BMW G310 R/GS Forum banner

When is a battery warranty not a battery warranty ?...

912 Views 9 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Imperiton1
My 3 year/36,000 mile warranty runs out at the end of this month, and I have just had a 12,000 mile service.
The report from the service states that the battery was charged and given a load test and ( quote ) 'failed load test. Results show battery needs replacing'.
So, I referred to my 'Consumer Warranty Information 2019 U.S. motorcyles and scooters' booklet ( BMW published Aug 2018), as issued with the bike. I have checked all the info. inside, and see the following:
Page 3: A list of 'Items subject to wear' ( battery NOT listed ).
Below that entry is a minor disclaimer about the effects of severe heat and cold on the battery.
Page 9: 'What's Not Covered'
Disclaimers relating to maladjustment, negligence, misuse, etc. Not applicable.
Page 24: '12 Volt Battery Care'
Warnings about 10 mile minimum trip length, travel at highway speeds, not leaving bike idle for over 4 weeks at a time, trickle charging, removing battery for longer periods, etc., etc. Again, not applicable.
Nowhere can I find any further restrictions to the warranty on the battery.

So, I called BMW US on their customer care line ( as listed in the booklet ) to double check that the battery was covered for the full 3 years and 36,000 miles. After some beating about the bush, I was assured that it was. So, I asked what I needed to do to claim a new battery: I was told that BMW US needs verification from a BMW dealer that the battery hasn't been misused, modified or damaged. Just to avoid any confusion, I e-mailed an outline of the issue, with a list of the required info., back to BMW Customer Service, along with a copy of the original service report showing the diagnosis. I heard nothing back in 24 hours.
So, I went back to the BMW Service Manager asking him to provide precisely that. The Manager was initially a little less than complimentary about BMW US Customer Service, and then stated that BMW batteries only have a 2 year warranty. So, I forwarded him the e-mail I had sent back to BMW US Customer Service. He replied with a scan of printed sheet titled 'Section 5 Supplemental Information', dated July 1, 2020, and marked 'section 5 page 5' at the bottom. Here was the specification of a warranty limit of 24 months but unlimited mileage. It also mentioned ' Original BMW batteries sold over the counter'. Below that it stated that 'A battery replacement is covered by the New Vehicle Limited Warranty when a proper diagnosis indicates a vehicle fault or battery defect.'
Not quite a clear as one might like, but I surmised that the original battery ( since it was NOT sold over the counter ) should have the full 3 year warranty.
Next day I called BMW US Customer Service again, and presented the sequence of events. The Agent checked and finally also quoted the 2 year warranty. So, I pointed out that I did not know where he had found his information. That it may even be BMW policy to limit battery warranty to 2 years, but they had certainly omitted to put that in my warranty booklet. That that was NOT the BMW warranty that I was provided by my BMW dealer at the sale of my bike. That it was this BMW document alone that constitutes my warranty, and it does not provide any exceptions for the battery. Neither does it say that the terms are incomplete, nor that I need to refer elsewhere for additional terms. I even offered to e-mail him a copy of my Warranty booklet on several occasions, so that he could see it for himself. He declined my offer each time.
After an hour of going around and around the same mulberry bush, I finally asked to speak to a Supervisor. Apparently, the Agent must make a formal request for this, and the Supervisor will contact me within 5 days.
I await the results....
See less See more
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
I have just come off the phone from the return call from a Supervisor from BMW Customer Service, regarding the enquiry above.
After I provided a quick review of the succession of events to date, I clarified that upon the sale of my bike I had been provided with the following BMW documents: The invoice, the 'G310GS Riders Manual' booklet, and the 'Consumer Warranty Information 2019 U.S. Motorcycles and Scooters' booklet, marked 'BMW copyright, printed in U.S.A. 08/18'. I specifically asked him if this was complete documentation, to ensure that nothing had been omitted. The Supervisor confirmed that the documentation was complete.

