BMW ‘sheer driving pleasure’? Think again


Asked by May 02, 2016 at 03:12 AM about the 2008 BMW 6 Series 650i Convertible

Question type: General

Don’t be fooled by the BMW ads, the 650i is the worst car we have ever

We bought a brand new BMW 650i in 2008 - it was supposed to be our
dream car - and we have had nothing but trouble since.  The car had a
serious defect which left us stressed, stranded and frustrated.  

On numerous occasions the car took us to our destination and then
mysteriously refused to start.  We returned it to BMW Sydney for its first
service.  After servicing, BMW attempted to return it a number of times but
couldn’t as it kept breaking down.

As the defect could not be fixed, BMW reluctantly supplied a 2010 model
upon payment of an additional $55,000.  Unbelievably, the second car
exhibited exactly the same fault, refusing to start for us and BMW staff on
numerous occasions between 2010 and 2013.

To happen in one vehicle is unlucky, but twice?  That’s a serious problem
which BMW refuses to deal with fairly.

During its very first service, the second car failed to start even for the BMW
service manager.  In December 2012 after many more no-starts, BMW
sent a driver to collect the car, which again failed to start.  In May 2013 the
car was trucked to the BMW service centre in Sydney where it spent over
three months.

We refused to accept return delivery until BMW guaranteed the defect was
fixed.  Their response was nothing short of contemptuous.  Incredibly,
BMW claims that the no-start fault is our fault, caused by low battery power
from insufficient use (>21,000 kms since new).  Really?  For a luxury car
that cost $225,000 you’d expect it to start under water.  Every time.

Why does it start first off and then die after the first leg of a journey?  And
why does it sometimes miraculously recover if left for half an hour or more,
when other times it won’t restart at all.  That doesn’t sound like low battery
power to us.

BMW then sent us a trickle charger to maintain the battery.  We diligently
kept the battery charged.  Even after that, the car sometimes failed to start
mid journey.

BMW has made the astonishing claim in writing that as a rough guide the
650i “needs a trip every second day for a period of more than 25 minutes
and at least one trip exceeding one hour each week” to avoid the no-start
issue.  This information was not disclosed on purchase. Had we known this
from the start, we would never have bought the car.

BMW acknowledges the car has a no-start issue and yet refuses to settle
our case fairly, offering to buy the car back for a fraction of its new price
and substantially less than the advertised online price of the same model
car.  This shows the contempt BMW has for its customers.

We even wrote (chapter and verse) to both the chairman of the supervisory
board and to the chief executive officer of BMW in Germany but received a
reply from their subordinate placing the blame upon us.  How can it be our

It seems that lack of customer care and lack of pride in their reputation is
the basis of a culture that permeates the entire BMW conglomerate.

BMW customers beware, BMW does not care.  If you want a quality,
reliable car that won’t leave you stranded, do not buy a 650i.  If you want
decent customer care and an organization that stands behind its vehicles,
do not buy a BMW at all.

2 Answers

Bob Beaman

It's a BMW, what did you expect? They always have been a maintenance nightmare.


Thanks for the testament- it could have been worse- it could have been an Audi- btw, all 21st Century cars are technological nightmares- I'm sure there are many owners of all makes out there who have similar stories- shift your consciousness back to 20th Century cars- you can find one with low miles, what ever make you prefer-

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