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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Fri, Apr-20-2018, 03:01:55 PM   #1
armenhart
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Default Status Gruppe Exhaust Review. Maximum salt.

I want to make this clear that I’m separating my review of the parts vs the company, and to me, one does not reflect the other. I'm still really hesitant to post a negative review. I hate doing it. But this was so irritating that I hate the thought of someone else getting into a similar situation. I hope SGT gets their act together. From my end, it felt like a 12 year old was running the company. Sorry Mike, but this sucked.

The parts.

(Kept my OEM headers) Section 1 Rasp Eliminator. Section 2 Unresonated X-Pipe. SCZA Muffler.

Excellent. They look good, feel good, sounds good. I love the sound. There’s no drone at all. At first I wished it was about 10% louder, but after the break-in period it sounds perfect for what I wanted. If you’re looking for a setup that ...JUST...SOUNDS...GOOD... and not too crazy (definitely not a screamer) then I highly recommend these parts. I’m very happy with what I’ve received. I really, really didn’t like the stock sound, so I know I’m going to appreciate this setup for a long time. I'll see if I can post a video.

In the tunnels

Startup video

Revving video


The company.

Just keep in mind this was my personal experience. I’m not saying the company will act this way with you, but it did happen with me. I’ve calmed down about it since it happened, but I wrote this on March 27th and this is the point I got pushed to, so I’m leaving it as is...

In a word: unprofessional. It would be easy to stereotype them as the way-too-laid-back San Diego company… but actually that’s pretty spot on. When I explained all this s*** to a buddy of mine, he asked where they’re based out of and when I said San Diego he just said “Yup, there you go.”

Their business model (apparently): Wrong estimate times on a continuous basis and lack of communication (which drives me nuts). I reached out to Mike a lot in the time I waited for my parts. I was never rude, confrontational, or unpleasant to him in any way. If he told me to check back with him in a couple weeks, that’s exactly what I did. I would set a reminder in my phone for 2 weeks and that’s when I’d send him a follow up email.

I placed my order during the New Year’s sale on December 30th. The initial estimate time for my order was “2-3 weeks MAX”. This would mean Jan 20th.

I now have all parts in my possession and it’s March 27th. 12 weeks. 12 f***ing weeks.




I want to be clear that I had read about SGT prior to ordering my parts. I had heard both good and bad things about them. I’ve never read a negative review about their exhaust parts (carbon fiber parts is a different story and not applicable here). I knew SGT takes really long; every single person said don’t believe the 2-3 week estimate. So I didn’t. I put the time frame in my mind immediately upon ordering that it would take 8 weeks since that’s the highest delivery time I had read thus far. I’m sorry to report that I have now beaten that time. I’m tempted to just post screenshots of the whole email thread, and I might, but I will say that multiple times when I asked for an update I wouldn’t hear anything for a couple days and I’d have to send a follow up email just to get a response; it takes 30 seconds to type an email. And in fairness, when we first started talking Mike would reply back with an answer on the same day, but that didn’t last long.


Email Timeline
Dec 30th, I place my order and received a confirmation email
Jan 9th, I asked for an update and request all parts to be shipped together, Mike says “still about 2 weeks”.
Jan 23rd, I asked for an update, Mike says the muffler is done, tips are in coating, rasp pipe is almost done, but the x-pipe will be about 2 weeks.
Feb 7th, I asked for an update and don’t hear anything
Feb 9th, 2nd request for an update, Mike says he will check the tips on Monday (the 12th), x-pipe will be done this week, the rasp pipe also, it was the resonators that took forever. He asks what headers I’ll be running and we talk about this for a few emails.
Feb 14th, update please. Nothing.
Feb 16th, update please. Mike says “just waiting on x-pipe now, do you still want us to ship together?” I tell him yes and ask him when the parts will ship out. No reply.
Feb 21st, update please “I’d like to receive my parts very shortly.
Feb 23rd, still waiting for a reply.
Feb 26th, phone call. I tell Mike I’ll just drive down to his shop and pick up the parts and we agree he will refund the shipping costs.
Extreme patience ensues.
Mar 5th, I receive the refund.
Mar 8th, phone call. I tell Mike when I can/can’t drive down to get the parts, etc stuff like that.
Mar 13th, phone call, update please “a couple days, the place where I get the tips powder coated changed ownership and I can’t get a hold of them. They’ve been a real pain and haven’t been cooperating” Ok fine, this is the 1st time I’m getting a reason as to WHY the order is lagging so much. I ordered black tips so that’s why they need to be painted. If you look at the email thread, according to Mike the tips have been in coating since Jan 23rd.
Mar 15th, phone call, update please “next week” same powder coating issue, can’t get a hold of them
Mar 21st, phone call, update please “you can come pick it up tomorrow”
HALLELUJAH

