A court denied BMW's motion for summary judgment in a putative class action that alleges certain BMW vehicles consume excessive engine oil. In its June 29, 2022, decision, the court also denied defendants’ motion to exclude the opinions and testimony of plaintiffs’ expert witness.
Plaintiff Frank Blumeyer, Jr., alleges his 2013 BMW 750li’s N63 engine had a defect causing it to burn excessive engine oil. He claims BMW was aware of the defect, failed to disclose it, and failed to repair it as required by warranty. He asserts claims of breach of warranty and violation of the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act.
As detailed in the court’s order, Blumeyer alleged he bought his BMW in October 2012, with a warranty that expired in September 2016. In November 2012, he reportedly told a BMW dealer his car burned a lot of oil, and the dealer said, “That’s the way it is now with these cars.” In May 2013, he claimed he mentioned to Plaza DMV his car burned oil and was told “this is the way it is,” and when his low oil light on, he should add two quarts of oil instead of one. BMW moved for summary judgment on Blumeyer’s claims, arguing in part that his vehicle had an N63T engine—not an N63 engine—and there was no evidence BMW refused or did not perform warranty service on the vehicle, and no competent evidence of a defect in his vehicle at the time of sale. In denying BMW’s motion under the summary judgment standard, the court noted in part that a BMW senior product engineer testified the faulty valve stem seals were identical in both N63 and N63T engines.
As further discussed in the court’s order, BMW asked the court to exclude expert testimony and opinions of Darren Manzari, whom the plaintiffs retained to opine on problems with their vehicles, including specifically excessive oil consumption. Manzari opined, for instance, that defective valve stem seals caused excessive oil consumption; BMW concealed from consumers its knowledge that N63 engines had defective valve stem seals; and the subject vehicles had defective valve steam seals that BMW did not remedy or resolve in a reasonable period of time. Manzari also opined BMW knew about the alleged defect as early as 2012. BMW claimed his opinions were not reliable or relevant under applicable legal standards. The court rejected BMW’s arguments, noting a number of objections could be addressed by BMW at trial via, e.g., cross-examination.
The case is Kerry Loy, et al. v. BMW of North America & Bavarian Motor Works, case number 4:19-cv-00184-JAR, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.
You can read the Court's order below: