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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
47,578 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.

2004 BMW Z4 steering problems

steering problem

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2004 BMW Z4 Owner Comments (Page 14 of 15)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #33

Jul 012009


  • 45,000 miles


2004 BMW Z4 (E85) 3.0I manual with sport package - steering becomes sluggish and hard to initiate a turn - only occurs after radiant heat is applied (ie.....left in the sun for an hour) - does not change if sport suspension is engaged - humidity is not relevant, only direct sunlight - guess is a bushing/bearing heating up in the rack assembly - happens during summer months if left in direct sunlight - directly related to ambient temperature (80 degrees less noticeable than 100 degrees) - at 100 degrees outside temperature and in direct sunlight for an hour, some people may not be able to turn the steering wheel at all (safety hazard) - dealer reported summer 2009 and they said "symptoms not reproducible" - contacted BMW usa and they made a note, but advised of no recall.

- Summerville, SC, USA

problem #32

Mar 052010

Z4 6-cyl

  • 29,200 miles
While driving the car the steering starts to lock up and its hard to make the go in a straight line. The car steering sticks like tires are in a strong groove. Takes a significant pull to bring back to center. This could cause a accident due to steering defect.

- Bayamon, PR, USA

problem #31

Feb 142010


  • 52,000 miles
2004 BMW Z4 purchased brand new off the showroom floor. Practically from the beginning, noticed unusual handling of the steering under high temperatures. Living in tampa, fl this presents a continual problem. I've owned Z 3's and Z 4's since 2001. Sitting in hot temps, driving with heater thermostat on high, causes the steering to "notch"....or steer erratically. Presented this to reeves on several occasions with no results. Since there have been no fires, no accidents, no deaths, BMW and reeves choose to do nothing. I concur with the other 44 "complaints" listed on this report. Apparently one or two have been successful. In light of the Toyota situation, BMW needs to be held accountable for their design flaws. To my knowledge there has been no class action. I intend to start one.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #30

Jul 152009


  • 69,000 miles


2004 BMW Z4 purchased used in July 2009 with approximately 69000 miles. Noticed immediately that when driving the vehicle in temps above 75 ambient, or when vehicle has been sitting in sun for extended periods, steering becomes very "sticky" or notchy when making slight turns such as lane changes or slight curves. Steering seems to want to stick wherever the driver puts it and needs to have pressure applied to break the position. Appears to be a common complaint with a BMW known fix being a complete replace of the steering column. Vehicle is out of warranty and the fix too expensive. This seems to me to be a serious safety concern and should be covered under recall regardless of mileage. Email sent with bmwna was never responded to.

- Gainesville, VA, USA

problem #29

Jan 092010


  • 15,000 miles
Sticky steering similar to other complaints listed in this database. More evident in hot weather, but has begun happening in cold weather. Steering "sticks" in one location making it difficult to change the cars track. Steering does not return to center by itself. A dangerous and tiring driving condition.

- University Park, MD, USA

problem #28

Nov 112009


  • 82,745 miles
Steering feels "sticky" similar to other reports filed, previous ODI case number 10288772 reported 06/30/09. On 11 November 09 mileage 82,745, electrical power steering (eps) failed completely, warning light on dash, car still drivable without power steering for limited distance to dealer. Cause found to be code 611C3 failed eps unit. Repair was steering column replacement & reprogramming iaw sib32-06-05. All previous problems are gone, car steers like brand new, didn't know what I'd been missing. Repair cost was $50 deductible under extended BMW factory warranty, no idea of actual retail cost.

- Reisterstown, MD, USA

problem #27

Dec 132009


  • 16,500 miles


While driving at approx 65 mph on interstate 95 in South Florida the steering bound, (tightened) making it difficult to maintain good control of the vehicle. This problem seems to be persistent in hotter temperatures while less evident when the car is cooler.

- Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA

problem #26

Aug 022009


  • 52,000 miles
Steering is "sticky" and has momentary failures when turning steering wheel at high outside temperatures (over 80F). Continuous failures as steering wheel is turned. Dealership denies knowing of problem, or cannot duplicate failures. This an extreme hazard. Luckily no accidents yet.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #25

Jun 302009


  • 71,644 miles
2004 BMW Z4 current mileage 81K bought used with 35K in 2008. Beginning in summer 2008, steering feels "sticky" in slow turns to right/left such as on /off ramp. With different tires, symptoms eased, but still evident, especially at ambient temps 70 deg F or above. At 71K car in for service including this complaint. Dealer noted "binding/noisy lower column joint" & replaced lower section of steering column joint "per sib 32 03 06", but problem persists. Problem not as severe as that noted in some other complaints on line but similar in persistence and annoyance.

