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Old 18th February 2017, 20:17   #1
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Angry BMW 320d Hydrostatic Lock: Insurance company not covering it

I'm in a bit of a tough boat at the moment. I have insurance policy with Bharti Axa and it was a cheaper one than he had in the prior years of the life of the BMW 320D. One of the main things thats not covered under this policy is Hydrostatic Lock.

The Incident:
I was driving the vehicle during some stormy weather and was trying to get home as soon as possible. During this time I encountered a small area of water. It was not very deep and I had no choice but to drive through it because there boards and plastic sheets flying towards me. As I drove through it, the unthinkable happened. The car stalled on me. Now this area of water wasn't that deep but within minutes of the car stalling the water level rose and at this point was just under the lights of my car. Now I know that if the car stalled due to water, I am to not start it and thats exactly what happened. I left the car and had to wait out the storm and water. I didn't expect the water level to rise but it did and I immediately called for the BMW roadside assistance. They only came by the next morning around 10 AM. During this time, while I was away from the car, what seems like a JCB or other tractor had pushed my car off the main road and onto the side. I have no idea who did this but it left me livid. I know my car was blocking the road but not entirely and only on one part. After this the car was towed and taken straight to the BMW showroom in Chennai for inspection.

What I experienced next was some of the worst communication I have ever received. It has been 2 months and only now have I received a quote on what the repair for the car is. I've been quoted a whopping 16L. I've been left absolutely clueless. In my eyes my car stalled on me and the water rose, it was a failure on the part of the vehicle. Its not like I drove into 4 feet of water rendering my car useless. Further I didn't even start the car know the dangers and this is the situation I am in. They've told me I have hydrostatic lock and other such things. I don't understand how this can cost me so much. Is there anything I can do to make sure the Insurance company covers me. At the moment they're being very shady and attempting to say that because you don't have hydrostatic lock, we won't cover you. However, the car stalled on me and then nature took its course, I could do nothing to stop any other damage. Does anyone have advice? Even if s hydrostatic lock, shouldn't insurance cover me because the hydrostatic lock was a result of my car stalling and not an issue that occurred on its own?

Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 18th February 2017, 21:54   #2
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Default re: BMW 320d Hydrostatic Lock: Insurance company not covering it

The car stalled because of water ingress.

Though unfortunate, this is a direct consequence of trying to wade through the "small area of water" and then leaving the car sitting there overnight.

Hydrostatic/Hydrolock coverage is normally an optional add-on, probably the new policy was cheaper as it missed on some of the add-ons you may have opted for with the previous insurer.

Good luck!
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Old 18th February 2017, 22:10   #3
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Default re: BMW 320d Hydrostatic Lock: Insurance company not covering it

16 Lacs! To be able to pass any comment on the repairs, it is important to see the quote. I hope that the car wasn't submerged.

An engine repair could cost between 5 to 6 Lacs buddy. 16 Lacs is something out of some additional repairs.

If the car stalled on you as read from your post, then the repairs won't be so steep. The con rods wouldn't bend the crank wouldn't be scored ...

Nevertheless, you can try to get partial cost shared by insurance provider to the extent the parts involved just by flooding like filters, gaskets, lubes or at least the Labour component of the repair bill.

Let's see the quote!
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Old 18th February 2017, 22:13   #4
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Default re: BMW 320d Hydrostatic Lock: Insurance company not covering it

Unfortunately I think your are out of luck.

What you have described sounds exactly like a hydrostatic lock, the car has stalled while wadding through water. And leaving it in the water overnight would definitely not have helped.

Since you have taken a cheaper insurance option without the hydrostatic cover, I don't think the insurance company will pay anything.
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Old 18th February 2017, 22:29   #5
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Default re: BMW 320d Hydrostatic Lock: Insurance company not covering it

See the car was not off, else if it was flooded it would've been covered. But the engine was on, and water ingress caused it to shut off and die. Without hydrostatic lock coverage, I think you're out of luck.
It's always wise to buy all the possible insurance options, eg engine protect + hydrostatic lock + consequential damage.
And regarding failure of car, every car is rated to a certain water wading capacity, if you breach that, and have no hydrostatic coverage the insurance will not cover it.
Penny wise, pound foolish.
As suggested above, try getting the insurance to approve all the components that would have been covered in case of flooding, eg interior, filters, oil etc and well, for the engine, either you can look at a donor engine, or well, ask BMW to help you out a bit if they are kind.
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Old 18th February 2017, 22:48   #6
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Default re: BMW 320d Hydrostatic Lock: Insurance company not covering it

Quote:
to not start it and thats exactly what happened. I left the car and had to wait out the storm and water.
I don't think you will get anything from Insurance, if you are the original owner and have maintained your car throughout with Dealership, try if they can get some help from BMW and bear a portion of repairs under goodwill warranty. If possible, please enclose estimate given by dealership to check the extent of damage and kind of parts BMW has suggested. If this does not work out, check if they can take this back under exchange and give you some reasonable value of your car.
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Old 18th February 2017, 23:19   #7
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Default re: BMW 320d Hydrostatic Lock: Insurance company not covering it

BMWs are infamous for hydrostatic locks even in a little bit of rain. It is best not to wade with them in water.

