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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
63,017 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.

2006 BMW 330 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2006 BMW 330 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #51

May 222016


  • 99,932 miles


Electronic steering wheel lock malfunctions without notice and renders the car incapable of starting. A yellow steering wheel icon (or red in some instances) appears in the informational panel on the dashboard. The accompanying error code is cc-id 187. This condition when it occurs, will not energize (disables) the ignition system and prevents the car from being started. Drivers will become stranded wherever they happen to be once the car is turned off as the error notification appears only when the car is switched off or back on. There are literally hundreds of similar and identical cases on the internet when performing a google search on this issue.

- Mt Arlington, NJ, USA

problem #50

Jan 012014


  • 110,000 miles
I own a 2006 BMW 325I. About a year or two ago, the reverse lights will not illuminate while reversing. I took the vehicle to the dealership, explained the problem, and mentioned multiple online accounts of this problem extending at least from 2003 through 2008. It could have been longer. I also referenced NHTSA campaign id number: 11V438000 (exterior lighting:turn signal) and NHTSA id number: 10443539 (tail light failure). The dealer advised me that this vehicle year was not included in any recall campaign for this problem. In addition, the dealer advised that the frm module needed to be replaced due to a wiring malfunction. From online reports and pictures, I confirmed my reverse light failure was also a wiring issue caused from a very poor wire routing design by BMW. The failure mileage was at approximately 110,000 and the cost to repair was outrageous! since that time even with multiple documented cases, BMW has been unwilling to admit this is their design failure and to share in any of the repair costs.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #49

Apr 012014


  • 110,000 miles
Passenger seat airbags are disabled due to restraint detection malfunction. A message appears upon turning on the vehicle which states that due to restraint system detection fault, passenger airbags and restraint system will be turned off. Problem started as an intermittent issue and developed into a continual one. Happened for the first time in April 2014 and has continued to worsen. Car is equipped with BMW oem sport seats. This issue appears to be in line with recall from NHTSA campaign number 13V-564. However, BMW does not recognize my VIN as being a part of this recall.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #48

Apr 072015


  • 96,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 BMW 330xi. The contact stated that the air bags and the passenger side seat beat warning lights illuminated constantly. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the front passenger sensor mat failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not included NHTSA campaign number: 13V564000 (air bags). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 96,000. Update 01/15/16

- Pace, FL, USA

problem #47

Jul 252014


  • 110,237 miles
All doors lock up but only the driver side has a manual override. Passengers cannot exit the vehicle in case of crash or fire.

- Chapel Hill, NC, USA

problem #46

May 162015


  • 142,000 miles
Rear exterior safety lighting does not work due to design flaw where trunk lid breaks ground wires. Recall already done on other model years. BMW skipped recall on 2006 E90S. Many consumers are still having the system short due to ground and crimp issues. Huge safety issue with potential fires and or crashes

- Bloomington, IL, USA

problem #45

Nov 012013

330 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles


Error message "fault in passenger-restraint system affecting airbag, belt tensioner or belt-force limiter. There was a recall on this for models up to 2005, and selectively for 2006, per BMW.

- Round Lake, IL, USA

problem #44

Nov 122014

330 6-cyl

  • 67,560 miles
Car has automatic door locks, uses a fob. Parked the car, locked the doors with the fob. When I tried to unlock the doors with the fob, it only clicks - did not unlock. Used the key to unlock the drivers door, but found that once locked, no doors will unlock, not even manually from inside the car. The only door that will lock or unlock is the driver's door, and then only with the key from the outside. The post that pops up and down to indicate that the door is locked is impossible to pull up, and pulling the inside door handle does nothing. This is obviously very dangerous. At the very least, they should redesign the locks so that they can be opened from inside manually in case of an electrical failure!!!!

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

problem #43

Nov 082014


  • 68,000 miles
The car fails to unlock when using the central button in the car or the hand held device. Only the driver door can be opened mechanically and the locks are not accessible to pull up on the other 3 doors. My children had to climb out the drivers door or windows. Research on the web is indicating a bad fuse can cause this or actuators in the doors. Seems like a major safety hazard if everyone can't exit the car in an emergency because of a blown fuse?

- California, MD, USA

problem #42

Sep 062014

330 6-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
Passenger doors would not unlock. All passengers needed to exit through the drivers door. This would be a safety issue if in an accident and passengers could not open door to exit vehicle.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #41

Jul 022014

330 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles


The message 'steering wheel lock' came up and the car will not start. I had to pay to bring it home. BMW says 'it happens to some customers' and they asked me to bring the car to a service center for repair. I see a lot of discussions in forums about this issue. Apparently it is due to a defective lock mechanism.

- Munroe Falls, OH, USA

problem #40

Feb 082012

330 6-cyl

  • 9,000 miles
I own a 2006 BMW 330xi. I'm having problems with the steering column lock which prevents the car from starting. The problem starts with a yellow warning light that indicates the steering column is locked. The starting problem is constant. We are concerned we may get stranded or as some have reported the steering may lock with little or no warning. From what I can find on the internet it appears BMW is aware of the problem. Comments are bad steering column. The problem started in Feb. Of 2012 when the car only had 9000 miles and my extended warranty had just expired. The car now has 11000 miles.the dealer has not been able to help and suggested on several occasions that I contact BMW direct. The problem appears to be common from the comments posted on line by BMW owners of 2006 on. I recently contacted BMW and they suggested I have the dealership perform a diagnostic test.the test result was defective steering column.the fee for this test was $145.91. The estimate they provided to replace the steering column is $1,467.86 plus diagnostic fee of $145.91. Total cost $1,613.77. Your investigation will show the defective steering column is a common problem. As the problem persist the safety concerns become greater. Is a recall coming as this is serious highway safety concern?

