The story isn’t over yet, as far as the N63 V8 and its propensity to consume oil is concerned. After settling one major lawsuit related to the matter in 2018, it would be just a matter of months until another suit was filed, citing similar problems but with different legal cause. Then, midway through 2019, yet another lawsuit was filed, this time taking things a step further by saying that recent, updated versions of the N63 which are used in BMW models currently on sale suffer from the same underlying issues stemming from the hot-V design.
Over the past few weeks, two new lawsuits have come up on our radar, and they both include age-old complaints related to oil consumption. Few specific details of the cases are known, but some of the cars owned by the plaintiffs include 2011, 2012, and 2013 model-year BMWs with the N63 V8. In the case we know more about, Loy v. BMW of North America, the two filing plaintiffs say that they were topping their cars off with a quart of oil every 1,000 miles or so. When they mentioned their problems to local dealerships, both were told that it was normal behavior for the engine. From what’s been published, even though a voluntary recall has been in effect for over five years now, neither plaintiff was offered a remedy for their vehicles, which were then still under warranty, and they were told to continue topping off their cars (a 2011 550i and a 2013 750li) between services.
Oil consumption isn’t a new problem for BMW and automakers from Europe and the world over. Before the N63 problem become too big to ignore, it wasn’t uncommon for those who had to add a quart between services to be told that it was considered normal. With the arrival of the N63 Customer Care Package and one of its associated service bulletins, the threshold for the usage of a single quart of oil was lowered to 750 miles. You can get into the details of the various service bulletins here.
The other lawsuit, which recently went before a Colorado federal magistrate judge, says the engines burn oil because they are defective. After lawyers for BMW NA filed a motion to have the suit dismissed, a U.S. Magistrate judge recommended that it be allowed to go forward, citing breach of warranty and other claims that are sufficient to withstand legal scrutiny. The two cases mentioned in this article, along with the one we covered last year, add up to three ongoing suits against BMW NA that stem from the N63 burning oil.
While the future of the various legal proceedings surrounding the N63 remains unknown, it looks like a replacement V8 may be on the horizon for BMW. Last year, rumors of BMW working to develop a new V8 surfaced, and although not much has been heard since, the N63 has been in production for well over a decade now, a long time for any modern engine design. The new unit will likely have a four-liter displacement, while construction has a high probability of using the same modular componentry at work in the entire line of other BMW engines from inline three to six. This new V8 will likely be a replacement for the S63, with use intended specifically for M models, meaning that the days of a conventional BMW model with a V8 may be numbered.
One thing to keep in mind when it comes to the N63 and its propensity to burn oil is that over a decade after it hit the market, the technologically similar S63 M V8 has earned no such reputation. This means that a twin-turbo V8 M model from the last generation might be a safer bet than something with a model designation ending in 50i.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]