As for insurance you need a policy that covers hydrostatic lock protection. Costs a few thousands more but completely worth the additional expense!
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Old 19th February 2017, 01:01   #8
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Default re: BMW 320d Hydrostatic Lock: Insurance company not covering it

A couple things to note here. My car did not stall after driving into a massive pool of water. There was rain, there was stormy weather, and as I was driving through a small area of water, my car suddenly stalled. The area it stalled in was an area of low cover with poor drainage, the sudden storm brought in a massive amount of water, like none I've ever seen and pretty soon other vehicles were driving past my car and I could hear water just rushing through my air filter. There wasn't anything I could do. My initial post might have made it seem like I drove into water and then it stalled but actually the car stalled during horrible rainy conditions and then it was unlucky that it ended up being the bed of a larger pool of water which later formed. I didn't restart the car at all, I called BMW roadside right away but they took their sweet time citing weather conditions. Further, like you said this isn't just a BMW engine repair, it would only be 6-7 at the most. They're citing me at 16!!!!
BMW 320d Hydrostatic Lock: Insurance company not covering it-screen-shot-20170219-12.57.55-am.pngBMW 320d Hydrostatic Lock: Insurance company not covering it-screen-shot-20170219-12.58.03-am.pngBMW 320d Hydrostatic Lock: Insurance company not covering it-screen-shot-20170219-12.58.24-am.pngBMW 320d Hydrostatic Lock: Insurance company not covering it-screen-shot-20170219-12.58.31-am.pngBMW 320d Hydrostatic Lock: Insurance company not covering it-screen-shot-20170219-12.58.40-am.pngBMW 320d Hydrostatic Lock: Insurance company not covering it-screen-shot-20170219-12.58.47-am.png
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Old 19th February 2017, 02:29   #9
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Default re: BMW 320d Hydrostatic Lock: Insurance company not covering it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbanator View Post
... If this does not work out, check if they can take this back under exchange and give you some reasonable value of your car.
For 1.6 MINR repair bill, it's better to discuss with the dealer openly about the options. May be perhaps bouncing off the topic with the Sales Manager for a GT or an X3. Or even a 520d M Sports.
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Old 19th February 2017, 06:27   #10
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Default re: BMW 320d Hydrostatic Lock: Insurance company not covering it

Sadly, your insurer is right here. You may not be able to get anything from them, by rule. Looking at the part list in the estimate, chances of negotiating for part payment too appear remote.

The problem is that though the initial water level may have been considerably lower, the subsequent rise and ingress of water will certainly give an impression that you tried to drive through a deep puddle and caused the hydrostatic lock and engine seizure. There is no way to prove that the car gave up on you in very shallow waters. It is your word against theirs .

If you get some visual evidence (CC camera) of your car coming to a halt in the puddle and the happenings from there on, you may be able to convince Bharati Axa. But since you specifically say that
Quote:
One of the main things thats not covered under this policy is Hydrostatic Lock.
I feel they will stick to their stand on hydrostatic lock.

Good luck.
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Old 19th February 2017, 08:02   #11
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Default re: BMW 320d Hydrostatic Lock: Insurance company not covering it

Quote:
Originally Posted by harusadu View Post
this area of water wasn't that deep but within minutes of the car stalling the water level rose and at this point was just under the lights of my car. Now I know that if the car stalled due to water, I am to not start it and thats exactly what happened. I left the car and had to wait out the storm and water. I didn't expect the water level to rise but it did and I immediately called for the BMW roadside assistance. They only came by the next morning around 10 AM. During this time, while I was away from the car, what seems like a JCB or other tractor had pushed my car off the main road and onto the side
Which locality is this? Is it Aranganathan subway or similar kind? Should've ideally pushed the car or called some bystanders for assistance to push the car away from water or atleast called some knowledgeable TBhpian for options instead of leaving the car there over the night. After all, that's the power of community isn't it

Anyway, past is gone; the insurance company is bound to cite exactly what you're missing & that's precisely they've taken good 2 months to check what exactly you're missing & how to avoid paying you.

