NASTF Information Requests

Tracking: 160 Status: Closed
State: FL Name: Leon
Category of Request: Security Information Manufacturer: BMW

Have you checked the OEM website?
Description of Repair unable to perform
Price and availability for a new EWS(immobilizer) module & 2 new BMW keys which are required for this repair and installation.
Description of Information not available
Description of steps taken to obtain information (help/contact function on website, websites, etc.)
We had a 2002 BMW 330ci in our shop which had an "IMMOBILIZER" control default problem. We accurately diagnosed a failure of the immobilizer module, but per the procedure had first installed a NEW king ring antenna after having tried both keys for the car to start it. Keys would not start car, nor did the king ring antenna correct the condition. The EWS (OR immobilizer) module needed replacement. This is a repair I DO have the ability to perform and DO have the equipment to complete via the programming & coding necessary. My customer was fully aware that the repair involved this new module and that it would also require 2 new keys because of coding. Needless to say that were not happy, but prepared for the fix and gave us the authorization to complete the repair. We were told by our local BMW dealer that this part, NOR the keys could be purchased. They informed us that BMW of N. America prohibits them from allowing the sale of these components and that ONLY an authorized BMW dealer could perform the repair. My customer was livid, not only because of the inconvenience, but because I could not complete the repair for to circumstances beyond my control. This was an embarrasement for me, my facility and my reputation which is flawless. The dealer knew who I was, knew of my facility & was AMAZED that I had the capability & equipment to complete the fix. Despite several attempts on my part to get them to relax these "supposed" rules, we were still unable to persuade them to sell us the parts and hence, we lost the sale. More-over BMW lost a customer who could have been a repeat BMW buyer. This type of nonsense can NOT continue. We, the independents that buy into the technology and equipment to perform the repair/service on these cars should not be penalized. We have consistently stayed ahead of the curve & have spent thousands of dollars on proper training so to not only meet, but exceed the customers expectations. It is the opinion of my facility, that the people who drive these vehicles, ultimately have the RIGHT to have THEIR vehicle repaired or serviced where they feel the most confident, the most comfortable & without fear that their concerns or needs can only be met by taking it back to "The Dealer". Thank you for your time and consideration, Todd Zwalina Service Manager
Other Comments or Concerns
Mary Hutchinson - 11/8/2007 12:31:50 PM
BMW is in receipt of your NASTF Service Information Feedback/Request. Please accept my apologies on behalf of BMW of North America, LLC, and BMW Group, for the delay in responding. As of this time we are preparing an official response; please be patient and you will receive it very soon.
Mary Hutchinson - 11/15/2007 7:32:08 AM
Mr. Menard (and all concerned parties): Thank you for your recent NASTF information request. The BMW Group supports the rights of owners to have the choice to decide where and how to have their BMW Group vehicles repaired and serviced. However, due to our commitment to safeguard the security of our owners’ vehicles we are unable to provide the parts you have requested. This is our policy worldwide and is a focused restriction we believe is very necessary for the safety and security of our owners and their personal property. In the past, premium vehicles, such as our vehicles, were special targets of thieves and led to elevated theft rates. This cost our owners significantly higher insurance rates, countless hours of aggravation, loss of personal property, including personal identifying data left in vehicles, and fear for their safety if a thief would visit their home. As a result, BMW vehicle owners were negatively affected and our company’s reputation was damaged. We believe sales were lost. You may be familiar with the derogatory phrase "BMW means Break My Window" and can imagine our interest in changing that perception. To address BMW vehicle thefts and damage to our reputation, our company invested enormous resources into designing and equipping our cars with the most state-of-the-art anti-theft technology. Double locks, stronger glass, high tech keys, electronic immobilizers, enhanced data security, mechanism shields, and other countermeasures were implemented. The result is that today thefts of BMW Group vehicles have dropped dramatically worldwide, and our owners have tremendously benefited. We are convinced that our countermeasures, coupled with our security practices, have played a major role in reducing thefts. The EWS and CAS control modules on BMW vehicles are an integral component of the vehicle security system and have been a key tool in reducing the theft of BMW vehicles since 1995. In fact, BMW vehicles are among the most difficult to steal, and we are confident that our customers and our customers' insurers appreciate that fact. No independent or dealer in the world is able to encode a EWS or CAS control module or a key. The BMW Group encodes all EWS and CAS control modules and keys. This is a secure process in an age of electronic hackers and global theft rings. However, the sale of the encoded EWS and CAS control modules to independents for installation on vehicles outside of authorized dealerships would not provide security for our customers and their vehicles. These are among the reasons that we cannot provide you with a favorable response. I trust you will understand our need to safeguard this information in the interest of our owners’ security. Access to information for repairs is an important issue. We would be happy to work with you on how we can better support organizations like yours with non-theft relevant components and service. Vehicle Security Team BMW of North America, LLC (on behalf of the BMW Group)