BMW Motorrad has issued a worldwide recall on the new water-cooled R 1200 RT and seems to be bending over backwards to keep customers happy while they await repairs.
One Newcastle customer reports that BMW Motorrad Australia told him it would take about three months to find a fix for the rear suspension fault. They offered him $2000 to spend with his BMW dealer, a previous-model RT loan bike until his is fixed, a year’s extension of his warranty and a full refund if he didn’t want the bike. (Under Australian consumer law if a repair on a new vehicle is going to take a substantial amount of time the vehicle payment should be refunded.) The customer who asked to remain anonymous says he is delighted with his dealer, Brisans Motorcycles, and happy to wait for his RT to be fixed.
BMW Group Australia corporate communications GM Lenore Fletcher says she is delighted the customer has been retained. “One of the things that is important is to keep and retain customers. It is fantastic to have a customer as a brand ambassador. It makes good business sense.”
The worldwide recall of 8000 new RTs affects only 52 bikes in Australia and all owners had been contacted before the official notice was issued today. Lenore says no more RTs will be sold until the problem has been fixed.
The issue concerns the rear spring strut in the Dynamic ESA electronic suspension. BMW Motorrad says it cannot rule out that the piston rod could potentially break and is advising owners not to ride their bikes until further notice.
BMW Motorrad insists that this is a precautionary measure, which the company is making in the interests of customer safety, and based on a supplier report.
BMW motorcycles have experienced several recalls this year involving fuel pump cracks, faulty sidestand switches, and a gearbox problem on the new water-cooled GS. Lenore says the number of recalls is probably due to the number of new models they have introduced, together with a more “conservative” attitude toward safety.
“If you compared the number of recalls with 10 years ago you’d see the entire industry now errs on the side of conservatism rather than risk having any issue with their products at all,” says Lenore who is a veteran of the car industry. “As a whole, automotive manufacturers are very sensitive to any product quality concerns. We would rather be safe than sorry.”
In a previous story on the GS recall, we cited the six-week delay between the problem being identified and the official recall notice being issued through the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
However, Lenore says six weeks is not a long period of time in the automotive industry to identify a problem and find a solution. She says it depends on the issue and how easy it is to fix.
She also pointed out that recalls in other countries may not necessarily affect Australia because it may refer to one batch of faulty components which only went to certain countries.
A problem identified with the operators on the BMW Group Australia Customer Interaction Centre free call number (1800 813 299) not knowing anything about the GS recall has since been addressed, Lenore says. We checked again and they are now aware of the recall.