BMW has now restricted the sale of some components that they deem theft relevant.
How is that legal?
Doesn't the Magnuson-Moss act state that when a manufacturer requires that their part be used, that it must be supplied for free? This is what gives independent repair shops the right to install aftermarket parts without voiding the manufacturer's warranty.
How can you steal or jeopardize the security of a customer's vehicle by installing a new EWS* module? This module reads the customer's key and verifies its authenticity, then checks the data in several modules to make sure thay all match the vehicle's VIN# and then lets the vehicle start. We have the equipment and knowledge to install a new EWS and have done many in the past. When installing this module it must be learned or aligned with the other modules in the vehicle and the ignition key. The module can only be used on one vehicle. It "marries" itself to the VIN# and cannot be used on another vehicle. A used EWS module cannot be used.
BMW gives their explanation why they want their vehicle to be theft proof, and it is a valid point: lower insurance costs. A more secure (harder to break into and/or steal) vehicle will lower insurance costs. Lower insurance costs will in turn lower the vehicle's cost of ownership. A lower cost of ownership will attract more buyers and result in the sale of more vehicles.
How is an EWS module going to jeopardize the security of a vehicle? The only way that I can imagine to break into or steal a vehicle with an EWS module is to throw it through a window to gain acess to the vehicle! Are bricks and spark plugs going to now be on the theft relevant parts list? What is next? This seems like a tactic to force owners to return to the factory dealerships for repairs. This should not be legal. I have lost many sales and customers due to this policy.
EWS: Electronic Watchdog System. Holds a changing rolling code combination in the ignition key, which talks to the immobiliser and if codes match and are verified the vehicle is allowed to start.
|Reported by:||Jack from New York||Monday, June 15, 2009|
|Status:||Closed / Response Received||Monday, June 15, 2009|
|Visited Site:||BMW Dealers||Monday, January 1, 1900|
|Contacted:||Monday, June 15, 2009|
|Contact Number:||718 229-3636|
|Info Requested:||BMW dealer's refuse to sell EWS immobilizer module and ignition keys.|
|Contact Response:||Hello, I've experienced the same problem as another IATN member. When I read BMW's murky response from previous complains it does not make any sense at all. We are registered and licensed repair facility in business for over 20 years. We replace immobilizer modules and ignition keys for Audi, VW, Mercedes and all domestic vehicles. How can the same type of service for BMW vehicles jeopardize BMW customer's security? EWS modules and keys are VIN specific and none will be sold to anyone before the VIN, copy of registration and owner's ID is presented. (key must be "cut" and module programmed according to VIN) I have customer's permission, all paperwork and still can't buy it. In addition there are no restrictions for the sale of engine control modules! Applying same logic engine controller should be "security item" as it shares information with EWS! I am not sure what is a real reason for refusing to sale EWS modules and keys. For BMW owners this is one more unnecessary hassle. Especially when their vehicle is already in repair shop. And this certainly is not an incentive for next BMW vehicle purchase. I'd support any legal option to force BMW to release such "security" items to registered independent repair facilities.|