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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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
67,237 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.

2002 BMW 745 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 BMW 745 Owner Comments

problem #14

Jun 012010

745 8-cyl

  • 66,000 miles


My BMW 745I 2002 with "drive by wire" six gear automatic transmission developed a rough shift, "clunk" in the lower gear ranges. In the lower gears, the vehicle sometimes down shifts unexpectedly resulting in a sudden drop in speed. This could cause an accident if someone was following to close behind.

- Redding, CT, USA

problem #13

Mar 292010

745 8-cyl

  • 109,000 miles
I just came across NHTSA action number : PE11025 and wanted to make you aware of the following: I parked my car in front of my daughter's day care center (the goddard school, suwanee) on the Monday before easter in 2010 (March 29, 2010). When I came out, I discovered the car approximately 40 yards away crashed into the embankment of the neighboring parking lot, at an incline of approximately 45 degrees. My car was damaged, as was the landscaping at the crash site, however, no one was injured. In response to my inquiry, BMW indicated that there were no recalls related to issues such as the one I experienced. The repair shop was baffled by the issue as well and said it might be attributable to a faulty parking brake actuator. The vehicle still gives occasional transmission fault error messages and indicators. I had to file an insurance claim and can contact the company for details. I also still have pictures somewhere if someone would like to view them. The repairs (mechanical and body work) were completed at godwin automotive in duluth/johns creek, Georgia. The mileage stated above is based on memory and my not be accurate.

- Atlanta,, GA, USA

problem #12

Aug 302011

745 8-cyl

  • 106,234 miles
When car put in reverse; transmission goes into neutral abruptly. Trans in neutral code appears on dash.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #11

May 122011


  • 91,000 miles


While parked, the vehicle will come out of P (park mode) and fall away unattended. The vehicle was put into park automatically by pushing the start/stop button, and after leaving the vehicle, it was seen rolling across the street as if it was in neutral hitting the curb across the street.

- Lakewood, CA, USA

problem #10

May 182011

745 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,084 miles
The contact owns a 2002 BMW 745I. While having regular maintenance performed on vehicle, the mechanic advised that the transmission was leaking, stating that the oil pan and gasket would need to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who advised that the vehicle was not included in any recalls and provided no further assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 109,084 and the current mileage was 109,347. Updated 07/08/11 updated 07/15/11

- Lynchburg , VA, USA

problem #9

Jun 082010


  • 85,000 miles
Subject: Transmission failsafe issue on BMW 745 I've been having electronic transmission failsafe errors on my vehicle for the past 2 years. BMW of manhattan couldn't replicate the problem twice within a 2 year period. No one wants to do anything about it but my vehicle stalls, loses gears and doesn't start. These faults occur every week right now. This is a very common issue on these cars and BMW doesn't want to do anything about it! when I had the warranty on the vehicle they didn't do anything and now that the warranty has expired they don't want to do anything either. This is dangerous and hazardous for driving and needs to be looked at before someone will get seriously hurt. Please contact me for more details if needed at [xxx]. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Middle Village, NY, USA

problem #8

Jan 152010


  • 90,000 miles


Vehicle: 2002 BMW 745I 7 series 2002 BMW 745I was the first release of this new model and the manufacturer (BMW) is aware of the serious problems and have acknowledged and fixed them in the later models on 2/2/10, I took my car in to weatherford BMW for service due to a transmission failsafe failure check engine problem and informed that this is one of the known 2002/2003 7 series BMW problems. On 2/4/10, I was told that the car is fixed and test driven. I drove the car for a total of 10-15 miles when the same problem with the failsafe failure and check engine light recurred. I called BMW of northern America and a representative on 2/9/2010. She took my complaint and informed me that BMW is aware of the problems with the 2002 and 2003 7 series model and did extend warranty for all owners for 6 months to help fix such problem. I informed her that I was not aware of the known problems and of the warranty extension. She checked the car history and informed me that the ownership record was never changed to my name, and she then changed it. A representative further informed me that a committee is setup by BMW that decides when and who to grant a onetime assistance at no cost. She then asked if I have benefited from BMW assistance in the past, to which I answered no. A representative then said in a case such as mine, the decision making committee can only extend this offer once. I further that BMW warranty precludes owners of the 7 series from tampering with the transmission as it is sealed. Since BMW warranty cover up to 100,000 miles and my car is only 90,000 miles. A representative called me on 2/18/2010 that BMW has declined any assistance to me without reason. BMW acknowledges known safety problems with the 2002 and 2003 745I models that required extension of warranty to some owners. I cannot afford to fix the car and need assistance or an extension of the warranty offered to other owners.

