One of the best innovations in car buying in recent years is the rise of no-cost scheduled maintenance programs. Many people feel really anxious about taking their car in for service, and these deals help mitigate that somewhat. Obviously, it's not free for automakers to implement the offers, and now BMW is altering the way its four-year, 50,000-mile Maintenance Program works for some owners. "To keep such an offer sustainable we had to make a change," said Kenn Sparks, Manager of Business Communications at BMW North America, to Autoblog via email.

The original person to buy or lease the model isn't going to see any difference, but the program is no longer transferable to a second owner, unless that person is in the owners household. Those people include includes parents, siblings, grandparents and grandchildren, in addition to someone like a spouse or children. The original owner just has to advise BMW of new user. "The program change will affect 2nd owners and for them BMW is introducing an optional full-maintenance product that covers the vehicle up to 100,000 miles," said Sparks. Scroll down to read the entire announcement.

UPDATE: We have confirmed with BMW of Canada that this only applies to the United States. "This does not apply to Canadian BMW maintenance coverage. The U.S. program is specific to the vehicle owner, whereas the Canadian program follows the vehicle and is transferrable."
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The BMW Maintenance Program

For model year 2015 or later vehicles sold or leased by an authorized BMW center on or after July 1, 2014, BMW Maintenance Program coverage is provided for the exclusive benefit of the initial purchaser, owner, or lessee of a new vehicle, sales demonstrator vehicle, Aftersales Mobility Program (AMP) vehicle, or BMW Group company vehicle from an authorized BMW center in the United States (including Puerto Rico). Accordingly, BMW Maintenance Program coverage, with one exception, is not transferable to subsequent purchasers, owners, or lessees. The sole exception to the non-transferability of BMW Maintenance Program coverage is that household transfers - transfers within the United States (including Puerto Rico) to members of the household of the initial purchaser, owner, or lessee of a BMW vehicle from an authorized BMW center - will not terminate BMW Maintenance Program coverage. Household transfers are limited solely to transfers to a current or former spouse or spousal equivalent, child, sibling, parent, grandparent, or grandchild from the initial purchaser, owner, or lessee of a vehicle. In the event of a household transfer, purchasers, owners, or lessees of a BMW vehicle should promptly advise their authorized BMW center to document and confirm the household transfer for purposes of BMW Maintenance Program coverage. The payoff of a loan on a vehicle by the initial purchaser and the purchase of a leased vehicle by the initial lessee are not considered transfers for purposes of BMW Maintenance Program coverage.

The BMW Maintenance Program covers all factory recommended maintenance as determined by the Condition Based Service (CBS) system. Additional specific items that need replacement due to normal wear and tear, and that are not covered by the original New Vehicle Limited Warranty - such as brake pads, brake rotors, and wiper blade inserts - are included, provided wear and tear exceeds BMW wear limits. Any applicable adjustments required due to normal operating conditions are also included.

Exclusions from coverage include the following:

Items reimbursable under your New Vehicle Limited Warranty

Gasoline and diesel fuel

Gasoline and diesel fuel additive

Diesel glow plugs

Diesel particulate filter

Windshield washer additive (except when in conjunction with scheduled maintenance)

Tires, wheel alignment, tire balance and rotation

Parking brake shoes/linings

Reset Tire Pressure Monitor

Wear and tear of soft trim items, such as: seats, carpets, moldings, headliner, door panels and all chrome trim

Damage, including consequential, which results from negligence, improper operation of the vehicle, wear and tear or deterioration due to driving habits or conditions, improper repair, environmental influences, flood, accident or fire damage, road salt corrosion, alteration, installation of non-genuine BMW accessories, or use of improper, poor quality or contaminated fuel

Altered or unreadable Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) or odometer irregularities or vehicles where the true mileage cannot be determined

Maintenance or repair after the vehicle is deemed a total loss

Maintenance or repairs performed by other than an authorized BMW center within the United States or Puerto Rico

'Topping off' low fluids (e.g., engine oil, antifreeze, washer fluid, etc.) except when done in conjunction with a scheduled maintenance or other required maintenance work (as outlined in the customized maintenance checklist printout) that is performed during an applicable Maintenance Program period
Vehicles used in competitive events

Oil changes performed outside the recommended maintenance intervals as indicated by the Condition Based Service

Any other vehicle-specific exclusions described in the Service and Warranty Booklet included with the vehicle


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 49 Comments
      Alfonso T. Alvarez
      • 4 Months Ago

      Even BMW can't afford to pay maintenance for BMW's ...

        ABB
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Alfonso T. Alvarez

        That was the funniest reply I've seen on Autoblog.  Well done.

        Terrman
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Alfonso T. Alvarez

        OMG, very funny!

        Karfreek
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Alfonso T. Alvarez

        You took the words right out of my mouth!

