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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
67,059 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.

2004 BMW 325 lights problems

lights problem

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2004 BMW 325 Owner Comments (Page 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #25

Jun 012011


  • 65,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 BMW 325I. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the brake lights would not illuminate when the brakes were applied. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the contact was informed that the ground wire in the electrical panel had shorted due to corrosion. The vehicle was repaired and the manufacturer was made aware of the failure, but they were unable to informed the contact if the vehicle was included in the recall associated with NHTSA campaign id number: 11V438000 (exterior lighting:tail lights). The failure mileage was 65,000. Updated 10/04/11 updated 3/30/12

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #24

Jun 162011

325 6-cyl

  • 81,000 miles
Both taillights have been out due to corrosion in the 8 pin connector. This has prevented the signal and occasionally the brake light to work. While making highway turns I have come close to accidents numerous times. I cannot make a turn without taking my eyes off the road. The bulb warning is also on display on the dash.

- South Glastonbury, CT, USA

problem #23

Jun 142010


  • 71,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 BMW 330. The contact stated that the plastic reflector bowl used for the headlights were burned and scorched by the heat of the bulbs used on the vehicle. The contact replaced the covering before and within a year, it burned through again. The contact stated that the brand covering that was failing was the zkw brand. The vehicle was not inspected by the dealer or repaired. The failure mileage was unknown and the current mileage was 71,000.

- New Orleans , LA, USA

problem #22

Jun 192011


  • miles


On 2003-2004 BMW 3 series E46 sedans with oem zkw manufactured xenon (hid) headlights, the reflective bowl for the headlights will become discolored and non-reflective after normal use with oem bulbs. Over time, the heat from the oem bulb will scorch the reflective bowl and dramatically reduce light output to unsafe levels for night time driving. BMW has not notified owners of the design flaw, and no replacement parts are available other than the entire expensive, new headlight assemblies that will suffer from the same problem in time. Though BMW refuses to acknowledge that an issue exists, BMW changed the xenon headlight reflector design for later model years to a metal reflector assembly that does not degrade when exposed to the normal operating temperatures of the oem xenon bulbs. These newer designed headlight assemblies to not suffer from any reduction in light output with use. Updated IVOQ 07/26/11

- Louisiana, LA, USA

problem #21

May 272011


  • 49,000 miles
Tail light working intermittently in BMW 2004 325 4 door sedan.

- San Diego, CA, USA

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problem #20

Mar 012011

325 6-cyl

  • 91,000 miles
Tail lights, brake lights, and turn signals have shorted out on the rear of the vehicle 2 times even though it has been repaired. Happens to both sides of the car, but only in the rear. It keeps burning through the plug / connector and shorting out.

- Reseda, CA, USA

problem #19

Apr 042011

325 6-cyl

  • 58,000 miles


2004 BMW 325xi sedan; taillight fails intermittently according to dashboard indicator, then failed solid. The wires melted inside the connector to the light housing and melted housing post - no easy way for home repair as this is not just a bad lightbulb. BMW has service bulletin on repair, but is a pure design defect from the factory. There is no owner-induced problem here. They will not accept responsibility for repairs or recalls. A "google" reveals that this is a widespread issue with BMW 3-series and some 5-series cars. They should be forced to recall these cars for repairs.

- Pa, PA, USA

problem #18

Oct 272010


  • 84,661 miles
Rear tail light intermittently show failure. Upon inspection, appears connection shows signs of premature wear and burning/overheating due to inadequate grounding.

- Cohoes, NY, USA

problem #17

Sep 152010


  • 75,000 miles
2004 BMW 325I with the factory bi-xenon headlights manufactured by zkw. The lights have extensive damage to the reflective bowls such that the light output is quite dim. This is apparently a weel documented problem with these lights by this manufacturer. No replacement is available other than complete replacement at $1000 per light or retrofitting another type of projector in its place. BMW refuses to recognize this very common problem.

- Seabrook, TX, USA

problem #16

Dec 222010

325 6-cyl

  • 69,000 miles
The tail / brake lights on my 2004 BMW 325I were melting. The dealer charged me close to $800 to replace them. Although I reported the problem before, I did so before knowing about the $800 price tag to fix the issue. BMW should pay for this defective (poorly engineered) safety component. I hope it doesn't take much of 'an investigation' from the NHTSA to make BMW accountable for this.

