1 of BMW’s Engines Is So Problemmatic It’s the Subject of a Lawsuit

Some BMW owners haven’t been pleased with their cars, and there’s a class-action lawsuit to prove it. The lawsuit alleges that certain vehicles with BMW’s N20 and N26 four-cylinder turbocharged engines are prone to premature failures plus primary and secondary timing chain defects. How is BMW addressing these issues? 

KGG filed the BMW timing chain defect lawsuit 

Close-up of the BMW logo on the hood of a car
BMW logo | Photo by CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images

The New York and New Jersey-based law firm KGG filed the lawsuit against BMW on behalf of the consumers. The case says that the occurrence of a primary chain assembly partial or complete failure causes the chain to skip teeth on the chain sprockets. If this happens, it can cause the camshafts and crankshaft to fall out of synchronization and lose power. 

Additionally, the engine’s pistons and valves can destructively collide with each other. Depending on the misalignment level, the engine won’t operate properly, which can cause stalling. This problem can also hinder a driver’s ability to accelerate appropriately or maintain the vehicle’s speed. 

There are also details that primary chain assembly failures can leave passengers stranded mid-journey and cause catastrophic destruction. Allegedly, the secondary chain assembly is defective too. Possible secondary chain failure stems from faulty materials that can break down prematurely. 

The BMW vehicles that are included in the lawsuit

2015 BMW X3 Outdoors
2015 BMW X3 | BMW

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The chain defect lawsuit specifically concerns BMW vehicles from the 2012 through 2015 models years. As CarComplaints highlights, BMW denies the allegations in the lawsuit. The carmaker says that it will settle the class action to avoid the risk of trial. Here are the specific models outlined in the case:

  • 2012-2015 BMW X1
  • 2013-2015 BMW X3
  • 2015 BMW Z4
  • 2012-2015 BMW X4
  • 2014-2015 BMW 228i Coupe, Convertible
  • 2012-2015 BMW 320i
  • 2012-2015 BMW 328i Sedan, Sports Wagon, Gran Turismo
  • 2014-2015 BMW 428i Coupe, Convertible, Gran Coupe
  • 2014-2015 BMW 428i xDrive
  • 2014-2015 BMW 528i Sedan
  • 2012-2015 BMW 428i xDrive
  • 2012-2015 BMW 528i

What are some of the settlement terms? 

A blue 2012 BMW 328 X Drive on display.
2013 BMW 328i xDrive Sports Wagon |Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

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CarComplaints also noted that BMW would continue to honor the original 7-year/70,000-mile warranty extension from 2017 covering the engine chain assemblies. The settlement agreement also says that BMW will fully reimburse owners who’ve paid for the chain assembly and related repairs before the carmaker established the warranty. This program requires that a certified BMW dealer should complete the repairs.

Furthermore, owners may be able to get up to $3,000 for the timing chain module/oil pump drive chain module; they may also get up to $7,500 for engine failure issues. There is a separate reimbursement plan for affected vehicles with up to 8 years/100,000 miles.

What to do if you have experienced the related chain failure issues

If you have experienced the related issues outlined in the lawsuit, you can reach out to Gary S. Graifman, Esq., Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. by phone, email, or fax. A final hearing before the judge is scheduled for February 16, 2021.