Porsche Settles IMS Class-Action Lawsuit, Excludes My Boxster S

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth

Was it this guy? Who knows? But somebody finally decided to sue Porsche for their hilariously (if you don’t own a Porsche) failure-prone M96 watercooled boxer engines. Of course, the M96 has more than one known reason for going “pop” unexpectedly and turning on that “Drive to workshop and buy $11,750 Remanufactured Engine” light, but the IMS is the most frequent offender.

Now Porsche’s been forced to say that they’re sorry in that most American of ways — the class-action settlement. But since Porsche is Porsche, the devil is in the details. And there’s a hole in the list of covered VINs big enough to drive my 2004 Boxster S “550 Spyder” Anniversary Edition through.

You can read the whole thing at Rennlist, but some of the salient points are:

  • Cars through 2001-2005 are covered.
  • But if they were put in service more than 10 years or 130,000 miles ago, they’re not covered. So unless you bought your 2001 Boxster as a four-year-old dealership dust bunny, you can go directly to hell.
  • If you bought it used and failed to pay for a Porsche warranty, you are not covered.
  • The amount of financial assistance from Porsche is limited and may amount to less than half of the actual costs.
  • All the usual Porsche warranty exclusions apply as well.

I happen to lightly hurdle over all of those requirements, so I’m very excited. But what’s this? There’s a list of affected VINs being passed around, and there is a hole in the WP0CB29894U range. (Yes, my Boxster was assembled in Finland. VALMET M76 FOR LYFE, bitches.) Hey!!! What happens when my IMS fails? I guess it’s true that Porsche never forgets a dissenter, huh?

Jack Baruth
Jack Baruth

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6 of 38 comments
  • Patjames Patjames on Dec 09, 2013

    I feel very stupid. I just bought a used Carrear and now I find out about this problem. I am selling this thing ASAP. I will never think about buying a Porsche product again.

  • Dalaurent Dalaurent on Dec 17, 2013

    My 2002 Carrera with just over 34,000 miles just suffered IMS failure. Because the vehicle is over 10 years old, Porshe and the dealership I purchased the vehicle from last year have told me to go fly a kite! I am looking for others to join me in yet another class action lawsuit or at least a multiple party lawsuit. I could not be more disgusted with Porsche!

    • See 1 previous
    • Jbosshard Jbosshard on Jun 30, 2015

      2004 c4s ims failure last month at 20,000 but outside the 10 years. Is there anything we can do?

  • Gearman Gearman on Dec 18, 2015

    Will it ease the pain to hear about the Mercedes C 63 headbolt problem? I doubt it , but here goes. Between 2008-2010 unknown numbers of the 6.3 liter V8 engines in C63 AMG and other models have experienced headbolt failures. The bolt head snaps, admitting coolant to the cylinders and allowing the bolt head to tiddlyewink around the cam gear. If the owners notice the low coolant lamp they may get off with a simple head(s) removal, new gasket and "later" headbolt set, $3K-$5K at your friendly and knowledgeable dealer (often "headbolt problem? never heard of it"). If let go until white billowing smoke is noticed , perhaps a new engine , $42K large. The hard core set install ARP studs. Some risk one-by- one upgraded headbolt replacement. The Mercedes position is very similar to that described here and other Porsche posts. Be in warranty or die. Some dealers will help a little. No official explanation has been released. Model years after 2010 do seem to escape. IMO the failure is due to corrosion which eats away the headbolt shank just under the formed flange. The official coolant drain interval is 15 years (yes 15 years). The upgraded headbolt has a convex hex configuation (vs concave)and a one step less tensile strength rating. Just like the IMS bearing failure explanation it seems that corrosive action has caused this. Our car has not yet failed,but you live under a cloud similar to that of the Porsche folk. And resale is hit even harder than just with the AMG identity. The word gets out. I never fit well into the Merc family. They make no effort whatsoever if your choice is AMG, the performance wing. One more thing. The wife loves this car. Best ever. She should. I do the maintenance. Brake rotor replacement: $2500 iron rotors.

  • Fastdriver Fastdriver on Jul 12, 2017

    Yeah, I love Porsches - have owned a 2.0L 914 for about 23 yrs. However, after all I've heard of the factory not doing better by loyal owners, likely I'll steer clear of anything that's new, and only buy a used and then proven product from Porsche - e.g. 968, or 1995 993, etc. To contrast this IMS issue, I've owned two Toyotas, both used. The first, while in college, a 1977 Celica with 104k... 3rd owner... had an exhaust leak due to the manifold... which, Toyota fixed no charge - would have cost me $600, and were so respectful of me with this older car - as that was 1986... so almost 10 years old. Then, first job, I bought a Camry as 2nd owner with 46k.. that was 1988 - this car had a steering issue - took it to Toyota, $1,100 repair... again, no charge. So, from a customer care, backing the product when there's a design flaw viewpoint - I won't buy a Porsche ... from the dealer. Porsche can afford to take-care of their customers... it's sad that they do not. There was a time when they simply built very durable products - and that may be the case today - but integrity dictates they'd fix those issues they are truly at fault for. But, they don't have to have integrity... as people still purchase the cars, and the law isn't forcing Porsche to really make people whole from these types of issues. Sad.