I then asked him to check the warranty booklet to verify that the battery is shown as covered by the 3 year warranty.
I give him full credit for the facts that he found access to the warranty booklet, and was off-line for a considerable amount of time while he read it. He also had the honesty to admit that I was right. According to the booklet, the battery IS covered.
However, he then devolved to 'BMW's general policy' ( as issued to the dealers ). Here, he stated, the battery only has 2 years cover.
So I pointed out that, since there is no reference within the warranty booklet to any exceptions or additional clauses to be found elsewhere, the booklet must alone constitute the complete contract on warranty.
Again, he had to agree, but he still would not change his stance.
He then asked me to refer back to the dealer on whom, he said, BMW US relies in applying the warranty ( thereby trying to shift the responsibility ).
OK, I said. But would he call the Service Manager to confirm ( as he had done to me ) that I was correct in my interpretation of the warranty booklet. He avoided answering the question. I repeated the question. He avoided it again. So, I persisted a third time, pushing for him to give me either a 'Yes, or a No' answer. He finally replied 'NO' !
So, here you have the reality that BMW do not live up to the contract that they themselves have written and issued upon the sale of their own vehicle.
I informed the Supervisor that, based on this reply, I was exceedingly disappointed with BMW ( 'The Ultimate Driving Machine' ) US's performance.
See less See more
  • Wow
Reactions: 1
Holy mackerel that’s ”reading the fine print”! With charging allowed at 14.9 volts, it’s hard to see any battery making it the distance. I think to get a battery from them has progressed to a law dog or perhaps one of the TV/radio shows that goes to bat and solves it with exposure. I like that one if you’ve the time to pursue. Depending on your charging voltage, a switch to lithium would be ideal. Bully for you butting heads! All the new gen bikes are very dependent on a strong bat ray.
Hiring a lawyer 🤣 (the American way) will be more expensive than purchasing a new battery!
Else do not ride your bike (any brand) ... to prevent its components from wearing and to save the planet. 🥳
  • Like
  • Haha
Reactions: 2
Isn't a new $100 these days? Aren't they a "wear item"? How is one's time worth?? I wouldn't even bother with an OEM replacement at this point - I would get one of those super fancy new tech ones and move on with my life. The new ones are more reliable and lighter, too (do they use lifepo4 now or?).

Completely off topic but battery tech is insane now, I have a bunch of Victron stuff and one of the small batteries weights as much as newborn kitten.
  • Like
Reactions: 2
Isn't a new $100 these days? Aren't they a "wear item"? How is one's time worth?? I wouldn't even bother with an OEM replacement at this point - I would get one of those super fancy new tech ones and move on with my life. The new ones are more reliable and lighter, too (do they use lifepo4 now or?).

Completely off topic but battery tech is insane now, I have a bunch of Victron stuff and one of the small batteries weights as much as newborn kitten.
You would think... BMW OEM battery was quoted at $160 plus tax, so not so cheap.
The warranty ( as I mentioned above ) specifically lists 'wear items' on page 3; and no, the battery is NOT shown.
Besides, irrelevant of the cost, at what point does the principal of reneging on a contract kick in ?..

So-called new 'fancy tech.' batteries seem to be pretty finicky, from some reviews that I have read, and certainly more expensive than older tech.
Interestingly, the BMW Service Manager specifically warned me off them, based both on his experience with the bigger BMW's ( which now have them as OEM ), and a replacement one which he bought for his own bike....
Similarly, weight-wise, it seems that in most cases you're talking a couple of pounds. Probably less than your breakfast.
So, you pays your money....
The wisest move is to ante up for lithium. Check your charging voltage, if over 14. 5v then your optimal. BMW specifying 14.5 to 14.9 so most 310’s will work. One saves amazing wieght and gains better cranking. Some lithiums even have a “jump” feature which could ome in handy. I’d advise viewing reviews of actual users. And ignore internet speculation. New battery tech is frankly amazing. ive been using Shorai since 2013 and zero issues, last forever. The wieght savings is quite significant and in a great spot to shed pounds. BMW got caught with pants down selling cheapo batteries on units that are very very dependant on quality electrons. Actually most of newer gen bikes in this arena. Battery is everything.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
For those interested in this dilemma, and BMW's integrity when interpreting their own warranty, please see the attached Better Business Bureau complaint documentation, with BMW's replies. My original complaint included a complete copy of the warranty book issued with the bike. This attachment shows all correspondence since then.
Skip to page 3 for the critical points


Several things affect battery life. Is it connected to a battery tender of some sort when not ridden? If not you're shortening battery life. Do you live in TX, AZ, NM and FL? If yes then heat will kill batteries big time. Heat kills batteries no matter what.

And there are far less expensive batteries that buy an over priced one from BMW.....
All the battery maintenance criteria were fulfilled, as specified in BMW instructions. The Bike was fully serviced by BMW dealers. All these details were confirmed in my original letter to BMW/BBB, with the service record supplied.
1 - 10 of 10 Posts