- Roseville, CA, USA

problem #15

Sep 012010


  • miles


My 2004 BMW 325I rear left lights go out even when the light bulbs are good. I cannot signal other drivers when I need to change lanes. Problem started September 2010. Started to occur sporadically, but it is constant now. Dash indicator shows incorrectly that bulbs are broken.

- Roseville, CA, USA

problem #14

Jul 072010


  • miles
This is a very common problem for this year and model BMW car. At just under 45K miles, the exterior tail lights at times fail to work. The lights have been changed etc. I get notified from the inside dash board. However, at times it is a false positive (dash says it doesn't work but in fact it is working). Then at times the warning lights switch from the left to the right tail lights. I am not sure when it is actually working and when it is not working - this is dangerous and BMW should fix this design flaw. This failure is due to poor materials usage (corrosion problem) and grounding like the other posts have mentioned. Apparently there is a class lawsuit against BMW for this. With all these complaints for the same problem, I don't understand how it has not been recalled for fixing B/C failure to signal when changing lanes is a violation because it is dangerous. BMW needs to fix this.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #13

Jun 202010


  • 64,000 miles
Documented failure of 2004 BMW 325I rear brake light, parking light and turn signal assembly. Occurred on my personal BMW on or about 6/2010. Occurs sporadically, resulting in total failure of all three lights on left side and also right side. Dash indicator shows that bulbs are out but bulbs have been replaced and problem still occurs.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #12

Oct 232010


  • miles
2004 BMW 330xi sedan (E46) rear tail light indicator light consistently comes on, even though there is no tail lamp failure. Online community forums report that this is likely due to ground wire short in the tail lamp assembly. Cost of repair at dealership estimated at $700. Currently being investigated by NHTSA as EA09-019, but I'm wary of being overcharged by dealership for what should be a recall.

- La, CA, USA

problem #11

Sep 172010


  • 96,000 miles
BMW tail light ground is inadequate for applicable current load. Hundreds if not thousands of BMW owners have reported this situation, where the brown ground wire connected to the male pin of the tail light module becomes oxidized, eventually causing a short, melting of the connector plug, and causing brake and turn signal failure. BMW sells a fix package for the problem, so they certainly know it exists. Again, this is being reported by hundreds if not thousands of BMW owners.

- Milford, OH, USA

problem #10

Aug 012010


  • miles
Rear taillight, brakelight connector has melted causing brakelight not to work.

- Waxahachie, TX, USA

problem #9

Jun 012010


  • 79,000 miles
I have a major BMW problem. It currently has a service bulletin # si B 63 03 06 lights but BMW will not fix this out of warranty even though they knew about this when my car was under warranty and I was supposed to get full services. I want a formal investigation.

- Waco, TX, USA

problem #8

Apr 012010

325 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
2004 BMW 330xi sedan (E46) rear tail light indicator light consistently comes on, even though there is no tail lamp failure. Online community forums report that this is likely due to ground wire short in the tail lamp assembly. Cost of repair at dealership estimated at $700. Currently being investigated by NHTSA as EA09-019, but I'm wary of being overcharged by dealership for what should be a recall.

- Des Moines, WA, USA

problem #7

Apr 212010


  • 107,000 miles
2004 BMW 325I tail light intermittently turns on and off. BMW dealership has diagnosed the car to have a faulty ground wire - BMW S ib (service bulletin) 63 03 06 which prevents the tail lights from working properly.

- Yonkers, NY, USA

problem #6

Nov 012009


  • 60,000 miles
Unreliable taillight/brakelight/turn signal functioning in 2004 BMW 325xi. Problem began in early 2008. Lighting indicators kept coming on suggesting taillights were out. Replaced all applicable bulbs several times over the past year then finally brought to dealer. They said that they have seen many of these instances where they need to replace carrier, harness and add a ground wire to fix the issue in order to get lights working again. Dangerous at night. Unfortunately no recalls, however, this is not a normal wear item and if a dealership needs to go back in and change wiring to make it work, than it's simply a design flaw and the consumer should not be responsible. Needless to say, $700 later, I had to get it fixed to ensure safe driving.

- Rocky Hill, CT, USA

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