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.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
77,000 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 745 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 BMW 745 Owner Comments

problem #7

Dec 092015


  • 70,000 miles


Bought 2003 745li new. Many problems from the start and often in for service. Driver side window motor quit working a year ago. Learned this is common with other blogs and BMW owners. Current miles are only 70,000. Over the past year the engine has run extremely rough even having to stop the car because of it. Occasionally has been difficult to restart. After three weeks in their service center BMW can't seem to figure out the cause but want to do $4500 of work in the engine while telling me they can't be sure that what they do will take care of the problem!?

- Eugene, OR, USA

problem #6

Jan 232015

745 8-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
Following error when driving vehicle: "fault in pass-restraint system affecting airbag, belt tensioner or belt-force limiter. Fasten and continue to wear seatbelts. Please contact the nearest BMW center" in the navigation system when starting the car. " 2003 BMW 745I. This model/year was not included in prior recall.

- Murfreesboro, TN, USA

problem #5

Dec 202014

745 8-cyl

  • 153,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 BMW 745I. The contact stated that after exiting the vehicle, the vehicle rolled away. As a result, the vehicle crashed into a telephone pole. A police report was not filed and there were no injuries reported. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign number: 12V502000 (electrical system, power train). The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 153,000. Updated 02/09/15 the consumer no longer owns the vehicle. Updated 10/7/2015

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #4

Aug 222013

745 8-cyl

  • 131,000 miles


I have a serious oil leak my, light control system is not working, airbag in the seat not working, brakes and hud assembly has to be replaced.

- Winnsboro, SC, USA

problem #3

Jan 312008

745 8-cyl

  • miles
I purchased a 2003 745li November 2007 when coming to a stop there is a clunking noise with harsh downshift. Took car dealership on several occasions with concern and after several failed attempts to remedy the issue was finally made aware that there was service bulletin concerning transmission issue. Dealer stated that it was possibly from transmission and advised me to come back for repairs. In November 2008 was the first time that I had to get the transmission replaced because of the clunking with harsh downshift. This issue returned and progressed and the transmission was replaced for the second time due to same issue 08-2009. After second transmission installed issue still existed and was advised that there was a software issue with transmission and that there was not any other updates at this time and the information would be forwarded for BMW for analysis. The universal /guibo has been replaced 3-4 times since I've had the car because of clunking noise harsh downshifting. As time went on around May 2011 there was an incident where as I was driving, approaching and coming to a stop at a stop sign, in addition to the harsh clunking the car jerked and accelerated forward almost into ongoing traffic. Took it back to the dealership, they mentioned the service bulletin again concerning the issue stated that the transmission might need to be replaced. They first replaced the universal/guibo, which I had to pay out of pocket and the issue still exists. The incident that happened in May 2011 happened again for the second time in Nov. 2011. I believe that there are some major issues with transmission and electrical system. Since then I've been having, brake/drive malfunction among other issues. I consider this to be safety concern. This issue should be thoroughly investigated.

- Jacksonville, NC, USA

problem #2

May 102009


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 BMW 745li. The contact stated that the alarm would activate on its own. In addition, the air bag and seat belt warning lights would illuminate on the instrument panel for no reason. The navigation system would flash on and off as if there were an electrical short whenever he would stop the vehicle or depress the brake pedal. The dealer would not make any repairs because the warranty was expired. The failure and current mileages were less than 80,000.

- Carson, CA, USA

problem #1

Nov 152006

745 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles
- the contact owns a 2003 BMW 745li. While driving the vehicle at 5 mph she lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle lost power, and she was unable to restart the vehicle. It was towed; the failure mileage was 10,000 miles. In 2006 while attempting to start the vehicle the transmission disengaged, the radio was on, and the vehicle was out of control. The vehicle was at the dealer for 4 to 5 days in order to update the software. On another occasion, the shift control fell off the vehicle. The dealer stated that the vehicle was repaired, and the contact didn't feel safe driving. She was stranded 3 times on the highway, and there were recalls on the vehicle. The failure continued to occur after the software was updated. Recall# 03V240000. The current mileage was 38,000.

- Wilburham , MA, USA

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