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BMW Assist comes through for BMW M3 owner

Interesting | September 29th, 2009 by 19
BMW M3 006

Let’s start our story with the description of BMW Assist directly from the manufacturer: “To enhance your BMW driving experience, the BMW Assist system offers …

Let’s start our story with the description of BMW Assist directly from the manufacturer:

“To enhance your BMW driving experience, the BMW Assist system offers safety, security and convenience services at the touch of a button. Using advanced technology, BMW Assist connects you with a trained response specialist to help you with almost everything, from an emergency situation to directions and traffic information. The BMW Assist system includes Bluetooth’s hands-free calling capability with speech recognition. For 2009 models, the BMW Assist Safety Plan is available as part of Ultimate Service at no cost for 4 years from your BMW’s in-service date.”

But have you ever asked yourselves how far would BMW Assist go…..to assist you? A member of M3post has an interesting experience to share with us.

“Wow, $1427 bucks later and I have a new right, rear tire. BMW Assist came through with shining colors for sure!”

BMW Assist comes through for BMW M3 ownerI will do my best to make this a short story; was on a business trip calling on the state of Montana and decided scrap the plane ride and take the M3 for the ride cause the weather forecast called for nothing cold mornings and late September sun! (Not to mention the miles and miles of twisty roads and long, deserted straight-aways ) When it happened….along came the quiet, relaxed chime and the indication that my tire was getting low.

Crap, I thought…as I was a million miles from no-where, deep in the clenches of the high desserts of the vast state of Montana. I had one gas station within the next 80 miles and it was just a few exits ahead. Made it! Filled the tire (it was only at 25psi–figured it was just low from the drastic change of altitude and cold mornings–I was off and running again! ) 15 miles later—ding….then the smell of burning rubber as my side walls were beginning to burn through. I stopped at the side of the road to find it completely flat. Found the ‘emergency-tire-kit’ in the trunk and went to work.

Lets see, attach compressor to weird plastic bottle, turn compressor on, drive 2 miles at 30mph to spread white goo evenly, pump 2 bar of pressure in and PRESTO! White glue began to spew out of the 1/4 hold in top of tire!. Now what???? Get the cell out, walk 100 yards to find some sort of signal, call EVERY TIRE SHOP in all of Montana to find out “We don’t carry no tire that wide round here–

Geez! What now, I thought as I began to panic. Oh yeah…the SOS button! (I should have paid more attention at my orientation–guess I was too busy admiring the sexy lines of my new M3…)

Within a few moments, a calm, cool voice came over the air-waves “BMW Assist, how may I be of service?” I spent the next ten minutes telling her my sob story, and the next thing I new she was ready to dispatch the nearest tow truck. “TOW TRUCK!?!” — I gasped…”no sir, we will send a flat bed that will gently ease your car onto it’s platform”. “Then we will tow it to the nearest BMW dealer…”

But there are no dealers in Montana, I pondered….”Looks like the nearest dealer is in Spokane Washington, is that alright Mr. Yougottaflat???” Ummm…. (I was wondering how many millions this was going to cost me…) And before I could embarrass myself and ask, she said “This is of course part of your emergency road side assistance program provided to you by BMW…”

And with a smile on my face, I said I was ready when she was! 45 minutes later a tow truck arrived and the driver carefully lifted my M3 onto the deck and…..drove….250 miles…..and five hours to Spokane. 250 MILES!!! At $2.75 per mile! + the lift truck! FOR A FLAT!!!!

BMW Assist comes through for BMW M3 owner

Awesome dealer (CAMP BMW) special ordered my tire and had it next day aired in (for free, by the way) mounted and balanced, and I was on my way. Tire had 60% life left, so the wheel and tire insurance I bought at the time of my purchase paid for most of the tire and labor, BMW picked up the tab for the tow. My only loss was a day and half of time and most of my sanity trying to make small talk with the Montana tow-truck driver for 5 hours. (Oh, and I can now scratch off visiting a truck stop weigh station off of my bucket-list, three of them….kinda scary…)

Quite the labor invested by so many people just to change a flat–amazing.”

In a world where negative stories are heard and advertised first, it is good to see positive outcome being promoted. Without sounding like BMW fanboys, we love to see that BMW Assist works, even though we’re glad we haven’t had a chance to use it yet.

[Source: M3post ]

  • Mauro Corti

    everything nice, but.. 1427 bucks for a tire…

  • Thijs

    I have a simular experience in England. I was on a business trip as well and one morning my 116i enige turned rough and gave up on me at the highway; camshaft timer broken. I called the alerm number in The Netherlands where I’m from they aranged a tow within one hour and drove me to the dealership. The guys overthere aranged a rental for me and to other day they gave me a call that they had finished the job, so within 24 hours! the whole story cost me 0 pounds/euro’s, the only bad part was that I had to bear a FWD rental for a day.

  • Harmonica

    So please tell me again what the benefit of this over pulling out the spare in the trunk, swapping it out, and getting back to your originally scheduled trip within 30 minutes is?

  • Jeremy

    I second what Harmonica said. It’s great to know BMW assist is there when you need it. However, despite our increasingly urbanized world it is easy to find yourself in situations where run-flats are rarer than a unicorn. Just give us the option BMW!

  • Doug

    Yeah, this story would make me think twice about this. $1500 for a flat? How much is the SOS equipment and service? Why not just use AAA and use a cell phone? Maybe a spare tire?

  • bsd107

    I now own two cars (one is a BMW) with runflats, and these kind of stories terrify me.

    My previous car was a 1999 540iA Sport, which had a full spare and wheel in the truck. Get a flat – simply swap the wheel and you are on your way. Why should I have to lose over a day of time because of a simple flat tire?!?!?!?!?!

