BMW Product Decline and Lack of Interest by the corporate folks

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May 21, 2019
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#1
My wife and I have been loyal BMW customers since 2004. Her recent lease of a 2017 X1 has shown some problems with the product. At 16.5k miles she was told her front tires have less than 5/32" of thread. At 23K miles the tires are now flat out dangerous. Also at 23K miles her front brakes are giving her a warning. She does less than 1K miles per month, the lease is up in 8 months. I've owned all manner of cars since 1970 and, as stated, BMW's since 2004. At NO time in the past 49 years have new, original equipment tires worn to the point of hazard, in under 23K miles. At NO point in 49 years has any car needed new brakes in that same window. I've tried working with the dealership, they have offered some concessions but still over $1000 in needless expenses for a car that is touted as premium. As of this writing I have contacted BMW North America directly (as, purportedly the dealer has as well) and they have spurned any help with tires and have yet to be able to explain the decline in the product. The dealer rep did say "improved technology" could be responsible for the "change"...really? improved technology creating a lesser product? I'm hoping this venue will cause the corporate folks to look into a product that seems to have taken quite the slide.
 

Neil Maley

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#2
Have you had the car two years? Sometimes mileage means nothing, it’s the age of the car and even weather conditions and how you drive that cause tire wear. Have you routinely rotated the tires and is it all four tires?
 
Feb 12, 2019
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Break pads and tires are two wear and tear items whose life varies greatly based on how you drive (among other things). 23k is early, but not astonishingly so. And the fact that both the tires and breaks wore out at about the same time says, to me, that even though the car has only been driven 23k miles it was a hard 23k miles.
 
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May 21, 2019
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Break pads and tires are two wear and tear items whose life varies greatly based on how you drive (among other things). 23k is early, but not astonishingly so. And the fact that both the tires and breaks wore out at about the same time says, to me, that even though the car has only been driven 23k miles it was a hard 23k miles.
it's actually a fairly benign 23K miles, 30 miles per day on a well maintained highway, then just local roads, it has also been an incredibly light winter in CT this year almost no road salt or sand...and it's only the front tires. The dealer is the only one who has ever serviced the car. strictly on the maintenance schedule
 
May 21, 2019
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it's actually a fairly benign 23K miles, 30 miles per day on a well maintained highway, then just local roads, it has also been an incredibly light winter in CT this year almost no road salt or sand...and it's only the front tires. The dealer is the only one who has ever serviced the car. strictly on the maintenance schedule
also, the tires were worn by 16K, we've just not replaced them yet by any stretch 16K is abysmal
 
Feb 12, 2019
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it's actually a fairly benign 23K miles, 30 miles per day on a well maintained highway, then just local roads, it has also been an incredibly light winter in CT this year almost no road salt or sand...and it's only the front tires. The dealer is the only one who has ever serviced the car. strictly on the maintenance schedule
I was speaking to the manner in which one drives not the roads. Lots of quick acceleration, breaking hard or often, stopping and starting quickly, changing lanes frequently - all of that wears it much more than the road itself.

For the breaks to be needed to be replaced at 23k they were likely at least half gone by the 16k you mentioned. If it was only the breaks or the tires it would make one think maybe there is a defect, but both would point to hard driving.
 
Sep 12, 2018
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#7
BMW uses run-flat tires, which means that they are theoretically able to be driven a short distance at reduced speed without any air in them. BMW does this so that they don’t have to equip their cars with spare tires. These tires are different from “regular” tires with respect to durability and stiffness, which means that they sometimes wear out faster and transmit more road shocks to the wheels and suspension components, which can result in problems like bent wheels and misalignment.

BMW also installs softer brake pads than some other brands, because it makes the brakes feel stronger and “grabbier” than harder pads. It creates a lot of brake dust, and the brakes wear out much faster as a result.

In the past, maintenance was included in the price of the purchase or lease, so the service department might tell you that you needed new brakes, but it was covered under the included maintenance plan, so you never saw a bill. Starting in 2017, though, BMW shortened the duration of this included maintenance, and excluded brakes, pads, and a couple of other wear items that used to be covered.

