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:
77,932 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 330 accessories - exterior problems

accessories - exterior problem

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2003 BMW 330 Owner Comments

problem #8

Jul 182014

330 6-cyl

  • 153,231 miles


Passenger doors would not unlock. All passengers could not get out of the car. Pulling on the door handles did not open or unlock the doors. Interior unlock buttons did not work. Unlock button on the key fob did not work. This is very common issue and can be very dangerous. 4 passengers had to crawl out the driver door.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #7

Jul 312013

330 6-cyl

  • miles
The general module 5 (GM5) is electronic hardware that amongst other functions primarily controls the locking and unlocking of the BMW E46's. this module has decided to stop working in my vehicle making it impossible to unlock the vehicle from any of the possible options (key fob button, central locking button, or door double locking handle). This is an extreme safety hazard because in the case of an accident the passengers will not be able to quickly escape the vehicle due to inability of the doors to unlock. After thorough research I have found that this is a very widespread problem with this make and model vehicle, yet nothing has been done by the manufacturer to address this extremely hazardous flaw. There is no way to manually override the GM5 to unlock the doors so without it passengers are essentially trapped in the vehicle. The module also controls the windshield wipers, power windows, and trunk release. Having these features inoperable on top of the inability to unlock for any given amount of time is unacceptable and should be addressed by the manufacturer as a recall and replacement.

- West Palm Beach, FL, USA

problem #6

May 012012

330 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
The passenger side door lock will not work. The door stays locked and when it first occured the passenger had to crawl out the window. Neither the electronic key lock nor the pushbutton lock control on the console will open the door lock on the passenger side. All other locks work fine, including the trunk. The manual door opener will not open the passenger door either. This is extremely dangerous since, in the case of an accident, the passenger would be trapped in the vehicle.

- Harrisonburg, VA, USA

problem #5

Jan 052012

330 6-cyl

  • miles


The doors on our bmx 330xi will lock and we cannot unlock them from the inside or the outside using the interior or exterior door handles or the key fob. My wife and kids had to climb out of the windows to get out of the vehicle. If there was an accident they would have been trapped. I called the BMW dealer and they told me to have it towed and they would take a look at it. This has happened several times and it is an extreme safety issue. I have researched it and it appears to be a very common problem on the 300 series. It has happened a few times and then the problem goes away. I hope no one gets hurt because they get trapped in their vehicle. Thank god that my family was physically able to climb out of the windows, if they were elderly or disabled they would have been trapped. This is an extremely dangerous safety defect that needs to be investigated, addressed and remedied by the manufacturer.

- Sahuarita, AZ, USA

problem #4

Dec 252009


  • 90,000 miles
Passenger side door and both rear doors failed to open. All three doors remained locked and could not be open from inside by using the mechanical handles. Neither the remote key nor the regular key was able to unlock the doors.

- Ellicott City, MD, USA

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problem #3

Sep 062011

330 6-cyl

  • 73,229 miles
The passenger doors fail to open with the internal door unlock button. This is due to failure of door unlock relays in the GM5 module. This could result in a significant safety issue if a failure of the unlock relay happens when attempting to unlock passenger doors in an emergency to retrieve passengers.

- Garland, TX, USA

problem #2

May 282011

330 6-cyl

  • 97,000 miles
My car will not unlock reliably via the remote control or the center unlock/lock button. I can't get into the car when this problem happens. The general module(GM5) is going bad and the car will only unlock when it feels like it. From what I understand this is a normal issue with my 2003 BMW 330I. Hopefully BMW will file a recall on this item so I don't have to pay the $790 the dealership charges for this known problem. Thanks [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #1

Nov 172009


  • 90,000 miles
The car would not unlock and I was trapped inside the car for about 30 minutes.

- Austin, TX, USA

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