I want to start off by saying that I am not writing this to defend myself or my company from any wrong doing. I just want to state the facts and the physical evidence and let you be the judge of this situation.
We did replace the correct side the first time. There is no reason for us to be replacing the good side axle boot while we can clearly see the other side axle boot is bad. This doesn't make sense and it's not logical. We did not screw up like the customer has stated.
Also, we clearly stated on the invoice back in April 2010 that we changed the left/driver's side axle boot and after giving it to the customer, the customer never mentioned anything.
I have been in business for over seven years, running a very clean operation. I take pride in what I do and I do it with passion which gives me no reason to remotely do anything like this. This would only tarnish my reputation. It's just not worth it and that's not who I am. I welcome any customers to get a second opinion about any repairs or services we recommend. As a matter of fact I always encourage customers to come over to the shop and physically look at any repairs or services we recommend. As they say, "Seeing is believing."
The dealer advisor simply made a mistake by writing on the invoice that the right side axle boot is bad instead of the left side. Service advisors recommend repairs based on the dealer technician recommendations. He does not check the car himself, so there had to be some sort of miscommunication between the service advisor and the technician on which side was bad. I know this because I am talking from past experience of when I used to work for a BMW dealership.
I physically showed and proved to the customer that we did replace the correct side the first time around. When an axle boot breaks, it spits around a lot of grease which gets on the suspension and brake parts that are around the boot. When the leaking grease comes in contact with rubber parts for a long period of time, it causes the rubber to swell. It then becomes soft due to the chemical reaction between the grease and the rubber. From looking at the customer car, I noticed that one of the left side brake caliper rubber bushing was a little swollen which proves that grease was in contact with the bushing on that side at one point. But according to the customer the left side axle boot was never replaced until we did. Another thing I noticed from my inspection of the current damage boot was that it had only a 1/2" tear. If an axle rubber boot have been torn since April 2010 and 5000 miles ago IT WOULD HAVE BEEN TORN ALL THE WAY AROUND THE CIRCUMFERENCE instead of a 1/2" tear. Also the caliper bushings would have been swollen and very soft. The brake caliper bushings on the right side showed no sign of swelling or softness at all which means the axle boot failed recently, not in April 2010 as the customer stated.
The above statement can be corroborated by any BMW technician.
We are only humans and we all make mistakes at one point or another in our lives. I am the first to admit when I make a mistake and I take full responsibility for my actions. In this case though, I am 110% sure that we performed the correct repairs the first time. I never said I don't make mistakes. All I said was that I didn't make a mistake with this particular repair.
Lastly, I wanted to say how deeply sorry I am on the outcome of this situation. I tried my best to resolve the issue with the customer.
From this incident, I have change certain procedures to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again in the future.
Thank you for reading my response
European Motor Works