BMW’s “maintenance-free” timing chain on 2007 – 2011 1, 3 and 5 Series, as well as the X1 and X3 SUVs may be the cause of engines terminal damage. The cost of repairs could be as hefty as €6,000 for a replacement engine.

An angry BMW owner said: “Given the amount of money I paid for this car, I deserve a better product and a better BMW service. I haven’t slept for weeks thinking about how I am going to pay for this repair. I’m sure there are alot of people out there in the same position as me and I ask you to make as much noise as you can and raise awareness.”

Dublin-based solicitor Dermot McNamara stated: “We’ve been inundated with requests from clients and new clients since there has been increased media coverage in this area, especially in cases where BMW has refused to pay for the repairs or has only offered to pay for a nominal amount.”

In a statement to the Irish Independent, the company has admitted a design fault with chain tensioners – and potentially timing chains – in its N47 engines installed in vehicles manufactured between February 2007 and June 2008. The engine was used in its 1 Series, 3 Series and 5 Series vehicles.