    I know this story is about BMW Assist, but I’m still not sold on the whole RFT thing.

    The portion of the story about the Mobility Kit experience mirrors others that I have read – i.e. that it’s not a solution and actually can create more problems….

  • Dan

    It is true that having a ‘spare’ would definitely be the low cost alternative. But, the reality is, most BMW’s don’t; especially the M3. I am sure it’s because of both added weight and the room in the trunk that it would use up (wouldn’t be able to fit the golf clubs… ;) ) BMW could have just shrugged their shoulders at the time of manufacturing and put us out there on our own if this happened to any of their customers. Instead, they put in place a service that truly is second to none. The cost of the repair wasn’t even considered in their determination to help, it was how the customer was left feeling after it was all said and done that mattered the most.

    Kudos BMW Assist!

    • bmwdriver

      Kudos to a bad idea???
      It is ridiculous not to have a spare tyre.

    • The Lee

      I’m not sure what kind of BMW you have, but my E46 M3 just had a huge styrofoam block that took up the entire space typically occupied by a spare tire. Actually having a spare tire in there doesn’t remove a single cubic inch of cargo space, let alone enough to negate your ability to carry golf clubs.

      I hate run-flats with a passion. Not only does the ride quality suffer, but as everyone else has said… a 10-30 minute tire change now becomes hours spent waiting for a tow, sitting at the shop, etc. Some people (such as the individual in the above story) are lucky enough to have understanding employers/clients/etc when they’re forced to take a day-long detour due to a flat. I don’t have that luxury. If I’m on the road, it’s typically because I have to be somewhere. “I had a flat tire” normally isn’t a viable excuse to be a day+ late to something, or to miss a day of work.

  • PK

    Yeah, gotta echo several of the previous comments… BMW can tout the benefits of run-flats all they want but this story is exactly why I prefer a spare in the trunk. My last flat came when I was driving across the I-90 floating bridge into Seattle, late to a meeting just before 8 in the morning. Even dressed in a pressed shirt and slacks I was able to change my tire in less than 10 minutes. SOS, wait for a flatbed for a ride into Seattle and then deal with dealer who treats my just like they do the thousands of other customers they have (basically sh*t). The only thing run-flats would have saved me from was dirty hands.

    Again, how is that more convenient?

  • bmwdriver

    This article just hughlighted how ridiculous it is not to have a spare tyre.
    If BMW can get their act together and start adding spares to all vehicles, this is will uncalled for.

  • Nathaniel Mathes

    This is considered a positive outcome????? Its a flat tire!!!!!! Tow 250 miles, order tire, wait 1 day. Its a flat tire!!!!! How about, get a flat. put the spare on, go to business meeting, buy new tire, go home.

    • http://www.bmwblog.com Horatiu B.

      It’s a positive outcome as far as BMW Assist, the run flat tire vs. spare tire issue has been discussed before. Some people hate them while others just love them.

      What’s nice to see is that BMW Assist can come through in these odd situations, despite the costs.

  • Auday

    I might be wrong here, but I thought all M Cars have regular tires (no run flat stuff)? So I think his tire is just a regular Pilot Sport or other performance tire, not a run flat.

    As for the Spare, my 01 M-Roadster and 06 E46 M3, both don’t have a spare and the reason is mainly weight saving AFAIK, as obviously they don’t save any space.

    The extra weight of the spare in that distance from the center of weight of the car is very bad for the car responsiveness (the inertia tensor matrix of the car body if someone is a physics guru).
    I could see the saving space argument in the non M cars, but yeah I’m not defending BMW here, I think it’s ridiculous to waste all that time and screw up your plans because of a flat.
    However, if he had a run flat, then I think he would have been able to drive to his destination without needing to do anything, other than driving slower and changing the tire later. Again I could be totally wrong as I never owned a run-flat car before.

    But for M cars, I’d rather have the car free of the spare tire weight as it always was and not have a runflat (which I think it doesn’t even now) and I could live with that hassle that the OP described.

  • Jeremy

    Thanks for bringing that to light, Auday, I was confused initially. The M3 does not come with run-flats or a spare. You are right. So, the issue encountered here was the M3 having a tire size not stocked in a rural area.

    In sum: run flats are controversial, M3’s don’t use them, but they also don’t have a spare which makes having a flat a more time-consuming, presumably increasing the farther you are from a metro area. Thanks for BMW Assist for making it as inconvenient and cost free (besides time) as possible to not have a spare tire.

    M3 owners are hard core for going “commando”!

  • JW

    Is this “no spare” thing new @ BMW. My Mom’s 03 325i has a spare…I’ve changed her tire before. Is it just for higher performance BMWs? I would never want a car without a spare !

  • Jeremy

    It’s just the M’s and all contemporary BMW’s with run-flat tires.

  • bmwdriver

    I can’t understand the rationale behind the idiot in BMW that thinks spare tyres will be a thing of the past. The risk and hazards of having a flat still exist, so how on earth could they think we don’t need spares.

    The safest solution will be designing vehicles that have space for their spares. To improve the safety factor such vehicles can be equiped with RFT or regular tyres. I have no problem with RFT, the only problem is having a vehicle without the designated space for a spare.

  • Laszlo

    Sad, sad story. horrifying too. what if you had a small children or a pregnant woman with you ? Spending a day and a half for a flat ? amazingly stupid. BMW assist and their ignorance created a problem that wasn’t a problem before. I have had flats before, 20-30 minutes top and on the way again.
    I would NEVER drive a car out of a city without a spare.
    Yes, I own older cars, you are correct to assume that.
    A button and talk with a nice voice does not fixes the problem, a spare does. What if you were in a remote area where cell phones and SOS buttons don’t work ? Scary and sad… you got lucky this time !

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