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    • Active Autowerke E9X M3 S65 V8 supercharger kit owner shares his blown motor and customer service experience

      Active Autowerke has been in the BMW tuning game a long time. They are a well known and established name. This blown motor is a story we reported in September of 2010. We asked for further details on how this was resolved and what happened but never received them and Active Autowerke did not seem interested in addressing it. They sure have had plenty of time to do so. Read the experience of the kit owner below and come to your own conclusion but perhaps how this was handled and other internal issues explain why certain key people have left Active Autowerke as of late.


      I'm sure you all remember seeing this thread back in September of 2010. It is my 2008 E90 M3, which I had taken to Miami and supercharged by Active Autowerke. From what they told me, it was their 4th e90 M3 that had received this kit. Unfortunately after having only 1,200 miles on the kit, while driving on the highway the motor failed and a piston left the engine of the car. After having spent several thousands of dollars to have them personally install their kit, I was quite surprised.

      While this is in no way an effort to flame what is a known BMW tuner, it is an effort to share my experience with you all. I am an Active Authorized dealer, as seen on their website, so I hope you see this as a credible post. We have installed many of their kits, products, and software tunes here in house. I am quite displeased by how this mishap was handled. In the long run I was left with a $25,000 hole in my pocket, let alone having to continue paying payments/insurance on a car that sat for 16 months...

      My experience went as follows:

      I purchased the kit from them and had them install it at their facility in Miami. We then drove 600 miles back to North Carolina where I continued driving it unmodified for 600 miles. One day, while driving down US1, under moderate acceleration, I heard a loud pop, followed by smoke billowing out the back and then several lights on the dash illuminated. I immediately pulled over, and noticed a pool of oil underneath my car and chunks of metal throughout the engine bay and underneath the car. This was NO mis-shift as I was at about 6,000 RPM when this happened and was not shifting.

      I then called a tow truck and had the car towed to my shop, where under investigation, found a huge hole in my oil pan and engine block. The cylinder 5 piston had grenaded and destroyed everything in its path. I then called Active Autowerke and their representative, whom will remain nameless told me to take pics and send them to them. I did this and received a call back from one of the owners the next day. I explained that I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary while driving and he suggested I see if the connecting rod will rotate freely on the crankshaft. We found that the connecting rod would spin freely around the block, thus ruling out a bearing or oil failure.

      I then began questioning what kind of help I could receive to get this resolved and me not be completely on the hook for the repair bill. They not only suggested, but helped aid in getting it converted back to stock and take it to the dealer under warranty. I was skeptical about this to say the least, but since I felt they were good guys, and they thought it was a 'manufacturer defect' that I would give it a try, which later I felt pretty bad about. They prompted me to remove my ECU and send it to them so they could flash everything back to original settings and that nothing would be detected that there had been modifications to the ECU. I had to purchase about $1,000 worth of parts that had been cut and altered by Active during the install to mask the previous modifications. Once I got the ECU back from Active, I sent it over to the dealership on a flat bed.

      After having the car at the dealership for a week, they came back and said they had found the top speed of the car recorded was 198mph, and that the factory settings wont allow for that. That speed was recorded while on the dyno. They denied my claim saying that modifications had been performed to the cars engine and they would not cover it. After letting Active know this, the best they would do is a partial credit for the return of the supercharger kit. Wanting to keep a good relationship with them, I reluctantly agreed and started the pursuit of finding a suitable used engine, which was practically impossible. I had asked their team several times to please look out for a used engine for me, at which one was never found.

      After the vehicle had sat for 16 months, I finally saved enough to purchase an engine and just now get it in, no thanks to Active Autowerke. I guess I should have pushed harder for them to step up to the plate and fix the issue when it happened, but in an effort to save face with them, I stayed quiet when the leak of this surfaced on the internet and let their team handle things. Now, after having to fork out over $25,000 for a new engine, I feel it necessary to let the rest of the BMW community know that when shit hit the fan, I was left to burn...

      It is very unfortunate, because I know accidents happen, and it really speaks volumes about someone or a business with how they handle them. I myself own a car shop and when one of my technicians ultimately caused an engine to fail on a customers car, I stepped up to the plate and took care of it out of pocket to appease customer-because it was the right thing to do. I know if the rolls were reversed, I would have stepped up and bought the customer(me) a new engine to correct the problem at hand.

      I have already sent Active Autowerke emails stating my side of things and what I think they should have done, but their responses were vague and essentially they don't want to help me out. I have given them ample time to take accountability for this, but it appears they do not want to do anything for me. I just hope that if someone else gets into this type of situation, they will address it in a better way for their customers.

      Again, this isn't intended to flame, but rather inform.

      Be safe with who you trust to modify your baby.









