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2005 M3 - 90k miles before it was totaled. Half the time it was a daily driver. The other half it was a track rat. At least once a month track time. Multiple years of tracking. Never had a VANOS problem. Lots of other problems... but not VANOS.

2006 M3 - 60k miles. No issues. Purrs like a kitten.

Most people with no problems don't speak up.

Any car with a part will have a problem. I've had a SCR heater "die" on my X5 diesel. Had to tear apart the SCR active tank to replace it. VANOS, IMHO, is just like any other part that MAY fail. I don't believe it is MORE likely to fail then any other part.
 

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There are identified weak spots in vanos (BMW underengineering) and solutions for them. Most of the time it's a when and not if.
Sorry, but your comment is subjective. Do you have the CAD files from BMW of the VANOS tabs? Have you performed materials analysis on the hub, bolts, or tabs? No one really knows why the tabs fail. Putting stronger tabs is seen by some as a solution when I see a bandaid instead. Sure, luckily no one with a "bulletproof" VANOS has reported a failure, but it is still a car part.
 
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