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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 1 of 7)

problem #126

Sep 142016


  • 36,000 miles


In hot weather, while driving at any rate of speed, my steering is "sticky" or "notchy". the steering has a sticky place both left and right of center position. I have to jerk it to unstick the steering wheel. This causes an over correction and results in a dangerous weaving motion. I purchased this car earlier in the year and was excited because the mileage is only 36,000. I now understand why it has low mileage. It is terribly hard to stay a straight line in your lane due to this steering condition. I've researched and found numerous complaints. I think BMW needs to step up and correct this dangerous safety issue before someone gets badly hurt.

- Morganton, NC, USA

problem #125

Sep 072016


  • 14,400 miles
In warm weather the steering on my BMW Z4 is sticky and unresponsive at highway speeds. The steering becomes notchy and I am force to "unstick" the steering wheel by jerking the steering wheel to make minor lane corrections, this over steers the vehicle and I am then forced to unstick the wheel again and jerk the wheel in the opposite direction. This results in dangerously weaving through the lane close to oncoming and passing traffic. The vehicle is dangerous to drive in conditions warmer than 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

- Kirkwood, NY, USA

problem #124

Aug 132016


  • 1 miles
I would urge you to reopen the case that was closed back in 2010 on the steering on this vehicle. I have experienced very frightening loss of control when the steering wheel is hot and the "stickiness" is at its worst. Maybe the fact that I live in the South and it gets hotter here is a factor, but it gets so extreme that I can barely hold it in the lane. This year I have hardly driven it because I am afraid to. I don't feel right selling it and passing it off to someone else. I absolutely love the look of the car, but I feel like I was just taken for a large amount of money when we paid for it, because of this situation. At the least, I fear getting a ticket because it looks like a drunk is driving the car when it's weaving like that. At worst, I fear an accident. If the stickiness is accompanied by a bumpy road, the loss of control is substantial. And in answer to the questions below, this is an ongoing situation and it doesn't matter what speed I'm going when it occurs.

- Decatur, TN, USA

problem #123

Jul 292016


  • 9,000 miles


Steering doesn't respond properly in high temperatures when in motion. Steering feels "notchy" deviating from dead-center, and difficult to properly control the vehicles direction when this occurs. Could lead to over-correction and/or loss of control.

- Mt Pleasant, SC, USA

problem #122

May 012012


  • 50,000 miles
I know I am repeating what many others have already said, but this sticky steering situation is very dangerous...I hadn't related it to temp sensitivity until reading other posts. This condition spoils all the fun that this brand should have. What ticks me off is the dealer acts like I am the first one to complain. Come on, you could get away with that years ago but not now. We must speak up and be heard. As far as I'm concerned this vehicle is a piece of junk the way it is. At highway speeds this car will wear you out trying to overcorrect the steering. My wife is afraid to drive it. This is the first and probably last BMW I'm going to own.first couple of years it was a dream to drive but the last 4 years we have hardly put any miles on it..

- Pasadena, MD, USA

problem #121

Nov 012015


  • 67,000 miles
I purchased a 2005 BMW Z4 in October, 2015. I noticed when steering the car there was a sticking point that required extra effort to steer past. Upon researching this problem on the internet I found this website and was surprised to find that between 2004 and 2007 there have been 470 complaints for this same problem. I am adding 471. This is an issue that should be corrected by BMW as it can have dangerous implications.

- Ocala, FL, USA

problem #120

Jul 292014


  • 69,773 miles


The contact owns a 2005 BMW Z4. While driving 10 mph, the steering wheel seized without warning. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the eps failed and needed to be repaired. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 69,773.

- Mccomb, MS, USA

problem #119

Jun 012015


  • 65 miles
Stiff steering to the left or right. Hard to turn. Jerks when I put on brakes.

- Summerfield, NC, USA

problem #118

May 312016


  • 3 miles
I just bought a 2005 BMW Z4 on 5/31/16 as a gift for my daughter for her accomplishments of setting multiple athletic records at her high school while maintaining a 6.0 gpa. I test drove the car in the city streets and it drove excellent. I liked the car very much and purchased in the city of St. Petersburg Florida. Since I live in tampa, Florida I had my wife follow me back while I drove the Z4 back. The car function perfectly until I got onto the interstate. The second I got up to around 50 miles per hour. I found myself terrified as the steering began to stick at almost dead center, causing the car to shift dangerously as I overcompensate to keep the car in the lane. My daugher is a bit disappointed, because of my fear to let her drive the car. It seemed so strange that I felt duped by the dealership. I got suspiscious, pulled a carfax and it was clean. I then researched the issue on the internet and found that many people have been experiencing the exact situation. It's an obvious mechanical defect that can contribute to a fatal accident. So why has there not been a recall for this issue? it's puzzling.

- Lutz, FL, USA

problem #117

Nov 202015


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 BMW Z4. The contact stated that the steering wheel was extremely tight. In warmer temperatures, the steering wheel veered to the right or left independently. The contact had to apply force to correct the failure each time it occurred. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA action number: PE10020 (steering). The vehicle was not inspected and diagnosed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and provided no permanent remedy or recommendation to correct the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 40,000.

