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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all, I have a Dec 2013 i3 REx, well maintained and out of warranty 1 year ago.

To cut to the chase, how many people have had "electric machine" failures, ie where the generator attached to the REx has failed?

I wonder if BMW are trying to keep this quiet because there seem to be lots of stories swirling around.

In the last year, I've had many problems:

-new injectors and O2 sensor, despite maybe just 5,000 miles on the REx
-HV cable replacement
-fuel pump relay
-2 software updates with bugs which cause the charge indicator to be on max re-gen even when I'm accelerating!
-2 different "Drivetrain Error" problems which caused the REx to leave me stranded a number of times.

I would love to get a rough idea. Thank you
 

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Hello all, I have a Dec 2013 i3 REx, well maintained and out of warranty 1 year ago.

To cut to the chase, how many people have had "electric machine" failures, ie where the generator attached to the REx has failed?

I wonder if BMW are trying to keep this quiet because there seem to be lots of stories swirling around.

In the last year, I've had many problems:

-new injectors and O2 sensor, despite maybe just 5,000 miles on the REx
-HV cable replacement
-fuel pump relay
-2 software updates with bugs which cause the charge indicator to be on max re-gen even when I'm accelerating!
-2 different "Drivetrain Error" problems which caused the REx to leave me stranded a number of times.

I would love to get a rough idea. Thank you
They have stopped making them so I would suggest there are a lot!
 

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Hello all, I have a Dec 2013 i3 REx, well maintained and out of warranty 1 year ago.

To cut to the chase, how many people have had "electric machine" failures, ie where the generator attached to the REx has failed?

I wonder if BMW are trying to keep this quiet because there seem to be lots of stories swirling around.

In the last year, I've had many problems:

-new injectors and O2 sensor, despite maybe just 5,000 miles on the REx
-HV cable replacement
-fuel pump relay
-2 software updates with bugs which cause the charge indicator to be on max re-gen even when I'm accelerating!
-2 different "Drivetrain Error" problems which caused the REx to leave me stranded a number of times.

I would love to get a rough idea. Thank you
This is a new one on me. The only problem that I had with my 2015 REx was a corroded fuel sensor which is well reported on this and other i3 forums.
 

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BMW i3 REx 2014
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I was told the previous owner had 3 warranty claims, only the uprated bolt was EV specific. I have had 2 warranty claims which were also not really EV specific (parking pawl and steering rack). 2014 car.

I have had 2 software upgrades and, unless you really need them, suggest you ignore - with each upgrade, regen braking is less (I am now having to resort to using the brake for the final stop) and acceleration from low speed seems less, although mid range is stunningly urgent.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I've had the most recent software "upgrade" twice, which has a bug, so taking the garage to small claims court about that. The bug means the charge indicator shows it's on full re-gen, even when you're accelerating!

Have just heard from the dealer that it indeed needs a new "electrical machine" - so will not have that repaired if they won't pay (it's out of warranty).

All that on top of new injectors, O2 sensor, faulty HV cable issues.

This by far the most unreliable car I have ever had, including an E-Type, 205s, Integrales, Imprezas etc.

Really shocking and will never touch BMW again unless this is sorted.
 

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You have a very early vehicle, probably one of the earliest delivered to the UK

Motor mounts, EME, HV cabling assemblies where all redesigned and replaced on early vehicles the latter two change to be package in a much more tightly controlled environment to reduce trapping moisture to stop leakage warnings (software tolerances were also tweaked)

I have to be brutally honest here, I personally would not touch an i3 of 2013 vintage.

I've had the most recent software "upgrade" twice, which has a bug, so taking the garage to small claims court about that. The bug means the charge indicator shows it's on full re-gen, even when you're accelerating!
Theres already a fix for that, if the dealer escalates to Farnborough for support they'll resolve that pretty quickly. HQ responds to dealer queries within 2hrs that is the SLA.

Needing Injectors and O2 sensor replacement is about normal for this sort of vintage vehicle.

I would push to confirm whether or not the EME/HV Cabling was replaced when in warranty as there was a service action against these items at the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for your reply.

1) are you saying that if the EME and HV cabling wasn't replaced when under warranty, I can push for them to be replaced now, even thought out of warranty? Were they mandatory recall items?

2) Injectors and O2 sensor on almost the simplest internal combustion engine having done less than 5,000 miles need ing replacement? Seriously?

3) what is incidence of failure of the REx electric machine? Why do they go?

4) could the electrical machine failure be linked to the recent replacement of the injector and O2 sensor, plus software and HV cable replacement

5) If BMW won't pay, can my (very sensible) local mechanic fit an electric machine that I can source from a breaker?

6) I've notified BMW HQ of the software bug, and the 2nd garage re-installed it. It doesn't sound as if either HQ or Park Lane know of the fix you're talking about

7) did BMW release the i3 too early?
 

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1) worth a try.

2) Your car is seven + years old and the warranty ran out ages ago. Sorry.
BMW might offer to pay part of the cost as a good will gesture. They often do this for cars that are just out of warranty. At seven years they probably won't but it won't cost you anything to ask.

3) Dunno. Early ones are troublesome. Yours is very early.

4) anything is possible.

5) There are special tools to lower Rex assembly out of the car. I dunno if your mechanic can figure out an alternative.

7) The i3 was a clean sheet all new design. Only a handful of parts came from the corporate parts bin. With any all-new car there are problems with the first year of production. The i3 isn't just an all new car, it was breaking new ground. The i3 is unique and probably always will be.

BMW built the Active-E fleet to beta test the electric power train. After that they built a prototype pre-production run of i3's. That must have caught some issues but obviously they didn't catch everything. Some parts on the i3 have gone through several design iterations.

2013? Your i3 must be one of the very earliest ones off the line.


The newer ones are better. Our i3s is one of the best built cars I've ever owned. Everything works. This is the first new car I've had that didn't need to go back for warranty repair in the first month.
 

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5) If BMW won't pay, can my (very sensible) local mechanic fit an electric machine that I can source from a breaker
No, to replace the EME you disconnect the main battery in order to re-enable the car once complete a full battery test must be completed and that completion code entered into the vehicle to enable the safety box. It’s unlikely your local mechanic has access to the battery tester required.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It was sold in Dec 13. It's therefore 5 years and 5 months old. Not 7 years old.

I have had the REx problem for a year.

BMW should not expect early adopters and people who care about the environment to finish BMW's testing at their expense.

Any EV should have cables, and a generator, which last for 5 years without breaking. Cables and generators have been around since about 1870.
 

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Out-of-interest, would BMW’s Insured Warranty cover all the faults experienced by the OP? I only ask because like most insured warranties, BMW’s warranty has caveats.
 

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Out-of-interest, would BMW’s Insured Warranty cover all the faults experienced by the OP? I only ask because like most insured warranties, BMW’s warranty has caveats.
Without looking at the terms its hard to tell (depending on the product its AXA or Allianz IIRC) I suspect it would, and given the BMW branding even if it didn't your case for a goodwill payment is stronger.

Motoreasy would probably pay out so long as its clearly broken, they do not pay out if a part is not working to spec but is still operational - as somebody in the owners group has recently found.
 

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Out-of-interest, would BMW’s Insured Warranty cover all the faults experienced by the OP? I only ask because like most insured warranties, BMW’s warranty has caveats.
The only excluded items I have noticed on my documentation are generic wear and tear based. I believe LED lights are included. My dealer extended warranty is supposed to be the same as BMW's. Both have vehicle recovery as integral items.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
that's a very good question. And one which shouldn't be necessary. People are forgetting: this is a 5 year old BMW, of a new type, and they should be bending over backwards to ensure that people who are courageous enough to be early adopters do not pay for BMW's lack of research.

Again, so many integral parts of an EV failing so soon indicates quality below that which BMW wants to be known for, nothing else.
 

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I am happy to be told that what follows does not apply to the OP’s situation but a read of the latest technical eligibility for an OLEV grant states the following:


3.5 Warranty

Vehicles must have a:

  • either a minimum 5-year warranty on the battery and electric drive train as standard
  • or extra evidence of battery performance to show reasonable performance after 3 years of use
Note: ‘drive train’ means the parts that send power from the engine to the wheels. These include the clutch, transmission (gear box), drive shafts, U-joints and differential.

Is this an avenue worth pursuing?
 

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that's a very good question. And one which shouldn't be necessary. People are forgetting: this is a 5 year old BMW, of a new type, and they should be bending over backwards to ensure that people who are courageous enough to be early adopters do not pay for BMW's lack of research.

Again, so many integral parts of an EV failing so soon indicates quality below that which BMW wants to be known for, nothing else.
i3 isn't the first BMW with issues. Google BMW Nikasil for an eyeopener. -- They had V8 engines failing left and right at 30-50k miles. Then there was the infamous Vanos rattle. Early 335i was another troubled car. First year production e89 Z4 had issues like the tail lights filling up with water, hard tops that would bend and never seal correctly.... I dont remember all the details, but there were many tales of woe on the Z4 forum.

BMW might offer to pick up part of the cost even though your car is more than two years out of warranty. Ask.
 
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