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Old 02-08-2006, 01:03 PM   #1
wrm
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Need Engine Failure Documentation

I have a 1997 Boxster that the engine failed on last week at 53,000 miles. My Dealer is working with Porsche on my behalf. The dealer would like to know if I can produce documentation that Porsche helped someone in a case similar to mine. Can you help me with such documentation?
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Old 02-08-2006, 01:12 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear about this. Was your car dealer maintained?
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Old 02-08-2006, 01:38 PM   #3
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Sorry for your "loss". I would post this particular message at ppbb.com. They're always ranting about engine failures over there....

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Old 02-08-2006, 02:17 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by bmussatti
Sorry to hear about this. Was your car dealer maintained?
Yes, except for oil changes I did myself, which they asked receipts for, which I had.
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Old 02-08-2006, 02:51 PM   #5
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I too feel terrible about this situation. I'm also a '97 owner and am quite concerned about this occurance. My '97 was purchased from a dealer and has very low miles...I don't want to argue with Porsche over a situation like this when my car is 10+ years old and hasn't hit 20K. I might be able to squeeze some data from my dealer as the GM is a friend and recommended the '97 I puchased to me. I plan to see the guy on Friday, will forward info if I can. Good Luck!
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Old 02-08-2006, 04:12 PM   #6
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Check out http://forums1.roadfly.com/porsche/forums/boxster/. There are quite a few people with your same problem - many of whom have had Porsche help them out. The most common help I have seen is that they buy the engine and you pay the labor. It's still a couple of grand - but better than nothing. Others have received full payment while still others have gotten nothing. I have no idea why. Good luck!

And SD987, I wouldn't consider it ranting until you've had a Porsche engine fail out of warranty. Nothing like facing a $13k bill to put a dent in your week.
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Old 02-08-2006, 07:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrm
I have a 1997 Boxster that the engine failed on last week at 53,000 miles. My Dealer is working with Porsche on my behalf. The dealer would like to know if I can produce documentation that Porsche helped someone in a case similar to mine. Can you help me with such documentation?
I cannot. 9 year old car. Most likely not the original owner. And the cause of your "failure" is?
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Old 02-09-2006, 04:54 AM   #8
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One of the problems regarding low mileage vehicles is that latent defects may take many years to manifest themselves, long after the time limit of the warranty has run out (even though it's far below the mileage limit).

Sadly, when these known defects crop up, dealers and manufacturers usually forget their responsibility to their loyal customers and just say the car is 10 years old, what do you expect? Heaven forbid you weren't a regular service customer, then they just laugh in your face.

What's worse is that for these known defects they usually won't even offer any discounts on the repair (to their substandard design).

This has been my experience with numerous makes. I would really love to see a manufacturer that really cared about their customers--I think it would pay off in spades for their customer loyalty.

Consequently, sometimes, while we are taking care not to put to many miles on our garage queen, there is a looming repair bill that will never manifest itself until the vehicle is long out of warranty. So, are we really saving anything by keeping absurdly low miles on some of our cars? Obviously it's a case where hindsight is 20/20. I now try to put reasonable mileage on a car while it is under warranty just to weed out these issues.

Last edited by mquillen; 02-09-2006 at 05:06 AM.
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Old 02-09-2006, 05:11 AM   #9
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"Failure" -- I heard an irregular knock from the engine. Took it immediately to the dealer...said it needed a new engine...I asked dealer to ask Porsche for help...Porsche wanted further testing...I agreed...further testing convinced Porsche that the engine needed to be replaced and offered $2,500. I suggested I pay $2,500 and Porsche pick up the rest. Dealer asked that I find someone with my circumstances that Porsche has helped...hence the posted request for help.
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Old 02-09-2006, 06:10 AM   #10
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I have no documentation, but my 1997 boxster was purchased by me 20 months ago with 84K on it and it had a brand new engine in it (not remanufactured or overhauled).

Due to the cost of a brand new motor and the age and crappy condition of my car, I can only assume Porsche paid for the engine or someone was a total idiot to spend more on the engine itself than the car was worth (sold at auction for $14.5k).

Keep digging and fight this one hard. Engine replacements in 97's were a sizeable percentage. Only Porsche knows what that percentage is for sure, but it's more than 1-2%!
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Old 02-09-2006, 08:31 AM   #11
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While I am sympathetic and no big fan of Porsche Stuttgart, I don't see where they would have any ethical or legal obligation to repace a nine year old engine.

Having said that, I would negotiate till the cows come home to see if I could get them to ante up something.

Good luck!
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Old 02-09-2006, 10:53 AM   #12
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While I am sympathetic and no big fan of Porsche Stuttgart, I don't see where they would have any ethical or legal obligation to repace a nine year old engine.

Having said that, I would negotiate till the cows come home to see if I could get them to ante up something.

Good luck!
I have to respectfully disagree. I do believe that Porsche has a legal obligation to replace/fix a 9 year old engine if it fails well before it's expected lifetime. I don't honestly know if 53,000 miles is legally less than expected - but it's certainly far less than any reasonable person would expect (excepting abuse). However, I don't think they have a legal obligation to provide a "brand-spanking" new engine. At 53,000 miles the owner has gotten some legal enjoyment from the product. Fixing the engine or even installing a used engine with 50,000 miles on it (whichever was cheaper) would be within their rights.

