Mechanic working on a timing chain in a BMW.

BMW Timing Chain Defects

By: Nina Safi and Matthew Jordan

BMW boast of building the “Ultimate Driving Machines” based on their durable and powerful engines. While that may be true for some models of the company, the BMW N20 and N26 engines have failed drivers with faulty timing chain defects that have caused disastrous breakdowns and costly repairs up to $22,000!

What Are Timing Chain Defects?

The timing chain is a part of the engine that ensures smooth engine cylinder intake and exhaust strokes while remaining in proper synchronization with the crankshaft and cam shafts. In order for the car to operate, the engine’s valves need to open and close during intake and exhaust strokes. The timing chain device is responsible for making sure this happens through synchronization between the top half (camshaft attachment) and the bottom half (crankshaft attachment) of the engine. 

A recent class-action lawsuit with a focus on the N20 and N26 engines alleges that the timing chains in these engines (across a number of BMW models) create severe engine issues and in some cases, lead to total failure of the engine. BMW allegedly knowingly built these engines with defective primary and secondary chain assemblies. Both chain assemblies are made with subpar material compositions, and cannot withstand anywhere near the level of pressure that they should be able to withstand for thousands of miles. 

The following 2012-2015 BMW models have been affected by a damaged timing chain: 

  • BMW E84 (X1)
  • BMW E89 (Z4)
  • BMW F10 (5 series)
  • BMW F25 (X3) 
  • BMW F30 (3 Series)

(must also be equipped with N20 or N26 engine)

Many consumers that have noticed knocking sounds from their engines or had difficulty starting their cars received no substantive assistance from the dealership. Instead, they were advised to pay for repairs or replace the engine entirely. The plaintiffs of the case have done their own research and found that while there was an expected maintenance schedule listed in the owner’s manual of the vehicles, the manual mentioned nothing about inspections of timing chains and the possible errors that may have come with this crucial device. In other words, the consumers would have had no way of looking for signs and taking responsibility for any issues with the engine. It has been revealed that the automaker concealed knowledge about the timing chains, falsely assuming that there would be unnoticeable effects on the cars. 

How Have Consumers Been Affected?

There have been numerous complaints from BMW consumers who have been affected by a faulty timing chain. One said, “I’m just not understanding, a car is supposed to run like a machine and just barely touching 90,000 miles the timing chain will go like that.” Another even expressed concern regarding the safety alongside other grievances, saying “while I am concerned with the $12,000 repair bill, I am equally concerned about the danger that is posed by the sudden and complete disablement of the vehicle that could result in injury or death to the car owner or to another driver who encounters the disabled car on a busy highway.”

How Can We Help?

When you purchase a car in good faith, you deserve to receive a product that works both safely and efficiently. Our expert lemon law lawyers will make sure that you are well taken care of and fully compensated by BMW. Call us today for a free consultation: (833) LEMON-FIRM. 

About the Author
Sepehr Daghighian es un socio de CCA con amplio conocimiento en todos los aspectos de litigios de la Ley Limón. Tras graduarse en el 2005 de la Facultad de Derecho de Loyola, el Sr. Daghighian ha practicado litigio en todo el estado de California durante más de 13 años. Durante este tiempo, el Sr. Daghighian ha abogado en nombre de los consumidores de California en cientos de casos de la Ley Limón en nuestro gran estado. El Sr. Daghighian también ha juzgado con éxito numerosos casos de este tipo para veredicto en los tribunales federales y estatales.