      This article was originally published in forum thread: Supercharged e90 M3 Failure started by Mpowered View original post
      Comments 125 Comments
      1. xclone's Avatar
        xclone -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Unfortunate as this is a major point of conflict between the OP and AA. I am inclined to believe a car was not run to 190 on a dyno.
        I agree.. I've heard a 3rd party's account but, well, that is more unreliable then what I already have so won't post it. Hopefully I at least answered the reason of why he waited so long to post about it. I'm not out to make anyone look good or bad here, just sharing information that I would consider reliable (and everyone's bar for that mark is different).
      1. LZH's Avatar
        LZH -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Unfortunate as this is a major point of conflict between the OP and AA. I am inclined to believe a car was not run to 190 on a dyno.
        Why ?
        JRcarts Black Series ran over 200 on the dyno:

      1. DBFIU's Avatar
        DBFIU -
        So what if the car was run to 190 on the dyno or off the dyno. That had nothing to do with the failure, the failure was caused by something other than the supercharger kit I'll tell you that.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LZH Click here to enlarge
        Why ?
        JRcarts Black Series ran over 200 on the dyno:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x87-e_xN8NY
        Because it was AA's Mustang dyno which they say does not support that speed. Evosport had a dynojet.
      1. LZH's Avatar
        LZH -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Because it was AA's Mustang dyno which they say does not support that speed. Evosport had a dynojet.
        gotcha. Well regardless of which dyno...if the dealer sees the top speed limiter removed, that means it was tuned and that means bye bye warranty.
      1. Jaypod's Avatar
        Jaypod -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ar design Click here to enlarge
        You going to fill the serious gaps in your story, or just keep bashing AA and Lutz?
        No kidding this "story" is like watching a train wreck in slow motion. If someone is going to make serious allegations like this better post up all the facts in the initial post.
      1. BuraQ's Avatar
        BuraQ -
        This isnt the first time with them actually. Simular issue, I dont think a blown motor though, happened with another M car that AA had. The dealer found out that the car was modified and the owner had to take the car to an indy shop that was able to resolve it for him but at a cost though.

        I was told this by the indy shop that fixed the car and then a year later the story was confirmed by service manager whom actually denied the claim when i spoke with him.
      1. LostMarine's Avatar
        LostMarine -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by BuraQ Click here to enlarge
        This isnt the first time with them actually. Simular issue, I dont think a blown motor though, happened with another M car that AA had. The dealer found out that the car was modified and the owner had to take the car to an indy shop that was able to resolve it for him but at a cost though.

        I was told this by the indy shop that fixed the car and then a year later the story was confirmed by service manager whom actually denied the claim when i spoke with him.
        that makes no sense
      1. blk135's Avatar
        blk135 -
        Sorry to hear about your experience. I have delt with active autowerk before and it was a nightmare. In my opinion they are the worst company I have ever dealt with and would strongly recommend anyone from purchising their products.
      1. LostMarine's Avatar
        LostMarine -
        explain please
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by blk135 Click here to enlarge
        Sorry to hear about your experience. I have delt with active autowerk before and it was a nightmare. In my opinion they are the worst company I have ever dealt with and would strongly recommend anyone from purchising their products.
        Why? What happened?
      1. Jaypod's Avatar
        Jaypod -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Why? What happened?
        +2 Would be curious to know
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Jaypod Click here to enlarge
        +2 Would be curious to know
        If someone makes a statement like that they need to share the reasoning/experience.
      1. DBFIU's Avatar
        DBFIU -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by blk135 Click here to enlarge
        Sorry to hear about your experience. I have delt with active autowerk before and it was a nightmare. In my opinion they are the worst company I have ever dealt with and would strongly recommend anyone from purchising their products.
        AA has a pretty good reputation around here so you better have a good explanation or I will throw feces at you.
      1. folgrz's Avatar
        folgrz -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DBFIU Click here to enlarge
        AA has a pretty good reputation around here so you better have a good explanation or I will throw feces at you.
        Click here to enlarge
      1. NatAsp-M3's Avatar
        NatAsp-M3 -
        Shady, Shady, Shady. Slim frikin' Shadey!
        I can't allow myself to believe any side of this story. It's been YEARS since this event. It was early in the AA kit release when this happened and it would have been great to get details back then. When the blown motor story first came out, AA said they wouldn't/couldn't offer more info at the car owner's request... and now we hear these complaints. Oh well, if there was a problem with the kit/tune hopefully it's been "fixed" as a result. If your intent is to ruin AA's rep with this story- too late, they've sold many kits since then. The decision for silence and following AA's ingenius process of correcting the situation eliminated any possibility of determining the etiology of this incident. I would characterize that as a selfish move on your part which limits my compassion for your situation.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by NatAsp-M3 Click here to enlarge
        I can't allow myself to believe any side of this story. It's been YEARS since this event.
        Yep, it's bee a long time. Why is this being posted now? Seems he is trying to get money from AA....
      1. Andrew@lutzperformance's Avatar
        Andrew@lutzperformance -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Yep, it's bee a long time. Why is this being posted now? Seems he is trying to get money from AA....

        Sticky, I think there is much much much more behind this than that.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Andrew@lutzperformance Click here to enlarge
        Sticky, I think there is much much much more behind this than that.
        Care to share what you think is going on?
      1. Mi6's Avatar
        Mi6 -
        damn that sucks