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'22 i4 eDrive40 Black Sapphire Metallic
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2022 i4eDrive 40,19"860M,MSport,Sapphire Black,Vern Oyster, DAPP,PAP,Comf Acc, HK, Innovation
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This is the complaint I will be sending to BMW tomorrow.

I would encourage everybody to make as much 'noise' about this as they can before they finish making "a final evaluation of this".

Dear Sir/Madam

I am writing to complain about the attached dealer notification.

I ordered my M50 in December 2021 and have now had the pleasure of driving it for about six weeks. During the long wait for the car, I have spent a lot of time online discussing the car, both with potential and actual owners of the car.

Recently there has been a lot of consternation about the possibility of the i4 not getting iDrive 8.5. There has been a lively debate about this, split mostly into two camps, those that aren’t particularly bothered by user interface changes, and those that expect to be constantly upgraded, a similar experience to the computers or mobile phones.

Personally, I’m of the former camp but the one thing that everybody agrees upon is the need for BMW to maintain functionality that addresses the driving experience.

One of the significant deficiencies of the i4 as originally shipped, is the inability to manually initiate battery pre-conditioning. For an EV, I remain surprised that nobody at BMW realised the significance of this feature from the outset. Currently, the only way to initiate battery pre-conditioning is via the BMW navigation software. For various reasons, many people do not like or want to use this application but continue to utilise their existing favourite navigation application via Android Auto or CarPlay but this results in significantly longer charge times as the battery is not in an optimum state when they arrive at a charging station.

Many people thought it was only a matter of time before BMW added this functionality and you can imagine the excitement when some people discovered they now have an option in the i4 charging section to initiate battery pre-conditioning. There was a lot of discussion about why only some people were seeing this option when others (even on the latest 2022/11.44 software) weren’t. Even before the attached dealer notification became public knowledge, it was being suggested that to have this option, the cars had to have been manufactured in 2022/11 or later.

There are many attractive benefits of driving an EV but everyone is aware that the key downside is range anxiety and the time it takes to recharge – no more three minute fill ups at the pump to get another four hundred miles of range. You can therefore imagine owners’ frustration and annoyance to find out that their brand new cars may be denied the ability to significantly improve their recharging time. I have a £75,000 car that I have owned for six weeks and BMW are telling me that it may already remain feature deficient for the rest of its lifetime.

As I said at the beginning of this complaint. I’m not that bothered about user interface updates but I expect BMW to fully support and update the cars key functionality throughout the lifetime of the car. Six weeks into ownership and you have potentially failed that expectation. Software is now a key component of modern cars, one that you do not appear to take seriously. As an early adopter, you get a lot of interest from non-EV owners and whilst I love the car, I now have to add the caveat that I’m not sure I would buy BMW because they don’t seem committed to maintaining the software functionality that is now key to any modern car.

With regards to this particular issue, I also find it extremely hard to understand why it may not be possible to bring this feature to pre-2022/11 cars. I am not a programmer but I have supported IT systems and networks at a high level for the last thirty-five years. Clearly something in the car changed that month (although in BMW’s typically opaque communications, nobody knows what that was) but all i4s already have the ability to pre-condition the battery via the BMW navigation software. If the navigation program can do this via its software, it is impossible to understand why your software team can’t make the same facility work via an alternative software interface, i.e., a manual battery pre-conditioning tile.

You may feel this complaint is premature. The dealer notification has not completely ruled out this coming to all i4s:

“For vehicles produced before this the functionality is not available. We can also not for the time being confirm that this will be added through a future software update, as the technical prerequisites are still being investigated”

But I am complaining now because it is more effective making your feelings known before a final decision has been made, than after it.

As I have already explained, users find it unfathomable why this feature can’t be added to older cars when battery pre-conditioning is already software controlled through the BMW navigation program. But even if your software engineers decide it is not possible to bring this essential feature to ‘older cars’, ‘older’ including my six week old car, I hope that BMW will at least offer the possibility of a hardware upgrade to enable us to gain this essential feature. I also think BMW should explain what changed in November 2022 and why this makes it impossible to implement a software upgrade to bring this feature to ‘older’ cars.

Maybe time for a new slogan – “Ultimate Driving Machine, once you’ve waited for it to charge”

Yours faithfully
Fantastic, please let us know, what , if and when they answer. Well done
 

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Fantastic, please let us know, what , if and when they answer. Well done
I got a nonsense answer saying they thank me for the suggestion, the suggestion to make the car usable in the winter... I am asking them what my route is now since I am not sitting here with a car that is useless when it is cold while they actively are withholding all of the solutions to the problem. Asking them if I should return it to the dealer or do I have to contact the consumer protection agency because I won't sit here with a car that is unusable outside the city when it's cold outside.
 

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2022 i4eDrive 40,19"860M,MSport,Sapphire Black,Vern Oyster, DAPP,PAP,Comf Acc, HK, Innovation
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I got a nonsense answer saying they thank me for the suggestion, the suggestion to make the car usable in the winter... I am asking them what my route is now since I am not sitting here with a car that is useless when it is cold while they actively are withholding all of the solutions to the problem. Asking them if I should return it to the dealer or do I have to contact the consumer protection agency because I won't sit here with a car that is unusable outside the city when it's cold outside.
I think we will have to wait a lot to see the outcome…
 

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i4 M50, 19" Wheels
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Apart from @BMWdav, has anybody else had a response to a complaint about this? Apart from the automatic acknowledgment, I haven't heard anything yet (nine days).

This could be good (they are trying to get a proper answer) or bad (forgotten, lost or ignored).
 

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i4 M50, 19" Wheels
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As always, as soon as you say that nothing is happening, something happens!

I've gone two routes with this complaint. One via the UK complaints process (still heard nothing apart from the automatic acknowledgment) and one via a BMW board member. This got bumped to their customer service team who emailed me this morning requesting my VIN.

When they told me it was getting referred to customer service, I thought it would just go the UK department, so duplicating my complaint, but from the signature on the email, it is being dealt with by 'Board Customer Care, BMW Group Customer Service'. I'm hoping this will ensure a better response than the brush-off that @BMWdav from his complaint to his local customer service. We will see.
 

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