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Warning! If you're thinking of a buying an i3, consider the following.
My 2014 i3 needed new tires after 15,192 miles which I thought was pretty extreme, but since I figured I'd have to buy tires once during my lease anyway it didn't make much difference when. Today I had my lease termination inspection, and after driving 5,700 miles on new tires, they are telling me the tires have less than 4/32" of tread remaining and are charging me for new tires again.
Two sets of tires in 21,000 miles? And all the wear is on the inside of the tires, the center and outside edges are fine. The inspector says this has been the case on the hundred's of i3 he's inspected. There is obviously something wrong with the way BMW has setup these cars.
This is an i3, not an M3. It has a range of 80 mi and it's driven around town, and obviously not very far with only 21,000 miles after 32 months.
If you're thinking of buying or leasing an i3, think again.
If you've got an i3 under lease, plan on being charged for new tires when your lease ends.
Hello, thanks for the post. I too have an i3 and about at the end of my lease with nearly 20K miles on it, the tires are still in good shape, despite "spirited" driving. If your tires are wearing on the inside only, it sounds like you probably have a camber or other alignment issue, or could be tire inflation issue too.
BMWs do tend to have aggressive alignment setups and softer tires for performance reasons (this is a BMW, not a Prius), but seems like tires down to 4/32" after just over 5K miles.... there's a maintenance issue going on there, even you first set lasted three times longer.
Scott - my tires look great too. I was shocked when the I saw the report. The tires measure 8/32 on outside and center, and 4/32 on the inside. Over/under inflation (not likely with the TPMS) usually results in excessive wear in the middle (over), or both edges (under).
I assume you have not yet had your end of lease inspection. My inspector said he's seen "hundreds" of i3's with the same wear pattern.
The Ecopia tires have a wear rating of 440 which is higher than the tires on my 2011 Mercedes which weighs 2,000lbs more and gets 25K - 30K on a set of tires. So yes, it could be a service issue, though it's odd that it's on all four tires, exactly the same.
If you have a chance, could you please check your inside tread depth and post the results?
I am very curious if it is a service problem (my SA says it's not, but really had no explanation), or if it's endemic to all 2014's as the inspector suggested.
Unfortunately, I do not have the exact tread depth figures for new i3 tires, but several i3 owners have stated that the inside tread depth is significantly less than the center and outside tread depths. My recollection may be incorrect, but I recall 5/32" as the inside tread depth when new. If so, that leaves a margin of only 1/32" of wear before lease return inspectors consider an i3's tires as needing replacement. Some owners have pointed out how unreasonable the 4/32" tread depth limit is when applied to the inside tread and have not been required to replace or pay for new tires upon the completion of their leases. So this is the avenue I would pursue if the tires on my leased i3 were deemed worn out despite the center and outside tread depths being sufficient.
My service advisor measured a new i3 on the showroom floor and the inside tread is 5/32, center and outside is 8/32. No wonder every i3 that is coming off lease has "excessive" tire wear, meaning less than 4/32.
Back to my original post. Anyone signing a new lease should demand a lease addendum that says the evaluation of excess wear on the tires will be based on measuring the tread at the middle of the tire.
PS: Just for reference, the lease on my Tesla Model S specifies excess wear as less than 1/8", while BMW specifies it as less than 1/4"!
Last Edit: May 18, 2017 10:12:31 GMT -5 by boatguy