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Workshop test 2012: BMW fighting with the headlights

Joerg Dotzek
Workshop test 2012 (episode 5)
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' We are honestly appalled by the poor performance of four companies, 'says Franz Thurner, Head of After Sales Sales Germany at BMW, according to the workshop test carried out by a uto motor und sport in 2009. At that time, the error correction rate was 51 percent, and the top service boss promised to initiate 'quality assurance measures for all dealers'.

Judging by the 2012 results, the measures don't seem to have taken effect everywhere. Although the BMW dealerships improve to a rate of 67 percent, they are nowhere near their own peak of 85 percent in 2005. There is definitely a need for improvement, because if you see yourself as a premium brand, you should deliver premium quality - also in terms of service. After all, the customer must be able to rely on the mechanics to properly maintain the car delivered for inspection.

All mechanics fail to adjust the Headlights

BMW did not top the miserable result of 2009 with four not recommendable companies this time, but there are still three companies with the verdict “conditionally recommended” or “not recommended”. In this way, no car dealership succeeds in delivering one hundred percent work performance. In all eight BMW factories, the mechanics fail to adjust the headlights correctly. Nevertheless, there is one company with the test result 'very recommendable'. Four other authorized workshops do a decent job and finish with the rating “recommended”.

The BMW 3 Series prepared for the inspection has seven defects that the mechanic must discover on the basis of the check list. A check mark may only appear on the maintenance list after the fault has been rectified in the workshop. An experienced service advisor checks whether the horn is working as soon as you drive onto the lifting platform. And in the subsequent dialog reception, errors such as the cooling water level being too low or the loose cover plate screw are usually discovered quickly. A proper vehicle check also means that safety-relevant parts and functions such as the disconnected brake line, missing belt clip, misaligned headlights and tire pressure are checked particularly carefully.

Price of the' Service vehicle check 'varies widely

In all eight dealerships it is noticeable that the price of the' Service vehicle check 'in the individual regions In addition, each company writes the 'standard service scope' with two work unit hours, the so-called AW, on the invoice. Per work value it is between 9.16 and 14.16 euros According to the on-board computer, the inspection price adds up to 300.86 euros, including an oil change, for example at the test winner Hamburg branch.

The loser in the test - after all, also a branch - has a fatal performance record. In the big BMW -Operation in Saarbrücken does not even try to correct the tire pressure that is too low. The other six defects remain undetected. In addition, there is the unfriendly way of dealing with customers, long waiting times and unreliable statements from employees. For this failure, the customer is then presented with a proud invoice amount of 365.96 euros. With three out of a possible 30 points for work performance, not only the workshop but also the price-performance ratio is a flop.

The second company with the rating 'not recommended' is in the same region, although the mechanics at the Scheuerer + Bender dealership in Sankt Ingbert found four defects and corrected three of them correctly. Points are deducted because there is no reference to the loss of coolant either on the invoice or when the vehicle is picked up. But it is more annoying if the invoice suddenly shows the replacement of brake pads and brake discs without the customer being informed about this by phone or when the vehicle is returned. Such costly surprises lurk when there is no order confirmation or the actually obligatory dialogue acceptance on a lifting platform.

Six considered dialogue on the lifting platform for unnecessary

In six of the eight companies, the service advisors do not consider it necessary to look at the vehicle with the customer on a lifting platform. As in the case of the Hamburg branch, the invoice then contains grotesque information such as 'Service advice on the vehicle without a customer, without a service ticket'. With the exception of the Saarbrücken branch and the Müller-Dynamic car dealership, all companies discovered the defective horn, even though the Düsseldorf branch initially suspected “something significant” as the source of the error for the inoperable horn. Except for the loser in the test, all other companies notice the missing belt clip and replace it, and the tire pressure was also corrected there.

In all car dealerships, the BMW 3 Series goes through a test drive at the end of the inspection, and the invoice is explained is also carried out correctly. TheseThe customer should be able to expect the procedure for all work steps. Then BMW could build on the earlier test successes and meet the demands of a premium manufacturer.

Conclusion BMW workshop test 2012

After all, BMW can stop the downward trend in the assessment of work performance and compared to the last workshop test by auto motor und sport in 2009 by 16 percentage points. However, the eight tested companies of the premium brand did not deliver a brilliant performance this year either. None of the dealerships achieved the maximum of 30 points for work performance. All authorized workshops fail, for example, because of the correct setting of the headlights.

Only one company secured the rating “very recommendable”, another four concluded with “recommended”, and two failed with the rating “not recommended” . When it comes to service, only two establishments have been awarded five stars. A car dealership saves particularly in terms of friendliness, but is high in the amount of inspection costs.

The service area is correspondingly busy. Nevertheless, an employee welcomes us very friendly and explains the work to be done according to the maintenance list. There is no dialogue acceptance with a consultant who is looking at the vehicle on the lift. Instead, he phoned around an hour after the car was returned. In the meantime he has looked at the vehicle alone.

