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:
115,223 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 330 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2001 BMW 330 Owner Comments

problem #11

Feb 042014


  • 100,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 BMW 330I. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to shift into the reverse gear. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 100,000.

- Mesquite, TX, USA

problem #10

May 242014

330 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 #9

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 #8

Dec 262012

330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 BMW 330I. The contact stated that all attempts to shift into reverse failed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis where it was confirmed that the D-G clutch drum needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure but did not provide any assistance due to the vehicle not being included in any recalls. The approximate failure and current mileage was 70,000.... updated 03/08/13 updated 03/27/2013 updated 04/18/13

- Columbus , OH, USA

problem #7

Sep 282012

330 6-cyl

  • 153,400 miles
No warning light. Put in reverse and I heard a pop noise. I thought my stuff was moving in trunk. Put in gear and drove. When I came to full stop and try to reverse. It doesn't work. More like reverse was in neutral. All other gear is fine except reverse. I have a BMW 330I sedan, 2001 3L. I take good care of my car. I been driving on and off with this car for 4 years since gas is expensive. Now it completely died. They should have a recall on faulty transmission. I heard septonic transmission are made by GM.

- Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

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problem #6

Aug 092012

330 6-cyl

  • 169,500 miles
The metal strap that supports the passenger side of the fuel tank just broke off. I was driving down the street and heard a pop sound and then metal grinding and jumping around (like a needle on a scratched record/ a cd) the bracket to which the forward end of this strap mounted to the underbody broke free leaving a gash like tear on the underbody. I am having the car serviced for repairs, but when I called the dealership the parts department didn't have any fixable solution for the mishap. They told me that the only thing that I could do was take it to a body shop to have a fabricated piece made. I've researched this incident and found that there have been several other BMW owners who have experienced the same incident. I am also experiencing the loss of reverse. The drive gear seems to be fine; however, the reverse is not operating. I am now looking into having it serviced for that issue as well. When I called the dealership, they did tell me that there was an open campaign on the transmission (though the service manager said that it was only for programming issues). I had also found that there has been other BMW owners that have experienced this issue as well. I know that they had mentioned that there were two types of transmission (the GM and the zf transmission). There was a mention that it could be a faulty solenoid or the reverse drum has broken/ shredded. None the less you can place into "reverse" and give it gas and nothing happens no movement unless you place into "drive." My car does have the steptronic feature.

- Mesquite, TX, USA

problem #5

Dec 012011


  • miles


2001 330I BMW. Consumer states problems with reverse in transmission.

- Durham, NC, USA

problem #4

Nov 232011

330 6-cyl

  • 89,200 miles
My 2001 BMW 330I stopped going in reverse last Wednesday. Apparently, this is a known issue, as I was very suprised to see dozens of websites dedicated to this no reverse issue. How come there was no recall for this common failure?

- Kirkland, WA, USA

problem #3

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

problem #2

Sep 022011

330 6-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
My transmission, will not work in reverse. The car just revs, and goes nowhere. This is a common problem, and still BMW does not recall these cars. $4200 plus labor, for a remanufactured one from dealer. I am done with BMW.

- Camanche, IA, USA

problem #1

Sep 232010


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 BMW ci. The contact stated that the vehicle would not go into reverse. The contact was told by a mechanic that the D-clutch drum had failed and caused the failure. The engine would exhibit an abnormal increase in engine rpms but the vehicle would not move. The vehicle was not inspected or repaired. The failure and current mileage was 50,000.

- Mount Pleasant, SC, USA

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