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Your Beef: Mini reimburses customer for seized-up steering

Published January 15, 2013
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Q: I am hoping the Toronto Star can help me get reimbursed for a power steering pump repair — which was later the subject of a recall from Mini.

In summary, I no longer own the vehicle, a 2004 Mini Cooper 2-door hatchback driven by my daughter. The dealership has documented records of the Mini’s power steering seizing up. In fact, the steering malfunctioned twice and Mini insisted there was nothing wrong with it. I finally had the vehicle repaired as I believed it was dangerous to continue to drive the vehicle without knowing when or if the steering would act up. The second time the steering malfunctioned was on a major highway.

I’ve not been able to get anywhere with the dealer or BMW, the automaker. This is too much money to ignore ($1,274) and I’m hoping that the Toronto Star is able to assist me in recovering my out of pocket expenditure.

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A: Robert Dexter, spokesperson for BMW, replies:

After following up on this situation with our after-sales support group, I am happy to confirm that your reader does indeed qualify for a full reimbursement in regard to the expense relating to the repair to the steering pump on his Mini.

Regrettably, the customer’s communications with Budd’s BMW dealership seems to have fallen through the cracks, but his documentation has been validated and his claim will be processed without further delay. The matter was brought to the attention of senior staff at Budd’s BMW who undertook to contact the customer with an apology for the delay in processing his claim. Budd’s will be issuing the reimbursement at their earliest possibility.

We thank you for bringing this matter to our attention and for allowing us the time to research and reach a quick resolution.

Update from our reader:

I’m thrilled to hear that I’ll be reimbursed for the full value of the repair. The dealership has called to confirm this.

I’ve been trying to settle this issue with the dealership and automaker since May of 2012 and had gotten nowhere. In short, they weren’t willing to consider any reimbursement until Your Beef delved into this on my behalf.

Despite having what I believed to be a valid and clear-cut case for reimbursement, given their later recall, along with full documentation of the malfunction and repair, I don’t believe I would’ve ever seen a nickel without your involvement.

Got a beef? Send it to Eric Lai at wheels@thestar.ca. Include year, make, model and kilometres of autos cited, plus your name, address and telephone number. Personal replies cannot be handled due to volume.

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