Mar 22nd, the day I lost my mind. For anyone in LA you remember we had a “storm” coming in, wasn’t quite a storm but it did rain a lot and it got pretty bad at times. The 5 freeway down to San Diego is a s***show in normal dry weather, so I’m already bracing for what it’ll be like in heavy rain. But f*** it I’ve been waiting for these parts for 3 months now and I’ll be damned if the rain stops me from picking them up.

*To be clear, I told mike on the 21st that I’d be driving down after work (2-3pm ish) on the 22nd to get the parts. Fast forward, I show up at the shop, it’s open but Mike isn’t there.

Verbatim my conversation with the worker there.
Me: “Hey I’m looking for Mike. I’m here to pick up some parts.”
“Oh… Mike isn’t here right now.”
…..long pause…..
“Do you know when he’ll be back?”
“No man I have no idea” And he goes back to working. FFS dude do you think maybe you should call him and tell him a customer is here??? Just an idea. WTF do I know...

I stand around for about 10 minutes and Mike shows up.
Mike: “Hi how can I help you?”
“Hi I’m Armen Hartounian”
….. Radio silence. I’m looking at him like, dude, you know who the f*** I am. I tell you my name every single time I email and call you, AND you're expecting me today.
“OHHH! Armen! Sorry…” etc whatever.

We walk into the shop and he says “the x-pipe and muffler are ready”
“Ok……. what about the rasp pipe”
“I realized this morning that our logo wasn’t stamped on the pipe so I took it back to the guy and I told him to get it back to me today. I got so mad at him, I told him ‘my customer is coming down today to pick up the parts and I need it done. I don’t know what time he’s coming, I don't know if I should call him to tell him it’s not ready’”

You know when you’re so angry that you blackout? Ya, that happened. I’m stunned. It took me this long and this much leniency, but I’m finally stunned, Mike. NO S*** YOU SHOULD CALL ME TO TELL ME IT’S NOT READY. I just drove 2 hours through shitty weather and traffic to pick up these parts and not all of them are ready??? And you thought about calling me, but for whatever reason you didn’t?? What the f*** man. Seriously, what the f***. F***ing f***ing f***. Holy balls, are you actually running a business like this? I’ve waited 12 weeks for these parts and you finally give me the go-ahead to pick up the parts and they’re not ready? I don’t give a flying f*** if your logo is stamped on there. I’m so pissed about this whole experience that I’m probably going to scratch your logo off all the parts. And if people ask where I got it from, I’m sure as s*** not going to recommend doing business with you. I’ll lie and tell them I made it myself FFS. It’s unbelievable. Inexcusable. I don’t care if it’s 100% your supplier’s fault that it took so long. By choosing that supplier you are vouching for their credibility and good work. Your job is not to explain to a customer that it’s not your fault for the delay. Your job is to get s*** done quickly,efficiently, and correctly. If your supplier screws you, guess who the customer rightfully gets the blame? You. Because you’re the one who chose them. You can’t get a hold of the powder coater? Seriously? Go to their f***ing door and bang on it until they open up.

