FILES - Picture taken on October 12, 200

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