Experts Combat Auto Industry’s Promise that “It’s Normal” for Vehicles to Consume Excess Oil Between Changes

My manufacturer is telling me it is typical for my vehicle to consume excess oil between changes. Is this true?

Manufacturers and automotive experts alike have long since touted the proverbial 3,000-mile rule when it comes to the frequency of oil changes. For some models, drivers can get away with a 7,000- or 10,000-mile interval between changes—particularly if the model is newer and installed with an oil-efficient engine.

What is not normal, however, are the latest assertions by auto manufacturers that burning oil before the 3,000-mile mark is not considered a defect, and drivers should be prepared to top off their engines between changes. Unbelievably, drivers across the nation are receiving this answer from manufacturers when they bring in their new vehicles for service—and are rightfully demanding a second opinion on the issue.

In a report conducted by Consumer Reports, a significant number of new or near-new vehicles were in regular need of engine top-offs in between regular oil changes. More specifically, the engines in the following models seemed to be the most problematic for owners: the Audi A3, Audi A4, Audi A5, Audi A6, and Audi Q5; BMW 5, BMW 6, and BMW 7 series, and BMW X5; and Subaru Forester, Subaru Impreza, Subaru Legacy, and Subaru Outback.

Under New Jersey and Pennsylvania Lemon Laws, a manufacturer must repair a major and material issue with a new vehicle, or compensate the owner with a replacement and incidental damages. However, owners experiencing excessive oil consumption are being met with push-back from manufacturers quick to blame the engine specifications and/or the owners’ driving habits. In some instances, the manufacturers are offering discounts on oil rather than replacing or repairing the engine as required by law.

If you are facing an issue involving your new vehicle’s excessive oil consumption or are troubled by other Lemon Law issues, please do not hesitate to contact an experienced Lemon Law attorney.

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