The engine on my 99 failed this past June at 12,800 miles after only owning it for a month. Naturally, I completely freaked and started doing research. In less than a few hours I found at least 30 people from various BBS who experienced the same thing covering Boxsters from 97 - 03. That led me to believe that mine was not the isolated event I thought it was. As such, I believe that the failure falls under the "Warranty of Merchantability & Fitness of Purpose" clause. Simply stated, the device was manufactured with an expectation that it could not fulfill it's intended purpose. This warranty does not have an expiration date.

Luckily for me I had a limited 90 day warranty which got me a free engine. As such, I didn't keep my list of the people with the failure nor did I get a chance to see if the "Warranty of Merchantability & Fitness of Purpose" was actionable.

Prior to the replacement I was fully intending to pursue a Class Action Lawsuit since there was no way in hell I was going to pay for an engine on a vehicle with less than 13,000 miles - regardless of vehicle brand.

I absolutely love my Boxster - but there's no way I would have bought one out of warranty had I known of the RMS and Engine failures. As it is, I'm going to enjoy the heck of it until just before my new engine warranty expires. Then I'll either trade it or sell it. Maybe for another Boxster - maybe not. But whatever vehicle it is, it's going to come with a warranty!

Good Luck - and check out that BBS link from below. There are plenty of people whom with persistance got some results!
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Old 02-09-2006, 03:31 PM   #13
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Talking

"I have to respectfully disagree. I do believe that Porsche has a legal obligation to replace/fix a 9 year old engine if it fails well before it's expected lifetime. I don't honestly know if 53,000 miles is legally less than expected - but it's certainly far less than any reasonable person would expect (excepting abuse). However, I don't think they have a legal obligation to provide a "brand-spanking" new engine. At 53,000 miles the owner has gotten some legal enjoyment from the product. Fixing the engine or even installing a used engine with 50,000 miles on it (whichever was cheaper) would be within their rights."

I suggest you try to find legal cases where manufacturers have been compelled by the courts to replace engines that are nine years old. Certainly, I have never seen any but I clearly am not in a position to know about all the cases.

The warranties are mileage and time specific for a reason.
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Old 02-09-2006, 08:39 PM   #14
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I thought major engine failures where pretty much isolated to 99 models with slipped sleaves but I've been seeing more and more engines outside these dates with engine failures...what gives?
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Old 02-10-2006, 06:10 AM   #15
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I thought major engine failures where pretty much isolated to 99 models with slipped sleaves but I've been seeing more and more engines outside these dates with engine failures...what gives?
Similar to the RMS issue, having real data on failures would be very interesting and you can see why Porsche would not want this available.

In all fairness, I have not seen tons of engine failures and really, I have no comparative failure rates of other comp manufacturers. So, it is hard to form a firm conclusion on the matter w/o the data.

Having said that, the mere cost of Porsche replacement engine vs (say a chevy v8) is enough to give one the chills!

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Old 02-10-2006, 10:20 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Brucelee
Similar to the RMS issue, having real data on failures would be very interesting and you can see why Porsche would not want this available.

In all fairness, I have not seen tons of engine failures and really, I have no comparative failure rates of other comp manufacturers. So, it is hard to form a firm conclusion on the matter w/o the data.

Having said that, the mere cost of Porsche replacement engine vs (say a chevy v8) is enough to give one the chills!

Since Porsche would never release their data, you're left with polling. But the problem then is whether or not data from forums are really indicative of the overall population. I originally only visited the forums once my engine failed because I wanted to find information and get advice. Am I typical or atypical? It's like political polls that calls households in the afternoon - you've already limited it to people mostly without jobs (college, stay at home parents, retirees) who want to spend the time to answer the damn things. That's definately not indicative of most people I know! I've also wondered how many people out there have experienced the failure but haven't said anything since it was taken care of under warranty.

I think it definately is the extreme cost of the engine combined with they typical low miles on a Porsche that creates the frustration.
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Old 02-10-2006, 10:30 AM   #17
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I thought major engine failures where pretty much isolated to 99 models with slipped sleaves but I've been seeing more and more engines outside these dates with engine failures...what gives?
Absolutely not. The data I collected off of forums (which I unfortunately didn't keep) showed nearly equal numbers of engine failure from 1997 - 2000 with it declining from 2002 - 2003. I really don't think that the 2002 and up years are less prone to failure, it either just hasn't shown up or was taken care of under warranty. Again, this was non-scientific.

Keep in mind that when someone says their engine "failed" it could be for any number of reasons. Often, they'll never even know since the cost of tearing down the engine to find the problem combined with fixing it can easily exceed the cost of a new engine. The cause postulated to me was "Intermediate Shaft Failure". Although honestly, that was an educated guess on their part. I think I recall their exact words were, "Something broke and it's going to be expensive".

I've heard about the "castings", "intermediate shaft", "bearings", "not driven enough", "driven too much". There are so many theories out there that Oliver Stone could make a movie about it!


Personally, I like MQUILLEN's advice, if you have a Porsche - drive the damn thing!
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