hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
110,000 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.

1996 BMW 318 engine problems

engine problem

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1996 BMW 318 Owner Comments

problem #1

May 262006

318 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 110,000 miles


I am an engineer who performs failure analysis - my observations are based on significant experience in this field. The car is a 1996 BMW 318ti with a 5 spd manual transmission. The engine is stock. I was driving my 318ti on the interstate highway and noticed that the speed was increasing without throttle input. I turned the cruise control off thinking that it somehow had malfunctioned - the speed continued to increase. When the speed passed 80 mph, I depressed the clutch, which of course allowed the car to slow, but the engine immediately attempted to redline - as the tach got close to the red line, I shut the ignition off, and steered the car to the shoulder. With the car in neutral, I try to start it again, and the engine speed increased very rapidly to redline. I tried this 3-4 times over 5 minutes with the same result each time. I finally opened the hood and found that the throttle cable had come loose from the plastic bushing on the lever housing. This problem was the subject of a 1997 recall, and my car had the repairs made (metal rings) that were specified in the recall. They seem to be failing now. There is a news article from england that seems to show an identical failure in a 318. The drivers name is kevin nicolle, and the story appeared on this web page ( www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/03/11/ntrapped11.xml ). the recall effected 410,000 cars - this recall should be revisited as the repair seems to have created another failure mode that leads to unexpected acceleration. I have a photo of the throttle cable / cable bushing at the time of the failure - I can forward it to any interested parties.

- Hamden, CT, USA

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