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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
44,921 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.

2005 BMW Z4 steering problems

steering problem

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2005 BMW Z4 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #106

Jun 172015


  • 79,905 miles


Steering response was sticking while driving. Difficult to drive in a straight line down the road.

- Pelzer, SC, USA

problem #105

Apr 162015


  • 72,000 miles
On a hot day while traveling over 40 mph, the steering becomes "sticky"; that is it get stuck in a position and you have to physically jerk the wheel to adjust the steering which is very dangerous at higher speeds. This only happens in warm weather-above 70 degrees Fahrenheit. I recently experienced this on I-95 while traveling to philadelphia. I noticed this before and I reported this to BMW of alexandria (now arlington) and they replaced the steering box, lower joint assembly - total cost $1,721 - this was at 69,000 miles. The problem is back and as bad or worse. I have read of this problem on BMW forums where the entire steering column must be replaced at about $4,000. What I don't understand is why this isn't a recall item as it definitely is a safety issue. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #104

Oct 292014


  • 31,000 miles
Steering seems to stick, I just bought the car the same day and was driving it several hundred miles home. It felt like the car was in a rut, and I had to jerk the wheel to "unstick: It. it was scary. It happened several times during the trip, and has happened since then.

- Brighton, NE, USA

problem #103

Feb 042015

Z4 6-cyl

  • 72,000 miles


I was driving the car at approximately 45 mph and the car sterring got stiff. I couldn't control it. The power steering malfunction light came on. I got very concerned and somehow made it home. Luckily I was close to home when it happened. The car after turning off and turning back on got normal. The symptom did not come back for 2 days but then came right back on. Now I'm scared to drive this car. This is so dangerous and can cause an accident. I did some research and found I'm not the only one with this problem. A lot of other people had the same issue. BMW should fix this issue at no cost and there should be a recal on this.

- West Palm Beach, FL, USA

problem #102

Dec 312014

Z4 6-cyl

  • 37,000 miles
The steering sticks when the cab temp gets high it does not lock complete when I try to correct I will over correct or under correct. This is the most dangerous car I have ever driven.

- Thomasville , GA, USA

problem #101

Jan 122013

Z4 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
The electric power steering on the car is dangerous. The steering is erratic and very twitchy. The problem is noticeable at lower speeds but at highway speeds it is dangerous to drive the car. The steering wheel starts out stiff, like an old car without power steering, but then the electric motor suddenly provides too much power assistance. The electric assist results in a sharper turn than you need and therefore requires immediate correction. It consistently does this; it is not a one-time thing. It requires constant attention, with both hands on the wheel at all times. This makes the car both mentally and physically exhausting to drive on the highway. Driving at lower speeds is annoying but at highway speeds it is dangerous. The correction and subsequent overcorrection problem makes the car drive down the highway like a snake. It is difficult to keep the car in the correct lane. The rougher the pavement the more difficult it is to drive the car. There have been a few times where the overcorrection has resulted in accidentally veering out of the correct lane. Fortunately, no accident has occurred yet. Please feel free to contact me and come drive the car to see for yourself. It only has 55,000 miles on it and based on the other complaints this is a systemic problem with the 2005 BMW Z4.

- Montgomery, AL, USA

problem #100

Jan 012014


  • 60,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 BMW Z4. While driving various speeds, the vehicle veered out of its lane independently. The contact had to use excessive force to regain steering control. The failure occurred intermittently. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 60,000.

- Waynesboro, PA, USA

problem #99

Mar 142014

Z4 6-cyl

  • 55,347 miles
Steering started to seem stiff or sticky on occasion at various speeds, now occurring much more frequently. The car seems to drift back and forth and one must keep frequently correcting to keep car going straight. More so than you would normally expect and much more for a car of this caliber I would think. It sticks then there is a "dead space" until you catch it to correct it. I think this type of occurrence can be very dangerous. I was checking everything I could to find the issue, I.e. : tire pressure, balance, alignment, bearings etc. To no avail. Even tried to locate the power steering fluid reservoir but obviously now I know there is none! one would think that BMW would correct this issue for generally honorable reasons. All it will take is for that steering to stick, the "dead space" to occur and at 70 mph on the freeway no time to correct until you hit the concrete divider and well you can guess the rest. How many could be killed " especially in heavy traffic? and for a obviously faulty electric motor? I'm sure there are many more people who own these cars and may not know what to do about it. We need you to make this right before someone dies, perhaps this has already happened and its not known and is related to a poor driver or error" be cautious when near a Z4 on the highway you or someone you love or know may be the next unwilling victim! just saying. Help!!!

- Hewitt, TX, USA

problem #98

Jul 122014

Z4 6-cyl

  • 113,450 miles
The steering seems to stick and force is needed to move in either direction.

- Lenoir City, TN, USA

problem #97

Jul 012014

Z4 6-cyl

  • 30,400 miles
I bought a 2005 BMW Z4 2.5I in 2013 and it only had 19,000 mi. On it. At about 22,000 miles I started noticing that the steering would stick, but I thought it might be my tires out of alignment, I then put a new set of tires on the front and had it checked and it made no difference in the problem. My car now has 30400 miles on it and the problem has just recently gotten much worse, I'm now afraid to drive the car. After reading about the number of people with the same problem, I'm hoping we can get a recall on a serious problem.

