BMW North America will now be restricting more than 100 aluminum structural parts for its vehicles “due to complexity of repair and the requirement of highly specialized tools, training, and repair procedures,” according to a March 16 bulletin.
To order the parts, shop technicians must take three body and paint classes and have approved tools including a particular frame bench, belt sander, glue cartridge gun, riveting tool, welder, oscillating tool, and saw blade.
“BMW of North America will be restricting certain aluminum structural parts to ensure the correct repair process is followed and crash performance is not compromised,” the bulletin states.
An email sent by the OEM to a reader and passed along to Repairer Driven News states that more aluminum parts will be added to the restricted parts list in the future.
Restricted parts include M8 frame rails, spring support, wheel houses, wheel arches, side member, and body base frame parts. For the X6, X6M, and X7 G07 chassis BMW will now restrict frame rails, strut towers, wheel housing struts, and wheel houses. The 7 series with G12 chassis will have restricted frame rails, spring supports, wheel houses, and frame side members.
Wheel housing, engine and spring supports, engine covering panels, and side members are restricted for the 7 Series G70 chassis.
The i3 I01 chassis and i8 I12 and I15 chassis now have restricted front and rear axle modules. The i3 only has restricted wheel houses, wheel house struts, and side members. The i8 only has restricted trunk floor, tail trim, and rear end parts.
The iX I20 chassis has a list of 21 restricted parts from the body carcass to engine supports, brake hoses, side and rear members, and more.
See the bulletin for the complete list of all aluminum parts that are restricted at this time.
In July 2021, BMW announced a new ordering and approval process for nearly 75 parts on its restricted list “to ensure the repair facility purchasing the restricted part is properly equipped and trained to perform the repair.”
The bulletin laid out the specific request process that repair facilities would begin following in August, including supplying the parts dealer with photos of the VIN sticker, photos of the damaged parts being replaced, and a copy of the repair estimate along with the repair facility name, address, phone, and email address.
The parts dealer then submits all of the information to BMW, who will confirm whether or not the repair facility has the proper tooling and training, and either approve or reject the parts order.
The BMW bulletin, “Carbon Fiber Parts Restrictions Ordering Process & Parts List,” was a follow-up to an April bulletin issued by the automaker announcing the forthcoming structural parts restrictions. BMW said at the time that repair shops don’t necessarily have to be a BMW-certified shop to order the parts but must complete body and paint training courses and have on hand the necessary tools for the repairs.
RDN asked if the same ordering process will apply to the aluminum parts list but didn’t receive a response back by the publication deadline.
Volkswagen and Volvo restrict some of their parts but Volkswagen doesn’t restrict theirs to certified shops. Lucid, Rivian, and Tesla restrict all of their parts to their certified shops.
Featured image: BMW i7 xDrive60 (Provided by BMW)