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1.8

hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
89,798 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 lights problems

lights problem

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2003 BMW 325 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #43

Dec 292011

325

  • 67,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Xenon headlight reflectors are melting/burning causing a significant reduction in light output. Very simple problem for which there is no fix other than to purchase new headlight assembles for $2,000. Seems to affect all xenon headlights produced by zwk for the 2002-2004 3 series BMW.

- Greensburg, PA, USA

problem #42

Dec 142011

325

  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 BMW 325I. The contact was driving 20 mph when the turn signal failed to illuminate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the dealer confirmed that the turn signal wiring and the brake lights burned out. The manufacturer was contacted where they advised that the vehicle qualified for repairs under NHTSA campaign id number: 11V438000 (exterior lighting: Tail lights), but the connector was not included. The vehicle was not repaired and the VIN was unavailable. The failure and the current mileages were 110,000.

- Richardson, TX, USA

problem #41

May 252011

325 6-cyl

  • 105,952 miles
My BMW 2003 330I is equipped with zkw headlight assemblies that have plastic xenon projector bowls installed inside the headlight assemblies. After several years of usage these projector bowls burn out and as a result, the reflective coating that allows light to be focused through the projectors are burned off reducing effective light output from the headlight assembly. Upon inspection, both my headlight assemblies suffered approximately 50% loss in effective light output due to burned out xenon projector bowls and I found that my fog lights were putting out more light than both my zkw headlights. This problem affects all 3-series sedans made from 2002 - 2005. There have been many people who have, as a result of BMW inaction to do the right thing and correct this serious safety deficiency, either replaced their original zkw headlight assemblies with depot aftermarket headlight assembles or have replaced the defected zkw projector bowls with al projector bowls or fx-R projector bowls. This problem needs to be addressed as it is a serious road safety issue while driving at night.

- West Greenwich, RI, USA

problem #40

Dec 112011

325

  • 111,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Zkw bi xenon headlights reflectors burn out over time. The bowls are shot and they were black, burned to a crisp. They were made out of a plastic material with a chrome coating, instead of a metal reflector. This should be a recall for BMW. They got the tail light which works fine in my car, I need my headlights to see!

- Ridgewood, NJ, USA

problem #39

Nov 012011

325

  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 BMW 3series. The contact stated that the rear tail light warning indicator illuminated on the instrumental panel. After checking the rear of the vehicle, the tail light appeared to be operating as designed. The warning light would illuminate on an intermittent basis. The vehicle was not inspected by a dealer nor repaired. The manufacturer was contacted and they advised him that the vehicle was not included in the recall associated with NHTSA campaign id number 11V438000 (exterior lighting:tail lights). The failure mileage was approximately 80,000.

- Wildwood, GA, USA

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problem #38

Nov 242011

325

  • 78,600 miles
The contact owns a 2003 BMW 325I. While making a right turn at approximately 5 mph, the turn signal lights failed to illuminate. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign id number: 11V438000 (exterior lighting: Turn signal) but was advised by the manufacturer that the vehicle was not included in the recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 78,600.

- Delray Beach, FL, USA

problem #37

Jan 312011

325

  • 115,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The contact owns a 2003 BMW 325xi. The contact stated while reversing from a residential driveway, the driver's side tail light failed to illuminate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the dealer confirmed that the wiring harness was melted. The manufacturer was not contacted and the vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 115,000 and the current mileage was 122,000.

- Catlettsburg, KY, USA

problem #36

Jul 032010

325 6-cyl

  • 75,172 miles
Right taillamp failure and left taillamp intermittent operation. Electrical system repair: Right rear taillamp connector and bulb carrier corroded. Dealer replaced pigtail harness and bulb carrier with updated design: Socket housing, terminal, contact, cable connector, hose, insulation housing, flat contact, cable socket and bulb socket.

- Des Plaines, IL, USA

problem #35

Nov 082011

325

  • 38,000 miles
Headlights fail randomly. Headlights flicker, turn off, turn back on. Independent of speed or weather conditions. Bulb testing after this failure indicate that the bulbs are not failing (they are not burned out).

- Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #34

Oct 012011

325

  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 BMW 325I. The contact was driving approximately 25 mph and when the brake pedal was engaged, the driver side tail light indicator illuminated on the instrument panel intermittently causing the rear driver side tail light to become inoperable. There was a recall related to the similar defect under NHTSA campaign id number 11V438000 (exterior lighting: Tail lights). The VIN was not included in the recall and the vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 130,000.

- San Diego , CA, USA

problem #33

Aug 252010

325

  • 130,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The contact owns a 2003 BMW 325xi. The contact stated that the tail lights and the turn signal would fail intermittingly. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the dealer advised that there was a faulty ground wire causing the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 130,000 and the current mileage was 140,000.

- Glastonbur, CT, USA

problem #32

Oct 212011

325

  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 BMW 325I. The contact stated that both rear tail lights failed. The contact was advised of a recall under NHTSA recall campaign id number: 11V438000 (exterior lighting: Tail lights) by his mechanic. The manufacturer was contacted but advised that the vehicle was not included in the recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The current mileage vehicle was 90,000 and the failure mileage was unknown.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #31

Sep 192011

325

  • 60,250 miles
The contact owns a 2003 BMW 325I. The contact stated that the exterior tail lights burned through the housing harness. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who advised the contact that his VIN was not included in the recall associated with NHTSA campaign id number: 11V438000 (exterior lighting: Tail lights). The manufacturer was notified of the failure who offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 60,250.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #30

Oct 192010

325

  • 124,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 BMW 325xi. The contact stated that the tail lights and turn signals failed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who advised that his VIN was not included in the recall associated with NHTSA campaign id number: 11V438000 (exterior lighting: Turn signal). The manufacturer was notified of the failure who offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 124,000.

- Rutland, MA, USA

problem #29

Oct 152009

325 6-cyl

  • miles
The rear stoplights, taillights, and turn signals have failed on multiple occasions.

- Durham, NC, USA

problem #28

Jan 012011

325

  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 BMW 325I. The contact stated that the tail lights failed intermittently and would shut off while driving without warning. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign id number: 11V438000 (exterior lighting:tail lights) but was advised by the dealer advised that the vehicle was not included in the recall. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure but did not offer any assistance. No repairs were performed. The current mileage was 73,346 and the approximate failure mileage was 65,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Port Orchid, WA, USA

problem #27

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 #26

Jun 012009

325

  • 98,000 miles
The low beam reflectors on 2003-2004 zkw branded high intensity discharge xenon oem hid headlights on the 3 series BMW from that model year (sedan) were made of some painted material that degraded when subjected to the heat produced by the oem xenon bulbs. This results in a significantly decreased light output as the reflector became scorched. If it's bad enough, there is no light being projected on the road and it is very hard to see anything with the normal headlights. Either the high beams have to be used or the foglights have to be turned on. This is a safety issue. I would imagine that BMW and zkw were and are aware of the defect as the newer, redesigned headlights do not suffer from this problem. Replacement oem headlights cost $1200 for each side.

- Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

problem #25

Mar 092011

325 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
My current vehicle is a 2003 BMW 325I with bi-xenon headlights manufactured by zkw. Over the last year or two, the light output from the xenon headlights had dropped to the point where I get almost no noticeable illumination of the road at night (in average city levels of street illumination). I turned to using my foglamps to be able to see anything. After researching this problem on online forums, I examined the headlights myself and found that the upper portion of the projector bowls seem burned. They are made of plastic and painted with reflective paint, but the upper ~40% of the bowl is now browned and nonreflective. Apparently this is due to an inability of the paint to withstand the high temperatures generated by the xenon bulbs. Also, this seems to be common to many/all zkw brand headlights utilized in 2003-2004 model years of 3 series (E46) BMW vehicles, according to postings on the BMW-owner forums. For now, I have tried to remedy this by lining the burnt portion of the bowl with aluminum foil and can now notice some illumination of the road at night. This further argues that the burning/loss of reflective coating is what causes the loss of light output.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #24

Feb 272011

325

  • 90,000 miles
Brake lights and turn signals randomly not working. 2003 BMW 325I. Replaced light bulbs and noticed burnt wires and light sockets. Researched repair and found numerous other owners of same year and make vehicle with same issue.

- Mount Airy, MD, USA

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