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Lemon Law, Beverly Hills, BMW 525i

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Case Description

A customer went to Beverly Hills BMW with his grandmother to purchase a 2004 BMW 525i for her 90th birthday. The salesperson explained that the 525i was a BMW certified vehicle in “great condition", but after the sale the customer discovered significant issues with the BMW 525i, including failures with the electrical system and transmission, an interior leak, and faults with the engine. Over the next two years, the customer would send the 525i for repairs, while one issue appeared after the other.

At one point, the customer was told by Beverly Hills BMW that the leaks that had appeared on the floorboards of the BMW 525i were due to her "clogging" the sunroof drains and that he would need to open an insurance claim to repair the drains. The customer opened a $2,500.00 insurance claim with 21st Century for the water damage, but the next month, the customer was notified by Beverly Hills BMW that the leak issue was actually caused by a defective sunroof. They further stated that they would repair it at no cost to the customer, but they would still require the $2,500.00 check from the insurance company. When the customer asked why they needed an insurance check if it was a manufacturing problem, the representative avoided the question and insisted that he bring the check. The customer informed Beverly Hills BMW that they were going to call BMW to dispute the claim.

The customer learned from BMW of North America that the 2004 BMW 525i was part of a set of vehicles with a known sunroof defect, and that the repair is covered "under the terms of the BMW New Vehicle Limited Warranty." But BMW stated that they could not help with the insurance issue. The customer then requested that a BMW engineer evaluate the leak as Beverly Hills BMW had already made three unsuccessful attempts to repair the vehicle. Still, BMW was unable to help the customer and suggested that they resolve the issue with Beverly Hills BMW.

Thereafter, the customer reluctantly gave Beverly Hills BMW the $2,500.00 insurance check to repair the leak. On the day the dealership returned the 525i , the customer discovered a large scratch on the left side of the vehicle and three inches of standing water on the floorboards and returned to Beverly Hills BMW. The dealership denied responsibility for the scratch and stated that the flooding was the customer’s fault for "leaving the car here so long." The next day, Beverly Hills BMW notified the customer that they had put in a claim with his grandmother’s insurance company, even though the customer never gave his permission to do so. Beverly Hills BMW informed him that without the claim, he and his grandmother would be responsible for the cost of the repair. They further explained that the dealership would not clean the water or repair the seal unless the customer drafted a letter stating that Beverly Hills BMW was doing so "In Good Faith". The customer wrote the letter, although he was not aware that it was illegal for Beverly Hills BMW to insist that he do so.

Shortly after receiving the 2004 BMW 525i, several service warnings and alerts activated and the electrical system began shorting out. The customer immediately contacted Beverly Hills BMW expressing his disappointment over their business practices and failure to honor promises. The 525i had been subject to repair more than a reasonable number of times for the same issue and eventually developed into bigger problems. The customers were forced to seek legal assistance and called our offices. Through our experience in California warranty law and the endurance of our attorneys, the customer was able reach a favorable settlement agreement with Beverly Hills BMW, where the dealership repurchased the BMW 525I, paid monetary compensation and covered all attorney’s fees and costs.