- Marshall, TX, USA

problem #96

Jun 182014


  • 61,000 miles


This steering in this vehicle is downright dangerous! I purchased the car used 6 months ago in the winter and only drive it a few times. As I've been driving more in the nicer weather, the steering started to "stick" causing me to oversteer. I am terrified to even drive this car on the highway because it gets worse as you increase speed and because of the unpredictability of the steering mechanism. The steering problem intensifies in hot weather. It nearly impossible to stay within your lane on a road with slight curves. I brought the car to BMW service center and was told the steering column needed to be replaced at a cost of $3500. I came online to do some research only to find hundreds of other people with the same exact problem. BMW must be aware of this potentially fatal flaw in their vehicle. I don't understand why there was not a recall issued. My fear it that one day the steering is going to lock completely. Until we try to get a better estimate on the price of the steering column replacement we will not be driving this vehicle. Please look into this, it is an accident waiting to happen.

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #95

Jul 082013

Z4 6-cyl

  • 42,000 miles
When car is sitting in sun for the day the steering gets stuck in position will not center while driving at highway speeds feels like something is holding it in place. Went to dealer to see if it has a recall none at this time looked into the matter on line there are lots of other problems with other cars and years what is going to be done about this before life is lost !

- Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

problem #94

Nov 012013


  • 98,000 miles
My 2005 BMW Z4 has a steering issue that has affected thousands of similar vehicles. The steering column is faulty and results in loss of stability at speeds between 65-75 mph. The steering "drifts" and is difficult to control the vehicle. Steering also "sticks" and requires force to turn. There is much talk about a recall being forced onto BMW for their faulty steering column. Please move this forward for the thousands of drivers BMW has put at risk by not acknowledging and correcting this problem for their drivers.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #93

Mar 112014

Z4 6-cyl

  • 35,337 miles
First time was on the interstate approximately 65mph. The steering wheel felt like it had tight spots requiring the need for both hands on the wheel. The car seemed to wander left and right and when corrected it was insensitive. It felt like a goose neck bearing that had been over tightened on a bicycle, it had a tight feel, yet it was only in the center position. When making lane changes it felt normal, back to center the feel returned as before. It happened again yesterday on a state highway. The car has the sport mode and in both occurrences it was in sport. I have 60 years of driving experience and many cars have been high performance and sport vehicles. This is a dangerous condition because it is intermittent and requires both hands on the wheel to counter.

- Waynesville, OH, USA

problem #92

May 122014


  • 95,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 BMW Z4. The contact stated that while traveling 35 mph, the power steering assist malfunctioned and prevented the vehicle from moving. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 95,000. The current mileage was 120,000.

- Murfreesboro, TN, USA

problem #91

Dec 232013

Z4 6-cyl

  • 57,328 miles
While driving on the straight highway at a normal speed I noticed the car began to pull to the right. In order to correct, you would have to pull the steering wheel to the left causing the car to sometimes over correct with a jerking sensation and pulling to far to the left. Car was taken in for repair. After diagnostics I was told that it was a problem with the steering column electric motor and you could not just replace the motor, but would have to have the entire steering column replaced. I did have the steering column replaced with good results. The new column was ordered by my repairman from BMW. My worry is if the last column was defective, will this one be also.

- Bowie, TX, USA

problem #90

Apr 232014

Z4 6-cyl

  • 94,201 miles
The car had been sitting outside in approx. 85 degree weather for about 2-3 hours. My wife and mother in law were driving done the highway. She initially noted that the steering felt "sticky" or "different". a few moments later while traveling at approx. 55mph the steering failed to respond or more accurately felt stuck. She was unable to turn the steering wheel and the car started to move to the right side of the road toward the guard rail. After slowing the vehicle and continuously trying to turn the wheel it finally responded. She pulled off the road and sat for a few moments to regain composure and check vehicle. There was nothing outwardly apparent, no flats, nothing under car, nothing wedged in engine compartment or underneath car. She exited the highway and drove slowly back to the house. The car did exhibit signs of "sticking" again, but did not lock up. A quick search on the internet has revealed this is a very common complaint on the Z4. This is a very serious safety concern and now my wife is afraid to drive the car.

- Helotes, TX, USA

problem #89

Jun 142013


  • 48,000 miles
After car sat outside all day at work in 75 degree temp steering was notchy and sticky during the entire 20 min drive home. After the car cooled down in the garage steering was normal during drive later that night. This happens every time the car gets warm from sitting in the sun. There is no excuse for this and is extremely unsafe as the steering does not function properly. Besides who wants a convertible you can only drive in cold weather??

- Weaverville, NC, USA

problem #88

Apr 012014

Z4 6-cyl

  • 94,215 miles
Steering "sticks" in hot weather. For example, when going around a slight curve, you turn the steering wheel and when you loosen your grip on the wheel to allow the steering to go back towards center, the steering wheel stays in the same position and you have to use force to get it back towards center. This problem became noticeable last summer and has occurred again recently as spring temperatures are getting higher. Most noticeable after driving the car home from work in late afternoon after it has been sitting in uncovered parking lot. Problem seems to be more pronounced now than it was last summer. In looking at various BMW forums on the web, this particular problem is very widespread, known to be a problem by BMW, and very dangerous. Amazing there have been no recalls.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #87

Jun 012011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 53,000 miles
I drove this 2005 BMW Z4 without incident while in Illinois for the first 53,000 miles. After 53,000 miles I let my son drive the car exclusively while in scottsdale Arizona and he continuously experiences unexpected drastic steering pulls to both the left and right sides. Correction of the steering requires both hands on the wheel and is very difficult to correct the sudden and extreme pulling. The steering pulling is not easy to replicate but occurs a few times a week during daily driving. When the steering pulls it is very dangerous and almost causes crashes. I have researched the problem on the internet and it appears this is a design problem very common with 2003-2005 BMW Z4S which BMW is aware of but has failed to take any corrective measures. I presently have 63,000 on the car and is driven in the warmer climate of Arizona. The steering continues to pull sporadically even though I have replaced all 4 tires with 4 new matching tires.

- Park Ridge, IL, USA

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