If you are the owner of either a 2008 or 2009 MK II MINI Clubman, or 2007-2009 Hardtop, or looking to purchase one secondhand, you need to know about this.
MINI has just settled out of court with plaintiffs in a class action suit claiming that on the aforementioned vehicles, the timing chain design can cause premature failure in engines that have been otherwise properly maintained.
After the lawsuit was filed, BMW finally acknowledged that the engines can fail.
The lawsuit was filed by plaintiffs Joshua Skeen and Laurie Freeman. Both plaintiffs purchased new MINI Coopers and had to spend thousands of dollars to replace the timing chain and related components on their vehicles.
The plaintiffs claim the timing chain tensioner failures cause numerous problems from a ratting noise and loss of power to excessive oil consumption and ultimately, if not addressed, can lead to catastrophic and complete engine failure.
According to the plaintiffs, the timing chains should last at least 10 years or 120,000 miles. But the alleged defect can cause engine problems as early as 20,000 to 50,000 miles.
The lawsuit alleges BMW touted their use of a metal timing chain as a selling point when marketing the vehicles, claiming that the timing chain and tensioners wouldn't require service.
According to the lawsuit, BMW knew about the problems, and issued a technical service bulletin in 2008 addressing the timing chain. Yet, BMW had never offered a recall of affected vehicles or to cover engine repairs. In fact, the MINI timing chain issue is well documented, and there are quite a few websites offering advice on how to tell if you have the problem and how to affect the repairs.
The proposed BMW engine defect class action settlement was reached after more than a year of negotiations, followed by a full-day mediation between both parties.
If the settlement is approved by the judge in the case, BMW will reimburse owners of affected MINI Coopers the entire cost of repairing or replacing the timing chain tensioner. In addition, the warranty will be extended to 7 years/100,000 miles.
The MINI Cooper timing chain lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey - Skeen, et al. v. BMW of North America LLC.
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