- Bedford, NH, USA

problem #116

Sep 012015


  • 40,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 BMW Z4. While driving 40 mph, the steering wheel became difficult to maneuver. The failure occurred constantly. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the electric power steering unit failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 40,000.

- Dunedin, FL, USA

problem #115

Oct 062015

Z4 6-cyl

  • 11,400 miles
Found a used 2005 BMW Z4 3.0I with right at 11,200 miles for sale online. Car was located approximately 4 hours from home. Went and looked at car, took it for short test drive, saw no apparent issues and purchased car. Car had been garage kept and was very clean and consistent with such low mileage. Proceeded on with journey home. Drove a while and started to notice steering felt a bit strange, but wrote it off that I "just wasn't used to the car" and it would simply take a while to get used to it. Later, still on my journey home, while driving on the interstate, I came to a gentle left hand bend in the road. I went to add a little correction to the steering wheel and discovered that it simply would not let me turn it. I was driving at normal interstate speeds close to 70 mph. It happens quickly and you don't really know what to do. While trying to slow the vehicle, the natural response is to grab the steering wheel with both hands and try and overcome the resistance. I did this with a substantial amount of force, and the steering wheel did "let go" and let the car turn left. Since such force had to be applied to the wheel in order to overcome its resistance, it is very difficult to "catch the wheel" at the proper location and avoid an abrupt and extreme overshoot. Extremly tense and dangerous situation! I slowed down, made sure there were no other cars close and operated the steering wheel back and forth some. Things seemed to be ok. I continued my journey very cautiously at reduced speeds. Once home, I looked online to see what might possibly be wrong and discovered that a multitude of people describe exactly what happened to me with 2003-2005 BMW Z4's. it is my sincere hope that this issue can be recalled as I truly believe human lives are in the balance, especially if a garage kept car with less than 12,000 miles is at risk. Thank you.

- Greenland, AR, USA

problem #114

Jul 022015


  • 95,000 miles
I being having problems with the steering is sticking while driving over 35 miles and specially in the evening in hot days. I always have to hold the wheel with two hands because the steering sticks and is harder to turn and it becomes very dangerous. I went to the mechanic and he recommend to replace the steering: Electric power assist system. We tried to ordered via BMW and we were told that is back order and it may take a month or more to get it because many similar cars are having the same problem. It that is the case why there is not a recall?

- Marion, NC, USA

problem #113

Aug 282015


  • 145,000 miles
Driving at highway speed, very hard to keep vehicle in lane due to stiff steering. Required heavy torque to move steering wheel, which resulted in abrupt movements in lane and led to deviation into adjacent lanes. Situation improved once I got off highway.

- Simi Valley, CA, USA

problem #112

Aug 012015


  • 91,293 miles
I have had a recurring serious problem with the steering input effort, especially when hot outside. The steering seems very heavy and sticks when close to the on-center position, and is very heavy and difficult to return back to the on-center position. It is a problem that has been a concern for my wife and I now for several months. The vehicle has been in and out of service very frequently since April of 2010. It is in service for the forth time now regarding the problem with the steering. The vehicle this time has been in now for almost a month and has not been repaired yet.

- Bluff City, TN, USA

problem #111

Jul 232015


  • 38,000 miles
At speed 25 to 70 and tempertures over 70 the steering wheel gets sticky and locks up. Very hard to turn. The only way to turn it is use both hand and turn it forcefully causing over-turns and running off the road or to oncoming traffic.

- Hiram , GA, USA

problem #110

Jul 052013


  • 122,000 miles
Steering seems to lock in a position, or at least stop. I then have to use extra force to get to go past the lock / stop point. And then after a little more time the situation repeats itself again. The problem is that not every time that I use the car does it do it, about 25% of the time. I am concerned that it may sometime lock in position and then there will be an accident. There must be a fix easier than a steering rack replacement, which was recommended by one shop....updated 10/01/15

- Bellingham, WA, USA

problem #109

Jul 112015


  • 15,000 miles
Steering has become very stiff and steering wheel does not center after making slight turns. Seems to be worse in hot weather. Have to really concentrate on steering and is becoming dangerous. Appears to be a common problem with the Z4 according to blogs. Recall by BMW should be issued.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #108

Aug 012006


  • 500 miles
Experienced what appears to be known problem with erratic steering at any speed. Design flaw known to both BMW na & reported numerous times to your org based on the numerous complaints at url below: Problem recurred 3 yrs ago and I simply garaged it & used my Subaru. Last week had car towed to local service center which acknowledged the problem and alerted me to the numerous websites documenting this design flaw. Having car towed to BMW dealership today as I refuse to drive it. But because there has not been a recall which there should be I am on the hook to pay for its design flaw or I can garage it or sell it. Btw, car only has 4400 miles on it due in large part to this recurring defect. I cannot believe no one has not been killed or seriously injured due to this defect. After the takata airbag debacle it is my hope that NHTSA takes these numerous customer complaints re: Z4 dangerous steering column design flaw seriously & acts quickly.

- Downingtown, PA, USA

problem #107

Jun 022014


  • 32,600 miles
Sticky steering starts in spring, continues in summer, ends in fall. Must be temperature related. A recall needs to be made!

- Brookville, PA, USA

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