent, a 12 hour job to fix as the entire interior and dash has to come out, and yet another repair running into four figures. I would have put that down to age and bad luck too, if I hadn't have found a BMW internal Technical Service Bulletin from 2007, stating that it was a known fault on 1 and 3 series cars, thanks to BMW fitting a batch of faulty Denso evaporators at the factory between 2006 and 2007, so that should speak volumes about BMW's quality and reliability!.

If you do decide to take a gamble and hang on to the car, then do an interim oil & filter change every 7000 miles or so. The 2.0 and 3.0 Bmw Diesels have a huge reputation for turbo failures and most attribute it to the extended oil change intervals, so do yourself a big favour and change the oil on a more regular basis.

Edited by Chris James on 13/02/2017 at 20:00

Used BMW - Numerous Faults - Metropolis.

I work in the legal sector, albeit not in this area. I recommend you go to a website called Rocket Lawyer where you'll be able to get a 1 week free trial. You submit your query and it gets allocated to a lawyer (not in house, it'll be a Solicitor's firm signed up to the scheme) who will give 30 mins free legal advice over the phone. No obligations (no, really!) on you to pay anything unless you formally instruct them, after which you're entitled to a 33% discount.

Did you buy it from a dealer or private? Assuming by 'trader' you mean a dealer which is a plus as you have more rights.

See the following link, not sure if i'm allowed to post it.. but a good cost effective way to get legal advice.

Used BMW - Numerous Faults - SLO76
Can't help you regarding this fight Daniel. It's probably the worst thing you could've spent £5.5k on. It's a hugely complex car and one that cost the guts of £50k new with options. Running costs are commensurate with that new price tag and it's simply not a vehicle to buy on a tight budget or one you could reasonably expect to provide reliable transport.

Even a more straightforward 320D has a poor reputation and wouldn't be recommended by many on this forum at this age or mileage. They're a never ending money pit as it seems you're now discovering.

My advice to you is based on the hope that you weren't mad enough to take a 130,000 mile BMW diesel on finance and have the ability to accept the loss and learn from it... take it to your nearest auction and get shot of it.

The only real fault you've listed is the exhaust manifold leak which the dealer should fix but the rest is simply the kind of wear and botch repairs you must expect on an older premium brand diesel and a large part of why we never recommend them. The parts are costly as is specialist know how so they're always botched by backstreet fly guys to keep them running.

Flog it and buy a petrol Honda Accord or something similar and learn from your mistake. We're only too happy to offer advice once you've got it away so you don't take another painful hit.

Edited by SLO76 on 13/02/2017 at 20:38

Used BMW - Numerous Faults - pd

I'd pretty much concur with SLO76 as above. The dealer has apparently agreed to look at the manifold and my feeling is that is maybe something they should address. I do wonder though if it is in fact the flexi joint in which case it is a wear and tear item.

I like (most) BMWs - particularly the larger ones - but they are a Labour of Love and BMW's attitutude is that regular £2k visits to their dealers are all par for the course. Ditto most Audi models. They're great cars to run for 4 years on an inclusive lease but, sadly, that's what BMW seem to make them to cope with.

As regards Solicitors be very careful who you take advice from as most haven't a clue about the case law and history on used cars. There are speciliasts but 99% of them work defending dealers and tend to be very good (for the dealer) as they know their stuff and what is acceptable and what isn't. I reckon most would defend this very well - particularly as you've done 1500 miles before complaining.

My honest gut feeling is you really haven't much of a case here and would crash and burn if it got to court. That is only my opnion though and others may be different. Sorry not to be more positive.

Used BMW - Numerous Faults - pd

Incidentally, it seems to need some new front suspenson bushes, a decent alignment, a parking sensor and the manifold sorted.

Assuming the leaks are only minor that isn't actually too bad for one of those so it is by no means a shed.

Used BMW - Numerous Faults - gordonbennet

There was a time when large German cars like Beemers and Mercs were good value buys if not particularly cheap buys, because the general public were rightly wary of them, so blokes like me and my generation, who could fix most car things themselves, cheaply DIY with unrivalled cheap aftermarket parts supply for the new kids on the block, ECP.

The cars were basically tough and well made with large engines, robust auto gearboxes and simple up to the job brakes and suspension, they were almost all north south engined auto RWD's, with high quality engines in teh first place and proper service intervals specified by the maker.

3 things have happened since those days.

1, the cars have got ridiculously complicated and in comparison to their forebears cheap to buy so they are not engineered like they used to be, yet strangely the more 'loaded' with toys and techonology the car is the more desirable it to the used buyer, thats completely bonkers by the way.

2, where lots of men had learned (by pure virtue of running cars on a shoestring in their youth and years of raising young families on no money) how to fix and miantain their cars themselves, using garages was out of the question, that is no longer the case.

The jobs on this car would probably take a handy DIYer half a day to fix, the steering pulling over bumps is more than likely worn bushes, you can track/align it yourself with a bit of thought, the reversing sensors would be ignored as anyone from my era would fully expect frivolous things like that to pack up in short order anyway.

3, makers of these cars have virtually trebled the service intervals on these cars, hence a German 6 pot engine that at one time would not need anything other than oil changes and new spark plugs for the life of the vehicle, say 250k miles or 1million k's for a Diesel with probably just a set fo glow plugs, same with the gearbox, that would have had lasted indefinately due to sensible oil changes specced at one time before the propaganda of everlasting gucci oils was aired and believed as gospel by the modern car buyers.

The power steering being noisy might not be noisy if someone had slipped an oil change in at some point in its life, would have taken 10 minutes and a pint of Dexron, what a Fiver?

The worn bush on the wiper linkage wouldn't have been worn of someone had lubed the thing.

Modern cars are similar in so many ways to the older ones if a more complicated, they all benefit from a bit of TLC and sensible preventative maintenance (giving the makers idea of servicing a good ignoring if they think 20k or two years for an oil change is fine), but few can be bothered to look after their vehicles any more.

Edited by gordonbennet on 13/02/2017 at 22:25

Used BMW - Numerous Faults - Andrew-T
Can't help you regarding this fight Daniel. It's probably the worst thing you could've spent £5.5k on. It's a hugely complex car and one that cost the guts of £50k new with options.

I think that says it all really - a 10-year-old car only worth about 12% of its original price. Of course the value of all upmarket cars always drops like the proverbial, but there's usually a fundamental reason, as described above.


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