- Pittsburg, CA, USA

problem #7

Nov 202009


  • 114,000 miles
The vehicle jams into 1st gear when coming to a stop. Occurs just about every time the vehicle is stopped after high speeds. The vehicle's mechetronic module, transmission computer, was replaced at over 3,000 dollars.

- Center Moriches, NY, USA

problem #6

Nov 022009


  • miles
Transmission slams hard when accelerating from first gear to second gear.

- Doraville, GA, USA

problem #5

May 152009


  • 69,000 miles
Transmission jerks and goes to neutral. Sometimes it goes into a failsafe mode and once the car is restarted returns to normal.

- Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

problem #4

Jun 202009


  • 102,000 miles


I took my car to BMW service dept. In March and April to get my car serviced for scheduled service and for the "check engine soon" light displayed. Immediately following the service I experienced my car hesitating to start and also sounded rough and idled. I called the next morning and spoke with a service advisor about my car and he said to bring it in. I stopped there on my way to work the next morning and they started my car and asked me what type of gas I was using and I said exxon. I was told that I probably got a hold of some bad gas and when I asked what should I do, I was told that I should wait until about 7-8 fill ups to allow the gas to burn out and if I still experienced the problem to bring it back. The service advisor informed me that BMW recommends using texaco gas with techron. Recently, I was traveling out of town with my two nephews in my car in the fast lane on route 95 South when I heard a sound that resembled a car back firing and then felt my car lose power which was one of the most frightening situations that I've ever experienced. I drifted to the side and noticed on my display my car read "transmission failsafe mode" and would not engage in drive even though it was still running and the "check engine soon" light was displayed. I had my car towed home because the service department was not open. The following week I had my car towed to the BMW to perform a diagnostic test and told them to notify my husband of the results. My husband was told that the diagnostic codes were due to a bad mechatronic unit, but there were recommending replacing the transmission to the tune of $12,000 (remanufactured) due to being changed in 2004. I was infuriated by the fact that the service manual says that the transmission should be serviced at 1000,000 miles, and there was no indication nor was I notified by BMW that needed to take place. To be placed in a dangerous and potential fatal situation at my cost is unacceptable.

- Parkville, MD, USA

problem #3

Apr 012003


  • miles
Nar 04/10/2003 the consumers has experienced numerous problems with there vehicle. The transmission has caused the vehicle to skid to a stop when accelerating on the brake, the passenger air bags light comes on for no reason, and the computer system that control the vehicle and allows it to function has been repaired and reprogrammed 3 separate occasions. The consumer is requesting immediate assistance in resolving this situation.

- Aliso Viejo, CA, USA

problem #2

May 012003

745 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Vehicle has had multiple failure of the transmission, fuel delivery related malfunctions including failed and rupture fuel lines, multiple problems with various controls in dash, it has been at dealer over ten times during the first year and it still malfunctions.

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #1

Jun 012002

745 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2002 BMW 745li high pitch whine from transmission, similar to aircraft turbine engine noise, while driving at highway speeds. BMW, it's dealer and headquarters have known about this problem and are unable to resolve or fix it. Additional problem with this vehicle is a shimmy from the front end of the vehicle.

- Laguna Hills, CA, USA

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