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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,011 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2001 BMW 330 Owner Comments

problem #19

Apr 152016


  • 90,000 miles


Dash indicated left taillight was out when it wasn't, this was random on and off for a few months. After a few months the dash panel indicator light stayed on. As I was driving one day I noticed the smell of smoke coming from the trunk. I stopped, and noticed the melted wires from the tail light harness. As I looked at them I could see them sparking when certain movements occurred., very dangerously and erratic. Both male and female sides melted. This is extremely dangerous as it impedes the ability to warn other drivers when turning or stopping. This was brought to the dealerships attention but they do not consider this an important enough issue to replace it as part of a recall or service recovery.

- Pearland, TX, USA

problem #18

Oct 312014


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 BMW 330ci. While driving at 40 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the ignition air lock needed to be removed. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 120,000. The VIN was not available.

- Grapeview, WA, USA

problem #17

May 152015


  • 94,000 miles
A recall has been issued for this problem for cars produced from 9/1/01 to 02/01/05. [recall campaign 11V-438: Repair ground cable for rear light lamps (side panel)]....updated 09/22/15 I have the exact same problem although my car was produced approximately 14 months prior to the vehicles affected by the recall. Situation one or more of the following lights does not function in the rear lamp assembly, mounted on the rear quarter panel (rear parking light, rear turn signal, and rear brake light). Cause a poor ground connection at the rear lamp assembly (connectors X338 left side " pin # 2 and X339 right side " pin # 3) causes a malfunction of the rear tail lamps.

- Cambridge, MA, USA

problem #16

Jun 012015


  • miles


The three passenger doors on my 4 door car will not unlock using either the key fob or the center console door lock button. I only have a manual door lock key hole on my driver door. So the only door that will unlock and open is the driver door. This is because of a faulty GM5 module. Its a very regular thing on bmws and I cant believe it hasnt been recalled already. If there is an emergency, an accident or car goes into a body of water, the passengers in the vehicle will be stuck and will not be able to get out. Emergency services would not be able to get the doors open if need be without using the jaws of life to cut them off when they should simply be able to pull the door handles. The doors will not unlock at all. I have tried everything. Reading online, this is a huge issue with bmws and the dealership charges $750+ to fix it. Luckily, there is someone online that will repair the modules for a fraction of that but with this being an on going issue with most model bmws, there should be something done about it. I am sending mine off to get repaired because I want my door locks operating properly just in case there is an emergency. Can we do something about this though?

- Buford, GA, USA

problem #15

Jun 012015


  • 85,000 miles
Recalled passenger air bag was replaced by dealer last week, but the dashboard light indicates the passenger air bag is turned off. The dealer says this was an existing problem and refuses to fix without charging several hundred dollars to "diagnose." I maintain this is directly elated to the recalled air bag and should be fixed without charge.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #14

Jan 202015

330 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
I've replaced the window regulators in my car several times due to the material being cheap. The gears wear out and/or break apart. Each time it's between $150 and $300 to repair. The window stops half-way down and can't be moved. This presents issues with safety during inclement weather and makes it very easy to get into the car to take valuables and potentially steal the vehicle.

- Barrington, RI, USA

problem #13

Dec 012014

330 6-cyl

  • 133,000 miles


My vehicle in the last week has an tail light indicator illuminated the dash. Upon investigation of the part it looks to have the same issues as many have described with the ground wire being scorched. I contacted BMW na because of the similar recall on other BMW vehicles. Unfortunately they were unwilling to help unless I was willing to take the car into a dealership for an 90 dollar diagnosis. Only after that would they be willing to weigh in if they would be willing to cover the cost of the repair or not. This is not a gamble that I'm really willing to take. Recall NHTSA action number: PE09036 should be extend to the 2001 330ci bmws. Please open a investigation into this as it is a widely known issue with these cars.

- Wilson, NC, USA

problem #12

May 142013

330 6-cyl

  • miles
Electrical ground contact resistance in rear tail lamp has rendered tail lamp non functional and caused warning lamp illumination. Problem appears to be identical to campaign 11V438000.

- Durham, NC, USA

problem #11

Oct 152012

330 6-cyl

  • 103,000 miles
I was receiving a intermittent left tail light warning indicator and assumed it was a bulb that was going out. After some time had past I received a steady left tail light indicator and when I was about to replace the bulb I discovered the bulbs was fine and found the wiring/connector in the tail light bulb carrier had a short/melted. I believe this is the same issue/problem on the 2002-2005 BMW E46 3series which a tail light recall was issued.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #10

Jun 222011


  • 90,000 miles
My doors will lock but not unlock. I cannot unlock them with my key fob, center console, or with the door handles. Right now the only two doors that will open are my drivers and drivers rear door. I can only unlock the drivers rear by the inside door handles. Passengers have to climb in the drivers side or window.