The invoice then says 'Service advice on the vehicle without a customer'. For this reason, the best BMW company in terms of work performance missed the maximum of five stars in the service rating. But the test winner did not achieve the full 30 points in terms of work performance either. The reason for this is that the headlights are still not correctly adjusted. Otherwise, the fitters in the workshop will fix all built-in defects.

auto motor und sport rating: highly recommended

The service advisor appears punctually at the agreed time and asks according to the vehicle key. Almost without a word, he looks at the screen of his computer, just asks about the upcoming general inspection and gives the pick-up time for the next day. He refuses to offer to take a look at the car with the customer. Instead, he gets in touch about an hour later to ask where the vehicle was parked.

During the phone call the next morning and the list of various points of defect, the service advisor is much more talkative, but comes to pick us up of the vehicle 20 minutes later than agreed. The work performance in the workshop is also not fully convincing. The fitter corrects the inadequate headlight setting inadequately and ignores the loose screw on the cover plateQuite completely.

auto motor und sport rating: Recommended

There are plenty of parking spaces and the entrance to the service area is easy to find. The premises seem cramped and neither a read-out device for the maintenance list nor a printer is connected to the service advisor's desk. For this reason, the friendly employee has to go to other offices to get information from the vehicle or printed documents. In between waiting is announced. It remains unclear whether the car has meanwhile been on the lifting platform, because the service advisor does not ask the customer to accept a dialogue.

When the vehicle is picked up, the same employee explains the work carried out and indicates repairs that are due soon. However, there is no indication to pay attention to the coolant level in the future. Together with the lack of dialogue, there are only four stars for work performance and service.

auto motor und sport rating: Recommended

Although we agreed before the one When you arrive at the dealership, the service advisor has time. However, at Müller-Dynamic there is neither an order confirmation, nor do they take the time to inspect the vehicle together with the customer on a lifting platform. Less than 15 minutes after leaving the dealership, an employee from the workshop reports that the brakes need to be repaired, which we refuse.

The foreman himself is present when the BMW 3 Series is picked up , explains in detail the work carried out and indicates repairs that are due soon. However, the auto mechanic overlooks the loose cover plate screw and is unable to adjust the headlights correctly. With a total price of only 114.42 euros, the service check is the cheapest here.

auto motor und sport rating: Recommended

The Service employee immediately turns to the vehicle and asks the customer to come to the lift. During the inspection he searches meticulously for irregularities and defects. He also explains how to correctly read the main inspection sticker. Overall, the vehicle acceptance takes around three quarters of an hour. The service advisor could have saved himself some of the explanations and repetitions. Then there is an order confirmation and, in the evening, a phone call stating that further defects were found on the vehicle.

Despite all the attention to detail, the mechanics in the workshop are unable to adjust the headlights correctly, even the one that was hung up Brake line is overlooked. The Grimma car dealership may shine with its glass facade and five stars for service, but not with the three stars for work performance.

auto motor und sport rating:Recommended

Although we are too early, an employee at the reception accompanies us immediately to a service advisor who will take care of us immediately. The next morning he calls out any defects that were discovered in the workshop. Underneath is the defective horn, which one suspects 'something significant'.

When the car is picked up, the advisor is immediately on the spot and explains the work carried out. In doing so, he notes that the horn was only used as a safety device, 'nothing earth-shaking'. The follow-up inspection shows that the workshop is not looking closely enough. Otherwise you would have had to register the disconnected brake line and the left headlight that was set too high. Although coolant is topped up during the check, the customer is not informed, either verbally or in writing, of the loss of coolant and the need for further checks. With 20 out of 30 points, the dealership is only conditionally recommended.

auto motor und sport rating: conditionally recommended

An employee in the reception area does not take care of anything the waiting customers, but prefers to concentrate on a pile of documents on her desk. In contrast, the only service advisor goes to great lengths to serve customers effectively, quickly and in an extremely friendly manner. So do us. Unfortunately, we have to forego a joint inspection of the vehicle on a lifting platform, as well as an order confirmation. In this, the foreman should have stated that the brakes should supposedly be replaced.

An expensive surprise awaits the customer when the vehicle is picked up: new brake pads and brake discs for a total of 439, 03 euros assembled. In addition, just three of the seven built-in defects were properly repaired.

auto motor und sport rating: not recommended

One stops when the vehicle is handed in Employee at the reception desk would rather have a chat with the advisor than devote herself to the customers. After a long wait, she tells the customer that it will take at least half an hour and still frantically pushes a form over the counter. We have to force the number for a callback on her. On the phone, the service advisor explains that the collection date will be postponed by one and a half hours. The next day he tries to come to us only when we ask and listlessly explains the bill. He also claims that we were wrong in the date because the vehicle was ready yesterday. The pick-up slip teaches him better.

Since the car is in the branch's large multi-storey car park, an employee offers to have it picked up. It takes a full 45 minutes before our colleagues notice that we are still waiting. The service advisor takes a strollAway and drives another ten minutes later.

auto motor und sport rating: Not recommended

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