It's difficult to fight with insurance companies unless you've some good contacts with insiders. Best thing is to try other compromising options such as exchange your 320D with other used/new BMW or totalled car & look for a new car other than BMW, Merc, VW group of cars.

Or get your car fixed at reputed independent garage like Ignite ECR or World Of Service, Kolapakkam. They will be more open towards you to diagnose the problem that may or may not be in related to hydrostatic or whatsoever term that the insurance companies look the loopholes for.

Good luck
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Old 19th February 2017, 08:34   #12
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Default re: BMW 320d Hydrostatic Lock: Insurance company not covering it

Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
Which locality is this? Is it Aranganathan subway or similar kind? Should've ideally pushed the car or called some bystanders for assistance to push the car away from water or atleast called some knowledgeable TBhpian for options instead of leaving the car there over the night. After all, that's the power of community isn't it
Not so easy to push the stalled car. The car would have gone automatically into P mode on stalling and then it would not budge unless you hook it to a tow truck. IIRC something similar happened in one of the busiest junctions of Bangalore sometime back involving a BMW again where the car stalled for some reason during peak traffic and couldn't be pushed to the side creating a huge jam.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...files-pil.html (BMW X5 breaks down, locks itself up! Owner files PIL)

Last edited by drmohitg : 19th February 2017 at 08:40.
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Old 19th February 2017, 08:53   #13
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Default re: BMW 320d Hydrostatic Lock: Insurance company not covering it

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Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
Not so easy to push the stalled car. The car would have gone automatically into P mode on stalling and then it would not budge unless you hook it to a tow truck
Wow!! Thank you for sharing the info & I'm glad you did for many other reasons that helped me

No wonder the flat bed tow truck would run out of business without these high end cars
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Old 19th February 2017, 09:07   #14
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Default re: BMW 320d Hydrostatic Lock: Insurance company not covering it

Quote:
Originally Posted by harusadu View Post
this isn't just a BMW engine repair, it would only be 6-7 at the most. They're citing me at 16!!!!
Few parts jump out in this quote, and I suppose there is little that can be done about them as they may most certainly need replacement :

1) Oil/Vacuum pump : Rs.39,748/-, I checked, its quite in line with global pricing of 369$, for the exact part number. Yes it turns out cheaper in America but its cost price without labor, one can easily add 150-200$ for labor.

2) EXCH-Turbo Charger - Rs.157,887/-, this exact part number isn't available for verification but the price for different spec types for different Bimmers vary from $920 to $2000, before labor and before exchange of old turbo "core" which might get back upto $136.

3) Battery - 90 AH : Rs.40k approx, sounds about right.

4) AT- Steering Box Electric: This has a price range of between $840 to $2400, the exact number of the part isn't there to verify but suffice to say that this is expensive. The hydraulic boxes too come in at 2000+$ but most give 400-500$ back for the old setup for refurbishment, since this is F30 and is a EPS system, that is not possible.

5) Misc : Taxes + Labor = approx Rs.2,70,000/-, this plays a huge part in the final bill.

As I see it now, you can only request the company to revisit the final amount and make some consideration keeping in mind that you had called assistance shortly after the stalling but they couldn't make it (even though they purely exist, for emergencies).

In any case, such numbers do not shock me anymore, its a premium car and anything remotely connected to water (in this case going by the replacements of power windows switch x 2, seat module x 1, engine hydraulic mounts, accelerator pedals, control unit etc, it seems that water has made it into the interiors and has risen to quite a high level within the engine compartment), will bring up massive bills for most cars, these parts are imported from Europe and will sadly, carry a premium. Its between you and the insurance provider for the most part, and perhaps BMW if they wish to execute a goodwill offering.

Off topic, insurance has become a real hack-job these days, bumper-to-bumper, comprehensive, water protection and all to get screwed in the end unless we sit with a magnifying glass and process the terms for 10 hours straight before deciding on what we want.

https://www.turnermotorsport.com/ You can track most part number prices and exchange values here, only for Bimmers.

Last edited by dark.knight : 19th February 2017 at 09:09.
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Old 19th February 2017, 09:45   #15
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Default re: BMW 320d Hydrostatic Lock: Insurance company not covering it

Just one of those unlucky days of life, accept it and come to terms with it and plan your next steps. First decide whether you want to keep the car or move on. It's probably a good idea to move on and in that case it is counter productive to negotiate the repair bill. You just want to maximise the salvage value by exploring multiple options such as pushing for total loss, cash settlement+scrap, trade in etc. I personally would not get this car repaired, world rather write it off and drive a beater car till I warm up to another German relationship.
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