definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
26,373 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.

2003 BMW 318 lights problems

lights problem

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2003 BMW 318 Owner Comments

problem #5

Jun 232012

318 6-cyl

  • 110,304 miles


The projector bowls on the zkw headlights were burnt out due to a design flaw. I see lot of complaints online with the same issue. Driving in night is really difficult and dangerous.

- Smyrna, GA, USA

problem #4

Jan 012010


  • miles
On 2003-2004 BMW 3 series E46 sedans with oem zkw manufactured xenon (hid) headlights, the reflective bowl for the headlights will become discolored and non-reflective after normal use with oem bulbs. Over time, the heat from the oem bulb will scorch the reflective bowl and dramatically reduce light output to unsafe levels for night time driving. BMW has not notified owners of the design flaw, and no replacement parts are available other than the entire expensive, new headlight assemblies that will suffer from the same problem in time. Though BMW refuses to acknowledge that an issue exists, BMW changed the xenon headlight reflector design for later model years to a metal reflector assembly that does not degrade when exposed to the normal operating temperatures of the oem xenon bulbs. These newer designed headlight assemblies to not suffer from any reduction in light output with use.

- Lawrenceville, NJ, USA

problem #3

Nov 242004

318 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,560 miles
Passenger side xenon headlight operates intermittently. Car had to go to dealer for repair but parts not immediately available to fix. For safety I have restricted vehicle to daytime driving only because I cannot depend on the headlights to operate as designed.

- Madison, AL, USA

problem #2

Dec 312003


  • miles
I was blinded tonight by the high intensity discharge headlights on a car 100 or more feet from me that was coming out of a gas station. I was in a parking lot across the highway from the gas station and becuase O being blinded I didn't see a road divider. My right front wheel hit it a a low speed and blew the tire and bent the rim. Obviously the other driver didn't know I existed or had been financially and emotionally impacted by his headlights but it is just a matter of time when some unexplained fatal accident will have the same roots. Thank you, dan sternberg

- Mount Laurel, NJ, USA

problem #1

Dec 012002


  • miles
I am a professional driver with over 1 mil acident free miles. Every year the headlights get aimed worse, the technology gets brighter and sometimes wider dispersion (blinding) and more drivers drive fulltime with fog lights (non-lenticular lens). Manufacturers are encouraging this process with the manufacture of autos with big fog lights and failing to label them with restrictive use warnings. In addition, their advertising always shows vehicles with these lights on in their advertisments. Because of the severity I am forced to block out their lights (at the rate of about one in twenty-five) with my hand, and therefore will have no opportunity to avoid an accident if they cross the center line since I cannot see them. Police in every state must be told to enforce existing laws against full-time fog lights and must regulate the brightness and aim of headlights. The problem has become epidemic.

- Apache Jct, AZ, USA

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