- Sandy Springs, GA, USA

problem #9

Jul 022012

330 6-cyl

  • 132,000 miles


Recently my rear taillights were noticeably darker and less responsive. Taking my BMW to my authorized BMW dealership/service center, resulted in a diagnosis that the rear wire harness needed to be replaced at a cost of ~$300. Following the visit to the dealership/service center, resulted in the rear light failing completely. Researching this incident online produced many similar problems w/other 330I models and I also discovered that NHTSA had issued a recall of BMW 3-series from my 02-06. My BMW is a 01. It is apparent, from the many postings on BMW boards and websites, that this defect also occurs in older bmws of the same E46 series earlier than model yr 2002. I ask that NHTSA extend the previous recall to earlier model years of the E46 series of bmws.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #8

Apr 132012

330 6-cyl

  • miles
There is a current recall for 2002-2005 BMW (various models) regarding the rear lights. We are experiencing the same problems in our 2001 330I. The right rear tail lights do not work and the turn signal blinks and the turn signal sound is twice as fast as normal. I am writing to make your department aware that the model years should be expanded to include the 2001 BMW 330I.

- Heath, TX, USA

problem #7

Feb 062012

330 6-cyl

  • 117,233 miles
Left tail lights stopped working. Inspection found burnt ground wire at wiring connector. Replacement of ground wire, connector and bulb holder assembly needed.

- Bellingham, WA, USA

problem #6

Jan 012011


  • miles
BMW 3 series (E36-E46) 1991-2005 window regulators break constantly.

- Providence, RI, USA

problem #5

Jan 102010


  • miles
I was driving home from school, about 30-35 mph when I hit a pot hole. The side airbags deployed. I was riding alone & nothing was in the seat. I took the car to the shop & that was when the man who looked at the car said that it was not supposed to do that unless someone was sitting in the seat. Also, my car one day just wouldn't unlock or it would start not locking using the remote. I used the key and sometimes it would work. It went back to normal after not touching it for a few days. Months after, it started doing it again. Id be locked out or locked in. It wouldn't work using the remote, key, nor manually from the inside. Now, the driver door wont open at all, thus I have to crawl across the seat to drive. The back blinker started dimming so we took it to get it replaced but the man said it wasn't the bulb but maybe the wiring. Im starting to think maybe the wiring is causing the mishaps in the locks and doors.

- Independence, MO, USA

problem #4

Apr 082010


  • 60,000 miles
BMW 2001 330I sedan (4 doors). Door locks are unresponsive during hot days. I live in orlando Florida and this means almost all the year is hot. This is a critical problem because for safety reasons you will get locked in your car. I am imagine if you have a car accident and you are not able to open the doors to leave the car? online ( you can fine how BMW customers are dealing with the same problem. The guy on that website has a fix for that issue. I have seen this problem more than 50 times in 2 years. BMW should do a recall for this issue.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #3

Mar 042010


  • 65,000 miles
2:00 pm I left greenwood village, co to go to a meeting at 49th and nome street. I arrived at my meeting in my BMW at approximately at 2:30 with no problems or indications of problems. 4:00 pm I left the meeting. Then I smelled something with a distinct odor 4:08 pm I drove onto East bound I-70 and continued on I-70 until the ramp to southbound I-225, approximately one mile or so. I was going about 55 mph and there was not much traffic at this time. My windows were rolled up and I had the radio on. I did not have any other electronic equipment on inside the car. The odor got a lot worse as I entered onto the ramp. Smoke started to come out of the BMW front vents and then a flame came from under the steering wheel. I was now on I-225 heading southbound at about 55 miles per hour in the left hand lane. As I was moving over to the right hand lane the instrument panel lit up. A lot of smoke came out from all of the front vents, and especially the front defroster. I looked at the engine temperature light and it was normal. The automobile was running fine. I turned the car off. Then more smoke started coming out of the vents. Then, flames started coming out of the vents and front defroster. 4:10 pm the engine was still turned off. I got out of the car. Flames and black smoke went through the convertible roof straight up. 4:20 pm the Aurora fire department and more Aurora police came.. they towed the car away to the impound lot. The investigator said maybe headlight control module is the problem. All work has been done at BMW service and nothing recent. Car is totaled. No aftermarket accessories.

- Englewood, CO, USA

problem #2

Jul 012009


  • 45,000 miles
Unable to manually unlock car doors. Dealer states the gmv computer module has failed and there is no manual override to allow doors to be opened. This situation present a safety hazard for all passengers.

- Cherry Hill, NJ, USA

problem #1

Mar 022003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,982 miles
Dme control unit needs to be replaced, because some how liquid got into it, even though BMW sealed the unit. It's consider not under warranty because BMW thinks someone used something to drop liquid into the seal unit. They don't know how the liquid got into the unit and they will not replace it.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

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