I’ve been following the US class action lawsuit brought against Porsche Cars North America, for intermediate shaft (IMS) defects in the engine of the Porsche Boxster and 911 (996/997) from the 2001 to 2005 model years. According to Internet wisdom, the defective single-row bearing at the centre of this class action lawsuit has an estimated failure rate of somewhere between 8 and 10 per cent.
After months of online back-and-forth over whether this suit had settled, the lawyers involved have put out a press release announcing that the suit has been settled in favour of the plaintiffs. From the release: “Porsche owners and lessees may be reimbursed up to 100% of their out-of-pocket costs, depending upon the mileage on the vehicle at the time of repair. The reimbursement includes all out-of-pocket engine damage and replacement costs, up to ten years from the vehicle first being placed in service, regardless of whether such damage or loss occurs before or after the notice of this settlement. The Porsche owners and lessees are also entitled up to two hundred dollars in expenses for mileage and towing.”
“This settlement represents a wonderful result on behalf of current and former Porsche owners and lessees who have had to pay out-of-pocket costs related to repairing or replacing an engine which sustained damage as a result of a defective IMS,” said Class Counsel, Stephen Harris. But is it really all that wonderful?
It’s certainly not wonderful if your car falls outside the prescribed chassis numbers but still has an IMS issue. It’s also not wonderful if your Porsche was fitted with the double-row IMS bearing, which has a much lower failure rate (estimated by the Internet to be circa 1%), but your Porsche 911 or Boxster’s residual value was tarred with the bad IMS brush. It’s definitely not wonderful if you bought an IMS-affected lemon and suffered emotional trauma and financial hardship in sorting out the problem.
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