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Discussion Starter #1
A couple of weeks ago a roof tile got blown off my garage roof and landed on the roof of my 7 month old i3. There are a couple of chips and scratches on it. I rang the BMW dealer I bought the car from and they put me in touch with a local panel repair company. They say that BMW tell them that if there is any damage that is deeper than 0.2mm deep the whole roof needs replacing. If it is less than 0.2mm they can repair it in a more traditional way. As a double check I got a parallel assessment done by the body repair outfit my insurance company wanted me to use. They took a look at the photos and said, because of the construction materials used in the roof, they would not be able to do the work! This at least prevents the insurance company pressuring me to use a non BMW recommended company, but it begs the question, how much of a nightmare is repairing damage caused to the exotic materials used in the i3's manufacture? Has anybody had experience of something similar? It seems crazy to me to cut off a roof in order to repair a few small nicks and scratches.
 

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Might the issue be the strength of the complete body shell rather than what might look like a cosmetic repair? As far as repairs go, I had to have the rear hatch replaced after the glass panel shattered. The rear lights are fused into the glass panel. No panel; no lights, no drive.
 

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2020 BMW i3S 120Ah BEV
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It'll be because it's plastic and no-one can fill deep marks in plastics to a high enough cosmetic standard. A tiny dent in the roof won't be enough to impact structural integrity.
This is a concept car not a cheap runabout. Expect pain and expense! :)
 

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Just seen this on another forum/thread dated 2016:

Quote: Dealer has just come back to me and said it needs 15 hours of labour as the whole roof needs to be replaced in order to replace the broken glass in the sunroof, total "estimated" bill including parts, labour and VAT £4,500!!!!! Unquote

Ouch. His i3 was only worth £20k.
 

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Don't know what the labour rates are where you are but that would sting a bit.. though I would expect a bill of several thousand at a dealer to replace a fitted sunroof panel, depending on how many parts need to be replaced. Get the car on wheeler dealers and get edd China to fix it..!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It'll be because it's plastic and no-one can fill deep marks in plastics to a high enough cosmetic standard. A tiny dent in the roof won't be enough to impact structural integrity.
This is a concept car not a cheap runabout. Expect pain and expense! :)
Most panels on the i3 are plastic. The roof isn't; it's Carbon Fibre Reinforced plastic. You can see the carbon fibre weave on it. That, apparently, is what makes it tricky.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just seen this on another forum/thread dated 2016:

Quote: Dealer has just come back to me and said it needs 15 hours of labour as the whole roof needs to be replaced in order to replace the broken glass in the sunroof, total "estimated" bill including parts, labour and VAT £4,500!!!!! Unquote

Ouch. His i3 was only worth £20k.
Thanks Lexden...I think:(
I'll let you know what happens. My experience so far seems to suggest that nobody knows what to do, or has the equipment required to do it if they did!! We'll see.
 

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Just seen this on another forum/thread dated 2016:

Quote: Dealer has just come back to me and said it needs 15 hours of labour as the whole roof needs to be replaced in order to replace the broken glass in the sunroof, total "estimated" bill including parts, labour and VAT £4,500!!!!! Unquote

Ouch. His i3 was only worth £20k.
Previous to my LEAF I had an E61 BMW. A known weak spot on these was the panoramic roof, and to replace the complete cassette was a similar price via BMW.

I can understand that there is a danger of the carbon fibres "wicking" if they get near to the surface and losing the structural integrity, but I don't understand how the structure of the car is not compromised by replacing the roof.
 

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If it comes to a roof replacement, I would want to find a BMW Bodyshop that has actually done this type of repair before. I guess that will not be easy. I had an EME Module replaced a few months ago. My local dealer hadn't done one before so they called in a trained technician from another of their dealerships. Apparently, technicians competent to work on EVs are not all trained to the same level. They rise up the ranks so to speak.
 

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Well I have made a mental note to keep the car in the garage during high winds (once it arrives)!!
Mine has the sunroof so am I right in saying the rest of the roof skin is aluminium rather than carbon fibre?
The idea of cutting the whole roof off to deal with minor damage in the carbon fibre seems utterly ridiculous - and as above - how is the structural integrity of the car maintained?
 

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I don't know where you are in the country, but if you're anywhere near Reading, Berkshire, try these folks:-


They specialise in repairs to 'exotic' cars, but are also completely reasonable and highly knowledgeable about unusual materials.
 

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Although the roof is of carbon fibre material I am sure I read in literature that it is not the same as the passenger cell, it is more a carbon fibre finished panel (not a stressed panel), if it were mine and had cosmetic damage ie not deep enough to actually crack or structurally compromise the panel I’d get the chip/s filled and finished and have the panel wrapped with a similar or same CRP cosmetic finish.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
An update. The BMW nominated repair shop have confirmed that the small indentation is greater than 0.2mm deep and therefore the roof needs replacing. And....wait for it...they don't have the expertise to do it. They also hinted that if it was down to them they'd be tempted to just fill it and repaint the whole roof. The point is though that this is NOT what BMW themselves recommend, and if I want to retain the warranty, as well as the true value of an unmodified car, I have to do this properly. They are now trying to find someone in the UK who has the skills required to repair a tiny dent and a couple of scratches in the roof. Would this put me off buying a car made of materials like this? Bloody right it would. I love my i3, but this is ridiculous.
 

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I don’t understand why BMW themselves “are trying to find” a repair shop that can do it, BMW themselves have a specialised repair facility (midlands or further north I think) which they send the repairs for the CRP tubs after accidents.
Keep us informed, sounds odd.
 

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Total BS from BMW

Who owns the car?

If it's yours, just get the da#m thing repaired by any composite specialist and stop being a precious!
 

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I just ordered an i3 on the assumption that after 6 years on the UK market BMW might actually be quite competent in looking after these cars. Am I being wildly over-optimistic?
Right now the dealer I am buying from seems incapable of even quoting for the Service Inclusive package.....
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Total BS from BMW

Who owns the car?

If it's yours, just get the da#m thing repaired by any composite specialist and stop being a precious!
I own the car, but is it unreasonable to expect the repair done to a standard that doesn't affect the warranty on my 7 month old car?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I don’t understand why BMW themselves “are trying to find” a repair shop that can do it, BMW themselves have a specialised repair facility (midlands or further north I think) which they send the repairs for the CRP tubs after accidents.
Keep us informed, sounds odd.
In my experience so far when you ask any BMW dealer (certainly applies to my two local dealers in the North West) about the i3 the knowledge level is poor for most of the staff. The electric thing seems to be a separate branch that in many respects is a mystery. I think they will end up finding a service centre somewhere in the UK that knows how to deal with my roof, but it isn't easy and it isn't quick. I spoke to the Body Repair shop my BMW dealer referred me to in the first place and the BMW dealer service manager today and asked them to coordinate a search for a service centre that could fix this. The service manager assured me he would, and that he would call me back this afternoon. He didn't, of course.
 
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