Saturday, February 28, 2009

Update on Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Auto Manufacturers

If you have imported a vehicle from the US into Canada, this update may affect you.


Dear Vehicle Importer:

Thank you for your continued interest in the progress of our claim against the auto manufacturers.

At the time we commenced our lawsuit, a similar suit was commenced in Ontario, and we have been asked to join forces with that Ontario firm.

In order to join forces we have agreed to discontinue the claim in British Columbia. We believe that by this partnership we have a better chance of wining this David & Goliath battle.

These lawsuits are usually strenuously defended and can take years to wind their way though the legal system, so we ask you for your patience and continued interest. We will endeavor to provide monthly updates so that you can follow the progress of this lawsuit as it works its way through the court system.

Kindest regards,

Wm. Rory Lambert

Dinning Hunter Lambert & Jackson



Wednesday, February 18, 2009

BMW Imports From The US

Warranty Transfer Process

If you are importing a BMW vehicle from the US, you may come across conflicting information on the process.

For example, RIV doesn't require a Letter of Compliance from BMW Canada in order to release the Federal Inspection Form (Form 2) to you. You can register your vehicle in Canada without a BMW Canada Letter of Compliance. However, BMW Canada insists that one of its registered Canadian dealerships must perform modifications to your newly-imported vehicle, often to the tune of $3,000. They also insist that once the modifications are done, they must issue a Letter of Compliance at a cost of $500.

While the Letter of Compliance is not required for RIV/Transport Canada, BMW insists it is required for Warranty Protection on the balance of your vehicle's warranty.

This is a verbatim response to a customer query:

"Dear [BMW X3 Importer];

Thank you very much for your reply email.

We are truly sorry for the experience that you did receive at Calgary BMW and we can certainly look into this further if you would like us to do so.

However our response does remain unchanged regarding reimbursement of the costs associated with importing your vehicle from the United States. You are correct in stating that there are ways to go about importing your vehicle into Canada without paying the $500.00, but these ways are not suggested by BMW Canada as your vehicle would not be properly registered with us and the remaining portion of your warranty would not be validated.

If there is anything else that we can help with please email back and we would be glad to assist.

Customer Interaction Specialist
BMW Canada Inc. "

When asked by the importer to verify that folks need to "register" their imported vehicle with BMW Canada in order to have the warranty recognised, this was Matthew's response.

"Dear [BMW X3 Importer]

Thank you very much for responding.

I have contacted Calgary BMW and spoken with Service Manager Kevin Mah regarding your concerns and we certainly aim to improve the quality of service that you receive during your next visits. Regarding the importation of your vehicle, there is a difference between vehicles that are visiting from the United States and vehicles that have permanently moved to Canada and not registered their vehicle properly with BMW Canada. We certainly do assist our counterparts in the United States by honoring the warranty with customers visiting, but with vehicles that have moved to Canada permanently we do ask that the importation procedures that you have followed are performed.

I hope that this provides clarification regarding your concerns and if you would like to discuss these issues further please do feel free to contact me directly at 1-800-567-2691 and ask for extension 5069.

Customer Interaction Specialist
BMW Canada Inc. "

BMW does not come out and state that they will refuse to honour the warranty if the $500 is not paid for a "registration" fee. So, what exactly is their policy? We have long decided that BMW is seeking these financial rewards to appease their Canadian dealerships who have lost sales to importers seeking better deals in the US.

We encourage other readers to share their experiences. Like you, we are frustrated by the rules that BMW imposes and the penalties they charge.

If you have paid these fees to BMW, you may wish to put your name on the list of potential plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit. If so, please e-mail and we will add your contact information to the growing list.