- Pleasant Valley, NY, USA

problem #39

Jul 012014

330 6-cyl

  • 25,000 miles
The doors to the vehicle locked automatically and could not be opened from inside the vehicle. I had to open the driver side window and use the key from the ignition fob to open the driver door from outside. All other doors remained locked and could not be opened from inside or outside. I consider this a safety issue because vehicle occupants could be trapped in the car with no way to exit besides crawling through a window. I believe BMW should issue a safety recall to remedy this defect.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #38

May 152012

330 6-cyl

  • 68,350 miles
Driving with bag on passenger seat, "red airbag & red seatbelt" indicators light up. Upon taking to dealership, their code reader suggested "low battery voltage" caused lights. Cleared code. Months later, with work bag on passenger seat happens again. Cleared code. Suggested to buy a new battery. Bought a new BMW battery, and same thing, happens again. I take to another shop (BMW charges 100-150 to clear code each time...) and they clear code, still "low battery voltage" but suggested I look into this occupancy seat sensor recall. Go back to dealership and they say unless code reader says airbag fault, they will not warranty. Through the course of 2 years now, the light has come back on 4 times prior, and now today a 5th time. I have yet to take back to dealership again, but making my complaints. I am not a genius but somehow I think the occupancy sensor mat must be defective yet throws error codes of "low battery voltage". when I check the code manually through the drivers stalk, ccid-97 (from memory) which online referenced to air bag fault. Although I have owned vehicle for almost 4 years, it was a "certified" preowned from dealer, and I"M being told that the recall covers only 10 years after the original sale date. Which means October/November this year of 2014, I am out of luck. Hundreds wasted each time, incorrect diagnosing. And BMW refusing to take responsibility for this recall until a machine tells them otherwise. And until that day comes, they'll keep selling me new batteries and other false hopes to fix.

- Calgary, HI, USA

problem #37

May 292014

330 6-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
Car doors could not be unlocked if currently locked. It is really dangerous situation if car crash or fire happens.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #36

Jul 052013


  • 78,000 miles
First the driver side door lock actuator would not unlock so I would have to use the key to unlock the driver door. Bought a new actuator and had it replaced. Not even one month later the back seat driver side door lock actuator went out as well. However there is no key hole for the back door and it cannot be opened from the inside. I was told by a BMW dealer that I would have to have the door torn off and replaced with a new door because there was no way to open the door. But wait there's more! both back window regulators went out as well! got the back seat passenger side fixed. But can't get the driver side done yet. This all happened within a year.

- Little Elm , TX, USA

problem #35

Sep 232013

330 6-cyl

  • 83,000 miles
White smoke coming though ac ducts. When taken to shop they said it was coolant leak in heater core. Replacement would cost me $3000-$4000.

- Union City, CA, USA

problem #34

Feb 222012

330 6-cyl

  • 97,000 miles
My airbag warning light illuminated indicating that my passenger airbag system was offline. I brought it into my mechanic and they informed me that my passenger side airbag sensor mat and possibly my passenger seat belt sensor had failed. They informed me that the cost to repair would be approximately $700-$800 dollars. I recently received a notification that my vehicle may be subject to a recall for this issue NHTSA campaign number: 13V564000. When I contacted my dealership and bmwna they informed me that they would not repair my vehicle until required to do so even though my airbag system has already failed and it is showing as offline. I'm registering this complaint to document that they are not actively resolving this issue.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #33

Jun 122013

330 6-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
I found vehicle recall via internet and consumer reports. I took my car to BMW of fairfax and explained that my BMW 330I 2006 had a defective front seat air bag sensor with dashboard warning light. After they examined the sensor they confirmed that I needed to replace the airbag sensor but that my vehicle was not affected by the recall. I was charged $150 dollars for the diagnosis and told that to repair the defect would cost $ 1200.

- Mclean, VA, USA

problem #32

Jan 072014

330 6-cyl

  • 60,600 miles
I have a 2006 BMW 330I which had a steering column malfunction and failure. It is safety problem and should be covered by a BMW customer satisfaction campaign. On January 7, 2014 the temp. Was minus 15 degrees F and the warning indicator in the instrument panel showed an icon of a steering wheel and a lock and the vehicle failed to start. The owners manual says "lights up in yellow: Electric steering wheel is jammed. Move the steering wheel before starting the engine." I moved the steering, but the vehicle would not start. If this had happened while I was away from home in these minus 15 degrees F cold temp. I could have frozen before I could have received assistance. The service manager at anderson BMW in Illinois told me that the 2006 BMW 330I has had problems with the steering column malfunctioning. I had to have the car towed to the dealership which took almost 2 full days due to the cold weather in Chicago and all the cars that wouldn't start from the cold. I contacted BMW customer service, explained my problem and was told they couldn't do anything to cover this unusual quality problem under warranty. I understand it is out of warranty, but I wouldn't expect a major steering, start and interlock system failure when it is only 10,600 miles over the warranty period. As an automotive engineer responsible for quality I deal with warranty issues quite often as well as recalls with NHTSA. While many times a quality issue with a product is safety related it does not require a NHTSA recall. However, it can be covered under a manufacturers customer satisfaction campaign. From the NHTSA website, there are many cases reported that there is a problem with the 2006 BMW 330I model. I am reporting this incident to NHTSA in hopes that BMW will do something for other owners as the repair bill was $938 and should have been covered by BMW, warranty or not.

- Lake In The Hills, IL, USA

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