The situation you find yourself in is frustrating, and it’s the direct consequence of BMW’s choices, but it’s not unpredictable. Others have used the arbitration required by your purchase agreement and gotten some good outcomes, so it’s something to consider, but it’s no guarantee, unfortunately.
 

weihlac

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Jun 30, 2017
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#8
The tires are not BMW parts. You can find out the mileage rating on every tire by looking at the codes on the tire or looking them up online.
What make and model tires does the car have?
Try research: tirerack.com for new tires.
If the front tires are worn they should have been rotated at least once.
 

Neil Maley

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#9
Did the dealer rotate the tires? There is always more wear on the front tires because there is more weight on the front of the car then the rear. If they had been rotated you probably would have gotten more mileage out of them.

Unfortunately it’s just something you are going to have to deal with.
 

weihlac

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#10
You also should take your car to an independent mechanic who specializes in BMWs for brake work; you will get the same quality work and parts (maybe better) for much less cost. Tires should be obtained at an independent tire dealer or online for much less than the dealer prices. Auto dealers tend to sell you the tires they have in stock, not the ones you need or want. You can choose tires with longer treadwear ratings by looking online.
Your tires still need to be rotated regularly.

If your car has run flats you can choose to replace them with non-runflats if you do not plan any long distance trips in the car.
 
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AMA

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Dec 11, 2014
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#11
It's a lease, so possibly taking it to an independent mechanic might violate the terms somewhere. I'd be careful about that. I'm very suspicious of leases and don't see any advantage - you have to pay for everything and you don't even end up owning the car.
 
Apr 8, 2019
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#12
Run flat tires generally weight more than conventional tires. They also require higher air pressure. Driving with lower air pressure than specification can cause excessive tread wear.
 
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May 1, 2018
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It's a lease, so possibly taking it to an independent mechanic might violate the terms somewhere. I'd be careful about that. I'm very suspicious of leases and don't see any advantage - you have to pay for everything and you don't even end up owning the car.
The Magnuson–Moss Warranty act, the FTC, and OP's state laws (Conn) all make it clear that consumers cannot be forced to use the dealership service center for repairs. Consumers have the right to have their vehicles serviced and/or repaired anywhere - including doing it themselves.
 
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AMA

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#15
I am aware you can do that if you own the car. However, this is a lease and a lease may have very different terms.
 
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Neil Maley

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#16
The terms of the lease need to be read to see if having the car serviced outside the dealership is a violation of lease terms.

In theory it shouldn’t be but you never know and don’t want the consumer to find out the hard way.
 
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weihlac

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#17
I wonder if this is the first time the OP had this type of tire and wasn’t aware of this.
The BMW X1 has tire pressure sensors. If the tires were under inflated the sensor would so indicate. The sensors are quite sensitive to small drops in pressure. I had an alert on my X1 when the car sat outside in -10 deg weather due to the pressure drop from the cold. The sensor alerts would be set for the installed tires so I doubt underinflation was the problem.
Different brand/model tires vary greatly in tread wear. Some will go 20-25K, some 60-80K. Higher performance tires get less tread mileage. They need to be rotated regularly. My run-flat winter tires need replacement every 25K. Summer tires will give better tread wear but are not very safe in moderate snow conditions.
 

weihlac

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#18
Unless there is a specific clause in the written lease agreement, there is no reason to take a leased car to the dealer for service (other than warranty service). Many people who lease their cars do not return to the dealer for routine, non-warranty service because the leasing dealer may be miles/cities/or even states away from their home/work. Any reputable independent mechanic will use only manufacturer certified parts/oil/oil filter/etc. You simply need to keep all the records on the service performed.
My X1 had a 4 yr free maintenance plan when new; this included even oil changes and wiper blades. Because the dealer was 120 mi away from my home, I took the car to the dealer ONCE in 4 years. It was much easier to take the vehicle to the local mechanic for oil changes that I paid for than drive 4 hours to the dealer. And this was for service that would have been free from BMW. For routine service, the only reason to return to the dealer would be for warranty service.
 
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Sep 27, 2018
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#19
I saw this on a BMW forum abut tire wear. This does not appear to be a unique problem. "Most "original" BMW RFTs are in the Ultra High Performance (UHP) category which means they are designed for their performance characteristics AND not long tread life. That is usually the case when comparing conventional tires with Run Flat Tires. UHP conventional tires might also wear"rapidly" if driven under the same conditions." Another commenter noted that cornering puts a lot of wear on these tires.