Should my BMW X3's rear coil spring have broken at 53,000 miles?

At a recent brake pad change the BMW dealer did a safety check and reported a broken rear spring, and recommended a new pair at a cost of £233.80. My E83 X3 had covered 53,300 miles. Can this failure be due to spring quality and/or potholes?

Asked on 21 July 2012 by JW, via email

Answered by Honest John
This is a standard type of failure with European coil springs on almost every European-badged make and model. It's not common among Far Eastern-badged makes and models, even those actually built in Europe and driven through Britain’s potholes.
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