M3 Owner Orders an OEM Clutch From Amazon, Gets an F1 Assembly Instead

Car Culture 31 May 6, 2018 by

Amazon is typically the first place most people go if they want to buy something on the web. With its fast shipping and wide array of virtually everything in existence, it’s the perfect place. However, occasionally you do end up with something you didn’t order. This is exactly what happened to an M3 owner just looking to fix his car.

User “breadvan” on the M3 Forums needed to replace the clutch on his E46 M3. Wanting it quickly and for a reasonable price, he did what many do and turned to Amazon. After finding an OEM Sachs clutch kit that fit the bill, he ordered it and waited for its arrival.

However, when the package showed up on his doorstep, something was amiss.

Upon opening the box, “breadvan” was obviously a bit confused. Not knowing what an M3 clutch looked like, he snapped a few photos and then posted them on the forums.

Members immediately chimed in telling him that wasn’t an M3 clutch. But what was it?

After several messages, the forum goers concluded that the clutch belonged not to BMW’s sports coupe, but a full-blown F1 car. With some more searching, they eventually agreed that it looked like a ZF Sachs RCS 115 clutch.

So how did a clutch from an F1 car end up getting shipped to an M3 owner? Or better yet, why did Amazon have it in its warehouse? No one really knows.

Motor Authority reached out to ZF about the clutch. It appears ZF did confirm that it is an F1 clutch assembly. Also, it said that the clutch is not for sale to the general public.

Chances are this is a mix up from the ZF factory and not Amazon. During the packaging of the clutches, the F1 assembly ended up with an M3 clutch part number. When Amazon ordered a restock for its warehouse, this clutch ended up in the box with several others.

This is obviously a very costly mistake too. Estimates for the cost of the F1 clutch range from $5,000 to $9,000.

Now the question comes into play, what should the user “breadvan” do with the clutch? Most of the members on the M3 Forum suggest keeping it and putting it on display. We tend to agree with them too since the clutch is legally his.

We wager that ZF will reach out to the buyer sometime next week.

Presumably, there is an F1 team out there that wants the clutch it paid for. Though it’s still rather amusing to imagine an F1 mechanic opening up a box and wondering why they have a standard street clutch for a decade-old BMW!

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