I don't believe it was them, since they were up front about it, even though there is no discernible way to tell (car functions fine and ABS diagnostic light turns off, as it should, a second or two after starting the car).
In addition, some work was done a few years ago after a young driver with a 10 year old car and a right front headlight out (which severely contributed to the incident) smashed into my legally parked car (7 months old at the time).
It is possible that the body shop didn't tie the wire properly in place and that it has been slowly getting scraped / rubbed ever since (~ 32,000 - 34,000 miles).
BMW inspected it after the work, to certify it so as to maintain the warranty, since this is their approved body shop.
I doubt they'll admit that this is how it happened and that they should have caught it
when they thoroughly inspected the car after the repair.
The good news is that the repair was otherwise excellent and everything has been fine since (there was one minor cosmetic issue that cost about $50 or $60 to fix, that they missed at the time - I couldn't prove it, since it had been a while since the repair.
Other than that it has not had a single issue since the repair which was over 2 years and 32,000 miles ago.
Hopefully it won't cost too much to fix.
Thanks for the suggestion.
I may take the wheel off tomorrow, just so I can see the extent of the damage, especially since I can't get a loaner tomorrow and I don't want to spend half my Saturday sitting in their waiting room again.
The good news is the new tires are great, much better than the OEM tires, even though I only have 20 miles on them (500 mile break-in was mentioned in a tirerack.com post).
The reviews were excellent all around (#1 in its class); it had not one weakness, which made it a no brainer.
Now I just need to figure out the best tire pressure.
The manual says
front / rear
30 / 35 for up to 4 passengers (this is what I went by, since I usually drive alone)
35 / 42 for 5 passengers + luggage
I read some posts on bimmerforums where the people who posted all seemed to put more than the recommended (minimum).
My father's dealership or tire center also put a lot more air in his SUV's tires. He ended up settling for something in between the two.