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BMW Fuel Pump Litigation -- Hackett v. BMW of North America

Court: Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois
Case No.:
10-CH-46882

On October 28, 2010, Wexler Wallace filed a class action in Illinois state court against BMW North America on behalf of Illinois owners of certain model BMW vehicles equipped with N54 3.0 liter engines.  Consumers around the country have alleged that these vehicles are affected by a distinct design and/or manufacturing defect relating to BMW’s newly designed fuel injection system.  It was supposed to have incorporated a new “state of the art” fuel pump responsible for injecting fuel into the pistons.  Plaintiffs allege, however, that the new fuel pump is defective, requiring replacement within the first 1,000 miles of ownership.  Many owners have had their fuel pumps replaced multiple times.  The fuel pump defect also raises serious safety concerns, as power failure can occur at high speeds and create unsafe driving conditions.  The affected BMW vehicles include: 2007-2010 BMW 135i, 335i, 335xi, 535i, 535xi, X5d, X6 and Z4 3.5 sDrive models.

After defeating BMW’s motions to dismiss and strike the class allegations on June 30, 2011, Wexler Wallace conferred and coordinated with Class Counsel in Nguyen, a related case pending in the Northern District of California, and agreed to enter into a stay of the Hackett matter.  The Nguyen plaintiffs also identified a second defect, referred to as “turbo lag.”  The engine design BMW used for the N54 takes two fairly small turbochargers, each powering 3 cylinders.  Each of these turbochargers is connected to “waste gates” that regulate their performance, but Nguyen claimed that the waste gates that BMW used are defective in that they do not create a proper seal and flutter while in use, creating delay in throttle response and lack of acceleration.

Settlement

A settlement was reached with BMW that resolved all litigation relating to the fuel pumps and waste gate defects, which was granted final approval by the Nguyen court and judgment entered on May 8, 2012.  The settlement provides for warranty extension for the defective parts, cash payments to certain consumers who had their fuel pumps replaced before a recall was announced, and other remedies to vehicle owners.