I think we agree on some points. GM did not go with their own specification because they were happy with API. Being blown off for a period of years makes the general REAL unhappy. What their specific issues are I dont know but certainly it was something. Europe and japan have gone their own way and are not immune to problems. I think the elephant in the room that is causing issues is government regulations. Pressure to reduce waste streams to a minimum got the Europeans to specify long OCI and some got bit. Regulations on VOC emissions here have made crankcase ventilation systems very effective moisture traps. CAFE standards are pushing manufacturers to spec lighter oils than they would otherwise use,even if only slightly. Non of these are deal breakers when all you have to do is change your oil to fix it. Forcing 100000 mile catalytic converter life at the expense of safe reliable engine wear protection and sabotaging older engines with mechanical valve trains is a piss poor use of government power,however well intentioned. The engineering responses to regulation are as varied as can be,some are successful,some not. BMW is not immune to this. The crank case ventilation system on some models can fail in very cold weather and suck all the crankcase oil into the intake manifold and cause engine destruction. Not the oils fault unless you count water trapped in it. When the water freezes the valve fails. These may be the failures your referring to.