"The Ring". Well for this one paricular person that all became a nightmare when he realized that the very car he had special ordered was painted the wrong color from the factory. Read bellow as he tells his story.
So I am new to the M3 forum here. I've happily driven an E46 M3 for the last 8 years. After spending about 4 years working on color and interior options (causing me to miss the E90 order deadline), I had a production number for my dream E9x M3. A 2013 E92 in Atlantis Blue with Blue deviated stitching and the Indvidual Piano trim. What could be better than to drive my dream car in Germany, "Individually" customized, and around the Nürburgring?
My flight arrived early into MUC on Friday the 10th. I am checked in at the Welt shortly after 8am for an 11am delivery.
Killing some time around 10:15am, I go down to the gift shop. I notice a selection of touchup paints and initially think to myself, "Oh they wont have my color". I walk up and see my color! BUT WAIT! Pulling it off the shelf I notice it's Atlantic, not Atlantis blue. Putting it back on the shelf I am SHOCKED to see that there is an Atlantis blue touchup bottle behind it! JACKPOT! What are the odds that a non-standard color in the ENTIRE BMW CATALOG would be available here in there small selection of touchup paints?
At 10:40 I find myself back in the lounge, watching all the happy people accept their new vehicles. At this point, I notice a US-spec M3 (judging by the reflectors in the bumper) and think "Wow, someone has an Atlantic blue M3 on the same day as my Atlantis Blue". Oh no no no no no..... it hits me. THAT IS MY CAR!
I RUN to my laptop and check all my paperwork/emails. YES, they all say Atlantis Blue. Before I had narrowed it down to the final color choice, it even mentioned the paint code in earlier emails.
At this point, I start to notify the front desk of my situation. They kindly refer me to the gentleman who will be doing my delivery experience. He could not have been nicer, but I made it clear; we have the wrong color car! He fetches the complaints resolution lady who initially tries to convince me that BMW does not make paints in colors that differ by only one letter. I responded by telling her we can go together to the gift shop and buy both Atlantic and Atlantis touchup paint at this very moment.
After waiting for BMW Individual North America to come into the office, as well as my dealer, we discover that the error was likely at the factory in Germany. There is talk of possibly repainting the car (which I expressed as an impossibility). I want a new M3, as originally specified. After 9 hours at the Welt, I am given an X1 to drive. The gentleman who showed me to the vehicle could not have been nicer. While I was happy to have a car to avoid a rental car, an X1 is hardly the car I had in mind. Due to the logistics of my trip, the only opportunity I have to go to the 'ring was on Monday the 13th. Instead of driving an M3 with a standard transmission, I have a crossover SUV and a slushbox. I made my one lap in the X1 and was thankful to be off the track as quickly as possible. It's an okay touring car, but woefully in adequate for any kind of track use. I wanna cry!
Later on Monday, I receive confirmation that the error was in fact in Germany and that they will be building a new car for me. Not only that, but they would like me to return to the Welt to pickup the Atlantic blue M3 as a loaner for the remainder of my trip. While I am ecstatic they have a new allocation for me, I am informed that they will be unable to include the deviated leather stitching that I requested. The problem lies in the fact that the M3 is only in production for another 6 weeks and the lead time on the interior is 8 weeks. Some options like swapping the interior from the existing car were offered, but much like repainting the car, it will never be 100% authentic and I can only imagine it will lead to a world of squeaks and rattles. It's not a stretch to say that the Individual program is the very reason I am buying an M3 and to have the interior missing is unacceptable.
On driving the E92 M3 loaner; it was too little, too late. I LOVE the car, but 80% of the driving I had planned was already complete by the time we received the M3 and more importantly, I had already missed my chance at driving it at the 'ring.
At this point it would appear that BMW is so rigid in their production processes that they are unable to correct their own error. If the interior takes an additional 2 weeks lead time, call they supplier and have it rushed! If that is not possible, have the car stored until the interior is ready. It simply doesn't take 8 weeks to make that interior. There is always a way to make this all work out.
While I enjoyed my time in Germany, it ended up being thousands of dollars spent on the wrong vacation. Nobody has offered to reimburse me for my airfare or offer me any financial compensation for the inconvenience. Unless you consider two free tickets to the BMW museum financial compensation.
In any event, this is not resolved at the time of this posting and I am posting my story as a cautionary tale and as a public plea to BMW to make this right. They are trying to make things right, but I am having some serious doubts. Here we are, more than 9 days later and I am left with a hope and a prayer that they can build my car as desired.
It almost goes without saying that the outcome of my situation will greatly influence my desire to own any future BMW vehicles.
As an aside, on the day I returned for my M3 loaner, I ran into a US couple of German ancestry that was there to pickup their new 7-series. They do this every 3 years. In their situation, BMW revealed that their car had been damaged about a week ago and that they would be unable to pickup the car that day. It BOGGLES THE MIND that they would not provide notification before they left the states for Germany. Not only that, but they offered to have the car repaired for them, instead of another new car. It is shameful how they decided to handle that situation and those owners were rightfully livid.