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BMW admits N47 Engine Design Fault

BMW has now admitted a design fault in it’s N47 engines installed in vehicles manufactured between February 2007 and June 2008. The engine was used in its 1 Series, 3 Series and 5 Series vehicles. The design fault is located in the chain tensioners and possibly timing chains. Faulty timing chains have the potential to be extremely dangerous. Solicitor Dermot McNamara advised that “if a timing chain breaks, then the driver loses all power from the engine, with a resultant loss of braking and power steering”.

There have been previous reports from BMW owners that their cars simply stopped working whilst driving. Thankfully many were at low speeds but it has also happened to those driving at high speeds.

Once BMW owners became aware of this issue and brought their cars to their BMW dealership, only those who had a meticulous service history saw their problems resolved for the most part. Unfortunately, difficulties arose for those who did not purchase from a main dealer.

BMW Ireland spokesperson released a statement stating “Beyond standard warranty, BMW operated a generous goodwill policy and any customer concerns were assessed on a case-by-case basis. Understandably, customers hearing of an issue will be concerned and will need some reassurance that their vehicle will not be subject to a timing chain failure. If the car is not displaying any unusual running characteristics then there is no need to be concerned. Those people still concerned can see their nearest authorised BMW retailer to have the vehicle inspected.”

We would be concerned with the use of the term “case-by-case basis”. Reading between the lines, we can envisage an uphill battle with BMW for them to cover all costs of repairs. Dermot McNamara advised that he has had clients which BMW have refused to pay for the repairs or has only offered to pay for a nominal amount. Mr McNamara recently had a case whereby BMW settled on the steps of the Courts.

We strongly advise that any owner of 1 Series, 3 Series and 5 Series BMWs would contact their local dealership immediately to enquire if their engine is at fault. It may be the difference between life and death. If a fault has been found and you are not satisfied with BMWs commitment to resolve the issue, we would be happy to discuss the options available to you.


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