And by the way, to this day I still don't have the black tips I ordered. I have titanium tips, which are nice, but it's not what I ordered. So now if I want the tips to be black I have to put in another $100 or so to powder coat them. Mike seems to think this is a good, acceptable solution. Clearly, I don't. When I asked for a refund for this he tells me "it's factored into the price" as if there's absolutely nothing he can do about it. You're running the show, you're calling the shots, you can do whatever you want. Except make the client happy.

Rant over. Mike tells me that the rasp pipe will be shipped with 1 day shipping and I’ll have it on Monday. Guess what? It didn’t come in on Monday. What a surprise…

Mar 26th, I text mike saying I really hope he shipped my part so it arrives today, he replies "my guy didn't bring it back till after ups came here. It's all ready to go now" At this point I seriously considered calling him and yelling at him to just drive up to my house and deliver it himself. It not like I actually expected him to keep his word at this point. I asked him to ship it directly to my mechanic.
Mar 27th, my mechanic tells me the section 1 has arrived and he's installing the parts.

We're done. We're finally done.

I can't explain why my experience was so awful. Mike doesn't seem like a bad guy, but it also seemed like he didn't give a f*** about making his customer happy. Maybe I emailed/called too much and he got annoyed with me? but after waiting that long, can you blame me? I just wanted updates. Just tell me what's going on. Maybe some customers are cool with ordering parts and completely forgetting about them and they don't care if it comes in a week or a year, but clearly I'm not that type of customer. The only reason I reached out so often was because I'm getting nothing from him. No explanations or reasoning. Just "wait longer" messages.

-----
Before posting this I searched some reviews of SGT and I found some positive stuff but they’re all from 2014 or earlier. I still want to give him the benefit of the doubt and say he had stuff going on with family and maybe it was just a perfect storm of suppliers screwing up etc etc. But man… you’re running a business. Get it done, no excuses. And if there’s legitimately no way out, communicate. NOT ONCE did Mike ever reach out to me to be like “Hey, I know it’s taking longer than I originally told you, but xyz is what’s going on and I’m working to fix the issue.” He only communicated when I initiated it. Look, I ordered exhaust parts, I’m excited. Anyone would be. Even when I told myself to wait 8 weeks, the anticipation is still there that maybe all those reviews were wrong and they stepped up their game and get their parts shipped out quickly. NOPE. Total s***show.

On top of all this, I still don’t have the black tips I wanted so now I have to spend even more money to get them powder coated elsewhere. I thought about asking Mike for compensation for that and for wasting my time and gas driving down to his shop for no reason, but I’m not going to do it because I highly doubt it’ll go anywhere. Mike didn’t seem interested in the slightest in making sure my experience was good, or even acceptable.

Just tell me the actual lead time. When you openly lie about lead times it’s infuriating. And maybe get some reliable suppliers.


Parts: 9/10 (I don’t have black tips and I’m salty about it)
Communication: 5/10
Mike giving a s***: 3/10

As of 4/19/18: Not that mad anymore, simply because I don't have to deal with the company anymore. But when I think back to the whole experience it makes me laugh at how ridiculously unprofessional it was. It was infuriating and pretty stupid. Would 100% recommend potential buyers to look for 3rd party sellers.
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Last edited by armenhart; Fri, Apr-20-2018 at 03:03:09 PM. Reason: Embedded videos
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Old Fri, Apr-20-2018, 03:06:56 PM   #2
2006E46M3fan
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Default Re: Status Gruppe Exhaust Review. Maximum salt.

Sounds like whoever the first person or company to make good fitting parts AND not take forever can have the e46 m3 market cornered. Lol

Sorry to hear your bad experience. My personal experience hasn't been too bad, although does seem to be hit or miss with timing.
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Old Fri, Apr-20-2018, 03:08:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: Status Gruppe Exhaust Review. Maximum salt.

Damn thatís a shitty situation


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Old Fri, Apr-20-2018, 03:34:52 PM   #4
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Default Re: Status Gruppe Exhaust Review. Maximum salt.

