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Is Excessive Oil Consumption Normal- Lemon Law Problems

Tue 10th Mar, 2020 by in Blog

New cars owners should not have to worry about their vehicle burning an excessive amount of oil.


Is Oil Consumption Part of the “Normal Operation” of A Vehicle?


Excess oil consumption is not a natural, nor common part of a car’s operation. Consumer Reports’ Annual Auto Survey found that “owners of 98 percent of 2010 to 2014 cars did not have to add oil between changes.” Even though most vehicles do not report to have this problem, the remaining 2 percent make up over 1.5 million vehicles on the road.


Most new engines require drivers to change their oil every 3,000 to over 10,000 miles for newer cars. BMW representative Hector Arellano-Belloc released to Consumer Reports that while “BMW vehicles have long intervals between oil changes (10,000 miles), select BMW engines may consume as little as “one quart of engine oil per 750 miles under certain driving conditions.”


Consumer Reports’ Survey also found that engines from several automakers- Audi, BMW, and Subaru– suffered from excessive oil consumption compared to than those of an average vehicle. Their “Thirsty 30” list of the highest oil burning models based on nearly 500,000 vehicles sold from 2010 to 2014 named the Audi A3, A4, A5, A6, and Q5; BMW 5, 6, and 7 series; and the Subaru Forester, Impreza, Legacy, and Outback, among others. In the worst case, they found that owners of the BMW 5 series with V8 engines were 27 times more likely to suffer excessive oil consumption than owners of an average vehicle.


Although not a common problem, excessive oil consumption can be costly for both drivers and manufacturers alike. If a driver has to add a quart of oil once per month, that can mean adding 7 to 9 quarts of oil between oil changes. Most manufacturers also now require synthetic oils for their engines that can cost up to $9 a quart. Those cost of adding oil in addition to the costs of routine oil will continue to burden drivers throughout the car’s lifetime.  


In some cases, manufacturers offer to repair, rebuild, or replace the engine under warranty. In 2015, Subaru authorized its dealers to perform oil-consumption tests to make sure the vehicle performs under manufacturer specifications. They also began to modify engines in select 2010 to 2014 models. However, some automakers defend the vehicle’s oil consumption as falling within the car’s technical specifications, or even blame owners for their driving habits.


Drivers should not have to worry about their vehicles consuming excess oil under warranty. Automakers should accept responsibility for excess oil consumption and cover the repair costs for current owners, not just improve the engine’s design for future consumers.


If you are experiencing issues with excessive oil consumption with your vehicle, the expert lemon law attorneys at Quill & Arrow LLP help. Our lemon law attorneys have years of automotive expertise and understand the problems associated with oil consumption and other technical issues. Please call us today to learn about how the lemon law attorneys at Quill & Arrow can assist you – at no charge: (310) 933-4271.


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