BMW Service and Disservice

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Sir,

I recently purchased a used CS BMW from Langley Motors of Thames Ditton and the extraordinary after-sales service experienced prompts me to seek publication in your excellent journal. Soon after purchase the car had to be returned twice for adjustments and on each occasion I was given a very expensive set of wheels to keep me mobile. One of these cars was new and cost in excess of £4,000. Profound apologies also, for being troubled and having to return the car.

After my purchase (please note after) I was invited to attend a splendid Bavarian evening and some two weeks later, a luncheon, to meet other CS owners. In addition, I have been invited to Brands Hatch, Silverstone and Goodwood, to thrash expensive machinery round the circuit. Is it surprising that the market penetration of this particular breed has been so successful, despite a very high monetary premium? Wish that this letter were all praise but, alas, no.

On requesting the cost of a set of stainless steel wheel arch trims for my new steed, I was presented with the staggering figure of £296, for four pieces of 1.1/2 in.-wide pressed steel. A local engineering shop have agreed to make a set of four for £10, which prompts me to ask BMW to justify this extortion.

This problem seems to be general with the Fatherland’s higher-grade vehicles, as my pocketbook took a further shock last week, on paying £94 (inc. VAT) for an air cleaner assembly for my 190 SL Mercedes.

Perhaps it is time that our much-discussed Government Price Control Office diversified their activities to imported motor parts.

Notwithstanding my grievance which, after checking the price of the wheel-arch trims with two other BMW dealers, is obviously no fault of the Langley Motor organisation, it has been refreshing to deal with a company who genuinely invest in the marketing of their product and seem interested in maintaining contact long after the actual sale.

Long may I be in a position to purchase their excellent but expensive motor cars; and long may my BMW run before requiring spare parts!

Maidenhead John A. Sangster