I initially had good experiences dealing with Mike, but it took over 6 months to receive an FRP CSL trunk and things went down from there. It took so long that I ordered and received an OE CSL trunk while waiting (that only took a couple weeks).

To top it off, the SG lid arrived damaged, which I didn't find out about until a prospective buyer looked at it. I'm literally just going to swallow it since my initial conversation about returning it was a joke. It had been drop-shipped from the manufacturer and Mike said something along the lines of not knowing if they'd take it back or something.

He mentioned something about paying for cost to fix, but I just gave up. Live and learn, I won't purchase from them again.

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Old Fri, Apr-20-2018, 04:01:46 PM   #5
armenhart
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Default Re: Status Gruppe Exhaust Review. Maximum salt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by C///M View Post
I initially had good experiences dealing with Mike, but it took over 6 months to receive an FRP CSL trunk and things went down from there. It took so long that I ordered and received an OE CSL trunk while waiting (that only took a couple weeks).

To top it off, the SG lid arrived damaged, which I didn't find out about until a prospective buyer looked at it. I'm literally just going to swallow it since my initial conversation about returning it was a joke. It had been drop-shipped from the manufacturer and Mike said something along the lines of not knowing if they'd take it back or something.

He mentioned something about paying for cost to fix, but I just gave up. Live and learn, I won't purchase from them again.

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6 months? ... damn you got me beat by a lot. I've read far too many negative reviews about their cf parts, and now after this experience, there's no way I'll order from them.
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Old Fri, Apr-20-2018, 04:13:14 PM   #6
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Default Re: Status Gruppe Exhaust Review. Maximum salt.

I had a wait with them too, BUT:

You may want to re-read your email again - AFTER you calm down.

They may have some production/communications issues (which if you do any reading here - you'll see is part of doing business with them....this is well-known)..... but you have some real issues too. Holy wall of obsessive angry ranting text.
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Old Fri, Apr-20-2018, 04:47:53 PM   #7
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Default Re: Status Gruppe Exhaust Review. Maximum salt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lmtfi View Post
I had a wait with them too, BUT:

You may want to re-read your email again - AFTER you calm down.

They may have some production/communications issues (which if you do any reading here - you'll see is part of doing business with them....this is well-known)..... but you have some real issues too. Holy wall of obsessive angry ranting text.
Fair point. The rant was written in the moment when I was seeing red, like literally when I got home that day. I've been rereading what I wrote about once or twice a week and if you can believe it... I toned it down like 2 notches from my original. I've been gauging if it's really fair to be this critical. I decided it was. Even if it's not, I made sure to preface it--twice actually--indicating that this was what happened with me and I'm not saying it's guaranteed to happen with anyone else.

It was a ridiculous experience. I've used that word a lot in my review. Because that's what it was.

And I'm not sure which part of the email you want me to reread? It's 2 sentences. He says the muffler WILL ship "this" week, then 2-3 weeks max for the other 2 parts. Help me out here? Not trying to be a dick to you, I seriously don't see it.

Edit: also, regardless of my reaction which is obviously subjective, what actually happened is objective. I just want people to know what the hell they're getting into if they click the place order button
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Old Fri, Apr-20-2018, 04:52:59 PM   #8
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Default Re: Status Gruppe Exhaust Review. Maximum salt.

Appreciate this post and will stay away.
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Old Fri, Apr-20-2018, 05:23:34 PM   #9
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Default Re: Status Gruppe Exhaust Review. Maximum salt.

Dang, I was ready to order some parts from them too...
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Old Fri, Apr-20-2018, 05:26:04 PM   #10
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Default Re: Status Gruppe Exhaust Review. Maximum salt.

SGT just sucks!......End of story. Mike always has an excuse for why the customers expectations are/were not met and nothing seems to change. It will all catch up to him in the end but it is just supper crappy that customers have to deal with it. So many promises are made and never upheld.
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Discussing Status Gruppe Exhaust Review. Maximum salt. in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)