UK police forces told not to engage in high-speed pursuits amid BMW engine fault

BMW N57 engine issue only affects police models, carmaker says but fails to reveal nature of fault

Police forces across the UK have been told not to drive BMW patrol cars with an N57 engine ‘too fast’ during pursuits and emergency call outs.

The Northern Echo reported that Durham Police had adopted a “no pursuit policy,” leaving officers “frustrated” that they cannot do their jobs properly.

A police whistle-blower has shared documents from senior officers at the force which ordered traffic and firearms officers to avoid going too fast, unless there is an immediate threat to life.

Deputy chief constable Terry Woods is the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s lead on police driving said: “We are aware there may be an issue with some older vehicles in our fleet and we are taking urgent steps to ensure this is addressed, including offering guidance to forces.

“Chiefs are working with the National Association of Police Fleet Managers to examine any risks.

“Our priority at this time is to ensure the safety and the long-term integrity of the equipment our officers use.”

The issue, which has not been revealed, only affects BMW police cars in the UK and not regular civilian models, the carmaker says.

In a statement, BMW UK said: “The safety of our customers and their vehicles is of utmost importance to BMW.

“We have been working with the police for some time on a technical matter linked to a small number of special high-performance vehicles.

“This issue is associated with the particular way in which the police operate these high-performance vehicles.

“This unique usage profile puts extra strain on some components and therefore BMW has specified a special servicing programme for these vehicles.

“There is no need for action on any civilian vehicles.

“This has been a dynamic and developing situation and we continue to work closely with the police.”

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