Thirty people are issuing legal proceedings against BMW after a design fault was discovered with one of its engines.
A Dublin solicitor says he expects more will follow, as over 100 BMW owners across Ireland have made enquiries about “catastrophic” engine failures.
In one case, the driver stated he lost all power, including his power steering, on a roundabout coming off the M50.
Another driver said their car stopped completely in the middle lane of a motorway in heavy 120kmh traffic, leaving them in fear of their lives as vehicles swerved around them.
Solicitor Dermot McNamara said legal cases so far were based on BMW not paying for repairs for free, which are said to cost about €6,000 per car.
BMW told the Irish Independent that there was a “technical campaign” to replace a design fault with the chain tensioner, and if required, the timing chain in certain N47 engines produced between February 2007 and June 2008.
“In many cases, the vehicles have experienced catastrophic engine failure while travelling at speed,” said Mr McNamara.
“Many of our submissions involve people who were travelling with families on motorways when the failure occurred. One particularly harrowing case saw the BMW vehicle lose all control and mount a kerb, badly damaging a wheel but thankfully avoiding any pedestrians.”
BMW said: “The safety of our customers is of paramount importance at all times.”
It said that only cars made between February 2007 and June 2008 would be subject to the campaign, as they say the production process was changed after this date.
“Beyond standard warranty, BMW operates a generous goodwill policy and any customer concerns are assessed on a case-by-case basis. It is important that any customer with such concerns speaks to us before commissioning repairs.” The German carmaker has advised anybody concerned to contact its customer service department or go to one of its retailers.