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fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
17,333 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.

2008 BMW X3 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2008 BMW X3 Owner Comments

problem #3

Jul 012010


  • 36,000 miles


This vehicle is a BMW X3 3.0si. When the vehicle is in first gear, there is a severe hesitation in the transmission. When you try to accelerate, the transmission "thinks" about what gear it should be in. The vehicle hesitates, stalls slightly, and creeps along slowly before second gear catches. The rpms are erratic when accelerating. Very unpredictable when trying to accelerate. The hesitation is the main issue, especially when trying to pull out of an intersection across traffic. It can become a very scary situation when you want to accelerate and nothing happens. This is an ongoing problem. Nothing in particular causes it to happen besides regular acceleration. The problem is intermittent and may disappear while driving. However, it will appear again for no real reason. A software update was performed in mid-July. The problem was still noticeable. On August 3rd, the vehicle was once again brought in for service work. The service manager came along for the drive and noticed the transmission problem. Another 2008 BMW X3 that was on the lot was driven under the same driving conditions. The same issues with the transmission were noted. He told me that they will contact BMW to see if there are any service bulletins on how to correct the problem, but was unaware of any fix currently available. After two service calls the problem still persists without any fix as of yet.

- Mequon, WI, USA

problem #2

Mar 152009


  • 15,000 miles
Own a 2008 BMW X3 3.0 si AWD. We had an engine cranking issue and took to vehicle to dealer to have tsb service bulletin number : sib-12-17-07/NHTSA item number : 10028464 performed. Since this was performed, there is very poor throttle response in the normal transmission mode. The transmission will stall to engage with very erratic and hard up and down shifts. The concern is with the delay in throttle response when pulling into traffic, when you give it throttle, it is delayed to respond, presenting a true safety concern. The vehicle has been back to the dealer 2 to 3 times since with no resolution. BMW North America was contacted and they simply referred me back to the dealer. Spoke with the dealer this week and there is still no resolution as they say they are still waiting on new computer programming; however, they have 3 other X3S in this dealership with the same concern. My fear is that when my wife is pulling into traffic that the vehicle will be delayed in throttle response and a crash may result. BMW has an issue with this in looking at the blog as there are numerous complaints of the same issue on this site.

- Rogers, AR, USA

problem #1

Jan 062009


  • 1,000 miles
My BMW X3 2008 was 'bought back' by BMW after three months of ownership in Dec 2008 due to a problem with the transmission. The transmission would not respond when depressing the accelerator at random times. It happened once after pulling away from an ezpass booth - the car just froze and would not accelerate nearly causing an accident. This was so serious that BMW recognized it as a problem but could not fix it despite replacing major transmission parts. They assured me it was not a general problem in X3's so I allowed them to replace the 2008 X3 with a 2009 model. Less than 1000 miles and one month later the 2009 started exhibiting the same problems. This time BMW would not remedy the situation instead denying there was a problem with the car. The matter is currently with my lemon law lawyers and BMW. Here is a link to a blog that shows many BMW X3 owners have the problem - some have had their cars replaced by BMW and others have been ignored. This is a serious safety issue that is being ignored by the manufacturer (similar to the Toyota issue). Please investigate before someone gets killed.

- Toms River, NJ, USA

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