Porsche Nine-A-Lemon: Is Porsche Failing to Care for Its Customers?

When you’re out there driving a Porsche, there’s really nothing else in the world that could possibly top the experience. The handling balance, the perfect mix between going fast and keeping it classy, everything is just right. Naturally, you would want to enjoy this for as long as possible. Porsches are renown for their reliability, so why not? Well, it seems that, if your Porches does experience a failure, the automaker may just turn a blind eye on you.
Let’s face it, like any other car on this planet, Porsches do break down at times. This is not the issue here. Nonetheless, there are certain hints that the automaker could be handling this in a less than elegant, or German manner. The number of cases where Porsche fails to fix a customer’s appears to be on the rise.

We’ve recently had a bitter example of this coming from a guy named Nick Murray. A New Zealander who moved to the US, Nick adores the 911 and has spent quite some years saving to buy one. Back in June last year, he got himself a Carrera S. You can tell Nick is a reasonable guy just by looking at how he configured his 911. The rear wiper is the most obvious hint here.

Not too long after starting their life together, Nick’s 911 began to show all sorts of failures. From the windows rolling down on their own to a complete power cutoff that left the man stranded on the highway, this Porsche had them all.

Nick was thinking the warranty would rid him of the nightmare, but, according to him, Porsche North America had a different view. After numerous failed attempts to fix the rear-engined machine, Porsche wanted to give Nick a refund, but they were offering the used value of the car. This was the standard procedure for a lemon (at a certain point, Nick turned to the lemmon law in Connecticut).

Nonetheless, Nick felt the insane number of breakdown his Porsche experienced made the situation special and asked for a full refund. Porsche refused, so the man turned to the Internet. The whole story went viral, gaining the “Nine-A-Lemon” title over on Reddit.

After moves like having its Facebook page flooded with comments on Nick’s 911, Porsche finally agreed to give the man a new car. Nick now says he still believes in Porsche’s car, explaining he is happy to receive a new one. He also insists that we wasn’t bribed in any way after the story exploded online. Porsche even made an official statement. Case closed then. Well, not exactly...

The ever-present world wide web collective memory shows us that this is not the first time in Porsche’s recent history when the carmaker has tried to sweep serious failures under the rug.

To talk about the most famous, I’ll name three... infamous letters: IMS. These stand for Intermediate Shaft and are an issue that started at the beginning of the new millennium. Multiple US Porsche 911s and Boxsters built between 2001 and 2005 started experiencing intermediate shaft-bearing failures. Such a powerplant problem is the equivalent of emptying an assault rifle clip in your engine compartment.

More and more owners complained to Porsche ever since, but the automaker was initially reluctant to admit its mistake and solve the problem. During that period of time, Porsche sold almost 40,000 Boxsters and even more 911s in America. Yes, only a small number of these were affected, but this still leads to an unhealthy number of abandoned owners.

People started getting together and filled a class action suit against Porsche. The carmaker eventually gave in, announcing it would completely cover the damage. Only it wasn’t quite so. Following the IMS class action suit, Porsche devised a set of rules that somehow happened to leave a part of the affected owners out. I’m not here to count these people, but the sheer idea that Porsche repeatedly aiming to find shortcuts is disturbing. This shouldn't happen. Not with them!

Obviously, I'm not the only one who's troubled by this. For instance, one autoevolution commenter recently said he was about to acquire a 911 Targa, but he's reconsidering his options after NIck's story. Combining the Targa's out-of-this world roof system with a lack of trust is a bit of an explosive cocktail, so while I haven't verified the story, I wouldn't blame the man.

Here's to hoping somebody at Porsche takes this as a cold shower and resets the attitude. No, Porsche, there is no substitute for your cars, but if you don’t treat customers with the demanded respect, this will certainly be found.
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About the author: Andrei Tutu
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In his quest to bring you the most impressive automotive creations, Andrei relies on learning as a superpower. There's quite a bit of room in the garage that is this aficionado's heart, so factory-condition classics and widebody contraptions with turbos poking through the hood can peacefully coexist.
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