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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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
40,210 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.

2003 BMW 325 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2003 BMW 325 Owner Comments

problem #9

Nov 302007


  • 39,800 miles


Bought 2003 BMW 325I brand new. After driving it for 4 years (39,800milies) it started making a thumb sound and started losing transmission power and the gear indication light turns on. Brought to dealership and I thought it was fixed. It was always happening until the warranty expired. I can not use the car specially during cold weather. This problem was happening on the highway and city street while in motion. Most of the time the car is in the garage. I can not believe that at only 39,800 miles, this car is going to have such a major problem. But I believe this a transmission issue. This car still looks mint because of rare usage.

- Jersey City, NJ, USA

problem #8

Apr 012009


  • 88,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 BMW 323ci. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to shift into reverse gear. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic who stated that the rear D drum failed. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified about the failure. The failure mileage was 88,000.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #7

Aug 032010

325 6-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
In 2010 the sunroof went bad I talked to a BMW dealer and they told me they have problems with them, in August of 2011 I noticed that my tail lights and blinkers were not working proper, nor was my horn, and the drivers window regulators are binding up, also a brake hose from my brake booster to the engine is collapsed in two spots. ??

- Colton , OR, USA

problem #6

Nov 152006

325 6-cyl

  • 49,000 miles


Xenon lights went out shortly after the 50,000 mark. Shortly after car kept going into fail safe mode, kept getting low voltage readings on diagnostics. One BMW dealers kept telling me I needed to rebuild transmission. All they would do is plug the car into the computer and see the tranny reading on the scanner. The reason there was a tranny reading was because the car was in fail safe mode. I eventually had the tranny rebuilt and I still had the same issue. I would cycle the ignition and restart the car and car would drive fine. It keeps going into fail safe mode everytime I start the car. Its harder to get it out of fail safe mode in the winter with colder starts.

- El Monte, CA, USA

problem #5

Dec 012008


  • 90,000 miles
Own a BMW 3251, rear end started making popping noise when put in reverse and when turning curves. When on interstate rear end locked up while driving causing my car to skid through all lanes of traffic. After having car inspected the rear end had broke, we replaced the rear end. Also having trouble with head lights staying on and blinkers. Right rear tail light over heated and burnt items in trunk. Radiator has broke and driverside window regulator and clutch fan.

- Ckickamauga, GA, USA

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problem #4

Jul 012004


  • miles
Problems with transmission on 2003 BMW 325I. While driving the vehicle's transmission lagged followed by surging when shifting from park, neutral, reverse then drive when the engine was cold. Initially the dealer indicated that the transmission needed to be replaced, but three months later it was determined that the transmission needed to be reprogrammed. The dealer has not contacted the consumer in almost 2 weeks to perform this service.

- Merritt Island, FL, USA

problem #3

Jun 012004


  • miles


Vehicle's transmission is not engaging when starting from a stationary position. The engine would rev up to 3-4000, but the vehicle would creep, lurch forward and speed up normally. This would usually occur when the vehicle sat overnight. The problem also occurred when backing up.

- Prescott Valley, AZ, USA

problem #2

Nov 022003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 75 miles
2003 bought brand new. Automatic transmission does not engage in the mornings. After parking car in garage overnight, the car is put went into reverse and backed out without stepping on the gas (driveway is sloped). After shifting into drive, the car lags anywhere from 3 to 10 seconds before there is any power to drive. This is specially dangerous when there is traffic.

- Redondo Beach, CA, USA

problem #1

Dec 262002


  • 11 miles
The vehicle down shifted very hard when the brakes were applied, the vehicle jerked and jumped forward when decelerating.

- Miami, FL, USA

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