What we hear - second or third hand, of course - from within BMW UK is that they are fully aware of these engine problems. Yet they continue to deny it publicly. In a way that is understandable, financially. But what is really shameful is that the many car magazines and mainstream press motoring columns (tabloid and broadsheet) have totally ignored this. Forum members have tried to drum up interest in the past, but nobody is interested in shaking the boat. Read What Car, or even Honest John, and you will never know about these problems. No doubt they will mention them retrospectively, probably in the course of bigging up the next generation of the 3 Series in their reviews.
JohhnySi, above, cannot be held personally responsible, but i would love to hear more of his insider's perspective.