Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
101,957 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2001 BMW 325 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2001 BMW 325 Owner Comments

problem #9

Jun 092015


  • 130,866 miles


The contact owns a 2001 BMW 325I. While driving 5 mph, the vehicle jerked forward and backwards when attempting to shift into reverse. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 130,866.

- Raleigh , NC, USA

problem #8

Dec 012014

325 6-cyl

  • 0 miles
I am horrified. I have 135K miles on my 2001 BMW 325I and it will no longer reverse. I took it into the transmission guy and he told me it would cost $4K to repair. The car has been in very good shape, with barely any problem. He also sent me to a website where apparently many others have had the same transmission problem. Apparently there is a well known failure esp with the 2001 model 3-series. I believe a class action lawsuit or recall should be brought against BMW.

- Woodstock, NY, USA

problem #7

May 242014

325 6-cyl

  • 147,500 miles
Vehicle operated without issue and then the reverse gear ceased functioning when attempting to reverse from a parking spot and the vehicle had to be pushed as the reverse gear in the transmission no longer engaged. Repeated attempts with the vehicle at operating temperature and when allowed to cool down yielded the same result. Nothing led me the feel this would occur and could have been deadly if the situation had been dire if an outcome as such rested on the success or failure of the reverse gear.

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

problem #6

Apr 072014


  • 216,000 miles


2001 BMW 330I. No reverse. It seems to be a common issue with this transmission, yet there has been no recall. It was a one owner car with meticulous maintenance records. Despite the high miles, there were no warning signs prior to the reverse gear failing.

- Cranston, RI, USA

problem #5

Sep 202013


  • 120,000 miles
After you enter 5th gear, the shifter will not return to the neutral position and prevents access to 3rd gear. This will ultimately cause the driver to downshift into the incorrect gear causing engine damage, damage to the gearbox, and/or cause an accident while driving during certain conditions.

- Lakewood, CO, USA

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problem #4

Aug 012013


  • 129,400 miles
My car was functioning perfectly fine the morning of the incident. I went into a restaurant and when I came out and got into my car and tried to back out of the parking lot my car would not move. The engine would rev up but no movement. I pushed it out and put it into drive and the car works fine but there is no reverse. I took it into the dealership and they told me that it is a transmission problem and the entire transmission has to be replaced. The quote I was given is $6000! my car high books at $5400. I have searched the internet and found that this is a very common occurrence for these cars and BMW refuses to recognize it as a problem. Now I'm stuck with a car that I can't afford to fix nor do I want to put more money into the car than it will ever be worth. I need help!

- Provo, UT, USA

problem #3

May 222013

325 6-cyl

  • miles


My vehicle one day decided to stop going in reverse. It acts as if it is in neutral even though the display shows it is in reverse. Nothing of my doing would cause this. The vehicle has been meticulously maintained and there were no signs of trouble. I did extensive research to find out that BMW outsourced their transmission to france through GM from the years of 1999-2003. The faulty transmissions through GM were recalled however BMW being a third party never took responsibility. I have sorted through hundreds of pages of consumer reports stating different mileages that are experiencing or did experience the "no reverse" problem. It is very evident that this is not about driving habits and it is a widespread issue that BMW denies any part of. I may be facing several thousands of dollars in repairs (along with many other disgruntled BMW owners) for defective equipment. Please assist us consumers in holding BMW responsible for their actions. They cut a corner and it is the consumer that is paying for it. Immoral, unethical, unsafe and certainly poor business tactics.

- Spokane, WA, USA

problem #2

Dec 012011


  • miles
2001 BMW 325I. Consumer states vehicle transmission blew out

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #1

Nov 142011


  • 173,851 miles
I was trying to park and when I put the car into reverse, the car did not move backwards. My car rolled forward as if it was in neutral. After researching the issue, this seems to be a common problem with the 3 series.

- Antioch, TN, USA

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