        Bernard
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Alfonso T. Alvarez

        That's why I drive an Infiniti :-P

          kontroll
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Bernard

          I would rather drive a BMW with absolutely no warranty, maintenance package, 3-4 year used than a brand new POS infinity.
          I would be ashamed to be seen in an infinity or lexus...but that's just me, enjoy your bubble looking rickshaw

      vvk
      • 4 Months Ago

      This is going to hurt resale value :(

        Gator
        • 4 Months Ago
        @vvk

        BMW already has shitty resale value unless it's an M car. It looks like BMW wants to make more money buy selling the program again through FI departments.

        jessesrq
        • 4 Months Ago
        @vvk

        Doubtful.  The used car buyer will have to pay for one or two scheduled maintenance visits at 15,000 mile intervals.  If anything, this is a strategy to compel customers to purchase through BMW's CPO program, which includes a warranty extension, rather than from other non-BMW dealer sellers.

          rsxvue
          • 4 Months Ago
          @jessesrq

          BMW's CPO program includes extended warranty, not extended maintenance. Extended maintenance is an additional amount on top of CPO price -- unless they changed it recently.

          graphikzking
          • 4 Months Ago
          @jessesrq

          So if it makes people more apt to buy from BMW through the CPO program, it means that current owners will be forced to turn in their cars to dealers at lower numbers instead of sell them to 2nd buyers and cutting out the BMW dealership. 


          This could/would hurt resale because they no longer have free maintenance for 2 years when buying the car. Regardless of even if it's only an $80 oil change per year and free tire rotation (where applicable). 

      mikeybyte1
      • 4 Months Ago

      BMW must be getting greedy if they don't want to do the basic maintenance items for second owners.

      ChrisD
      • 4 Months Ago

      Wow, for a company that is losing market share this seems like a poor move.

      pickles
      • 4 Months Ago

      It's the BMW Certified that really adds to resale. The maintenance as others said, hardly amounts to much before it expires on most used purchases. Our BMW had the service when we got it (I think I got a pair of wiper blades and an oil change out of it) but the extended warranty is worth serious money- 6 years or 100,000 miles. If they drop that, they will loose business in a big way.

        SloopJohnB
        • 4 Months Ago
        @pickles

        Many car companies are starting that already?I was looking at a low mileage Audi S6 V10, only 30K miles, and the dealer wouldn't CPO it?ok, a few years ago.

        How about last month looking at an executive A6 TDI with only 16K miles on it, 2013 model?and Rockville Audi refused to CPO the car!!!????.  They claimed it would cost too much to meet Audi's checklist for what they were selling the cars for.  Go figure.  I go walk.

          Addison
          • 4 Months Ago
          @SloopJohnB

          Just FYI, factory CPO deals are generally ripoffs, and in nearly every case -- unless a car has a salvage title or absurdly high mileage or something unusual -- you can buy one with identical coverage from an independent warranty company.

        kmdk78
        • 4 Months Ago
        @pickles

        The maintenance includes brakes, etc and is considerably more comprehensive than Audi, Porsche, etc. Well worth the additional cost. The oil changes, wipers, etc. are almost comical with the intervals.  

      xspeedy
      • 4 Months Ago

      No problem.  My cash is no longer transferable to BMW.

      Ryan
      • 4 Months Ago


      Definitely seems like a bad move.  I don't see any exceptions for certified pre-owned vehicles listed which is a pretty big disappointment.  I think it's a bad idea to cut the program at all, but especially so to remove this benefit for people buying certified cars.  They should at least get the remainder of the original maintenance plan. 

      Doctor
      • 4 Months Ago

      Brilliant strategic move BMW! Let the whole world know that not even BMW cannot afford their own cars, /sarc off. They finally figured out what I found out about 20 years ago.

      ayeco
      • 4 Months Ago

      I predict they will rescind this.  

      But then again, I guess it shows that the financials on the 50,000 Maintenance Plan are bad anyway.  This is a way to cut that loss. 

      Dave
      • 4 Months Ago

      Bad move BMW.   Resale value will go down.


      I bought two of my three BMW's as certified preown's with maintenance warranties.   I'm looking for one now and after reading this I'm less likely to buy one now.


      I am sure if they built reliable car's this wouldn't have happened.  And guess Audi/Merc and soon to be Telsa 3 series cars is causing them serious pain.

      SloopJohnB
      • 4 Months Ago

      Kind of stupid, especially with CPO, etc.

      I predict BMW will reinstate the transfer policy within 90 days.

      The BMW free maintenance program isn't all that either…it's basically oil and filter changes for the first 50K miles.  One exception was my E46 M3 that got spark plug change and valve adjustment at 30K….

        valve_addiction
        • 4 Months Ago
        @SloopJohnB

        its more than that, they'll hand over brake rotors and pads as needed. My buddies 135i was on its 3rd set of rotors/pads by 18k miles free of charge.

      dohc73
      • 4 Months Ago

      So of course, they will offer the second owners another maintenance plan at an ADDITIONAL COST. 

      It's nothing more than yet another way for BMW to make money not on the actual car, but on the add-on costs attached to the car purchase.

      BMW has built their business not on new car sales, but on the pre-owned sales. Now they're just capitalizing on the majority of actual sales, not leases.

      Dirty b*stards.

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