- Reisterstown, MD, USA

problem #24

Jul 232009


  • 45,000 miles
While traveling on the highway at a normal rate of speed, the steering wheel sticks, making it difficult to maintain control in a corner. This has been an ongoing problem for the past two years. The last incident nearly resulted in a crash with another vehicle. I nearly struck the guardrail while the steering would not respond properly. I took it to a mechanic, they said they can't find anything wrong, saying the vehicle behaves this way, because it's electronic steering? I have researched this on the internet and many Z4 owners are experiencing the same problems. This is a extreme safety issue.

- Voluntown, CT, USA

problem #23

Aug 302009


  • miles


Steering of the car seems to bind, that is, after turning the steering wheel to either to left or right, it does not return to center in a smooth or linear fashion, as if the power assist is inconsistent. Although my car has not been examined, other owners of the same make and model report the same experience. Replacing the eps unit does not seem to help, nor does replacement of the steering column. This inconsistent steering response could be a safety hazard.

- Branford, CT, USA

problem #22

Jul 012009


  • 25,000 miles
2004 BMW Z4 with 26K miles. When outside temperature is inthe 90S or above, the steering, particularly on the highway, develops a notchy or stickiness that does not allow you to track straight. Causes you to jerk the wheel back and forth to maintain a straight of way. There are many other similar complaints on this component for 2003-04 model years. Independent BMW mechanic has inspected my vehicle and states that the control module/electric motor/steering column has failed and needs replacement. He stated that there appears to be a trend on this.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #21

Jul 312009


  • 35,000 miles
When ambient temperatures are above approximately 85 degrees, the electronic power steering will produce abnormal resistance requiring considerable force to return to center. This makes it difficult to steer the car at high speeds. This is a safety issue requiring further NHTSA investigation.

- Ocean Springs, MS, USA

problem #20

Jul 312009


  • 16,000 miles
2004 BMW Z4 steering wheel binds while driving after the auto has sat in direct sunlight for several hours or the ambient temperature is above 85 degrees. Once the car is allowed to cool in the shade or through extended driving, the steering will return to normal. This condition causes the car to be unsafe at highway speeds. I have reported this condition several times to my local BMW dealership. They told me it could be the tires 'sticking┐ to the road. This condition warrants a recall. The steering is not safe when it is hot.

- Atkinson, NH, USA

problem #19

Jan 012008

Z4 6-cyl

  • 32,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 BMW Z4. Since 2008, the contact noticed that the steering was difficult to turn and would lock up. The failure has since worsened due to the hot weather. The manufacturer stated that there was no recall and advised him to take the vehicle to the dealer to be diagnosed. The failure mileage was 32,000 and current mileage was 39,000. Updated 9/1/09 updated 09/09/09

- Fruitland Park , FL, USA

problem #18

Jul 182009


  • 27,105 miles
When driving the power steering gets hard like it will going lock up when driving.

- Bayamon, PR, USA

problem #17

Jul 122009


  • miles
2004 BMW Z4-steering sticks or catches at center when turning wheel while car is in motion. Causes vehicle to swerve. Problem is intermittent.

- Martinsville, VA, USA

problem #16

May 012009


  • 105,000 miles
Steering issues.

- Wrightstown, NJ, USA

problem #15

Jun 072009


  • 80,600 miles
While driving the car on a sunny, summer day, the steering wheel has "tension" and "stickiness" while trying to rotate it. This causes abrupt and imprecise steering corrections due to the stickiness causing jerky steering. This defect makes it difficult to retain a straight driving path, and makes it difficult to stay within a lane on the local roads and highways. The steering alignment also becomes out of a straight line, thus coming out of "center", and further making it more difficult to maintain a safe driving course.

- Duluth, GA, USA

problem #14

May 312009


  • 53,000 miles
My car was parked in an an area that was not in the shade lot for several hours. The air temp. Was about 80. When I drove off I could feel that the steering was not reacting to my input as it had in the cool morning. The steering was jerky and would not track as I turned the steering wheel, but lagged a few moments. I had an 80 mile drive where I had to turn the wheel in a zig-zag manner to keep the car tracking in the direction I wanted to go. When the car cooled off overnight the steering returned to normal. This is not the first time this has happened. It does not feel safe.

- Liberty, NC, USA

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