BMW Second Lawsuit Sudden Engine Power Failures BMW (BAMXY) likes to tout itself as the maker of the ultimate driving machine. The word "ultimate" comes from the Latin word for last, and thanks to a faulty engine design, you could spend your last moments in a BMW that suddenly loses power on the freeway. Naturally, this little problem has not escaped the attention of the legal industry. This week, a California firm filed a class action lawsuit against BMW -- the second one of which I'm aware.

On Oct. 5, Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff, LLP, announced that it had recently filed a class action lawsuit "on behalf of thousands of individuals who own various BMW vehicles released between the years of 2007-2010." I wrote about this problem on DailyFinance in July -- BMW's new N54 twin turbo engine sports a faulty high-powered fuel pump that can suddenly fail. And when the pump fails, the engine goes into what's known as "limp mode."

This means that the ultimate driving machine suddenly loses power and subsequently can't go faster than 20 miles per hour -- if it can go at all. Since July, I've spoken to several people who have suffered from this problem while driving on the freeway. One was an Ohio emergency room doctor who was heading home at 2 a.m. after a shift. His BMW went into limp mode on the highway about 30 miles from his home. That must have been a long commute.

The first such lawsuit of which I am aware was filed by a class represented by Wayne Barney of Orange County, Calif. Barney began experiencing "turbo lag after his 2007 BMW 335i was serviced for a faulty fuel pump," according to his suit. He shared the problem with BMW several times, but was "repeatedly assured that he was mistaken about the existence of any problems."

A source tells me that a major TV network is working on several exposés of BMW on this and other matters, so this is not likely to be the last you'll hear of the German automaker's woes.

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I have a similar problem with my 2000 Honda Accord. The Honda dealership can not make my car work and it is dangerous to drive on freeways (I can not gain necessary speed and merge). I spent a lot of money on the same problem. but now the Honda people are just saying that the car is old (it has only ~ 90,000 miles on it) and do not take any responcibility for the repairs that do not work. What can I do? Can someone advise please?

October 14 2010 at 1:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

BMW is not the only car that has these problems. I drive a Mercedes and if I tell you all the dangerous **** that has happened to me - here it goes 1) just driving around, thank God it was in town, making a turn, with the foot on the gas, suddenly the car comes to a total stop - was told some sort of computer problem, got it fixed, have been experiencing the same problem about 20 times and it is still ongoing 2) Driving along into a parking lot with the foot on the gas, suddenly nothing, the gas pedal spring had broken and the pedal was just flopping in the wind, this problem has happened to several people. A f- plastic clamp keeps the gas pedal moving and when that clip breaks, well you are in deep s---. I was lucky this did not happen on the highway, otherwise I probably would have gotten creamed. These foreign car dealerships are hard to deal with, they have a terrible attitude, like they are superior. I still have my car, just drive in town with it, certainly do not risk taking it out on the highway, you probably aks why I put up with it, well I don't have the money right now to buy another car and selling it would be dicy, as I would have to disclose the ailments or risk being sued.

October 07 2010 at 6:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David S Mandel

I have a 2009 BMW 535i,and had two recent incidents (June and Sept of this year) where my vehicle lost power and went into limp mode. It is very scary to try to get onto a busy highway, and when you want to accelerate you get a warning light instead saying "engine malfunction..loss of power". The dealer repaired it twice, and I was promised compensation, which I have not seen yet. This is my fourth BMW and between the engine power failures and the I drive, I have spent in inordinant amount of time in the repair shop. I love my BMW when it performs as it supposed too, but unfortunately it acts up when you least want it too and does not deserve the title of "ultimate driving machine". My wife enjoys telling me that she had many years of trouble free driving with her Acura RL...what can I say?

October 07 2010 at 3:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply