really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
90,818 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.

2001 BMW 325 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2001 BMW 325 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #26

Oct 302016


  • 200,000 miles


GM5 module which controls door locks and windows. Intermittent failure prevents unlocking door locks or operating windows.

- Fountain Hills, AZ, USA

problem #25

Feb 222016


  • 180,125 miles
All 3 passenger doors lock and intermittently can not be unlocked. This has to do with a faulty GM5 module.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #24

Aug 142015


  • 240,003 miles
Had just parked the car and a few minutes later it caught on fire. Everything under the hood is burned. Surveillance cameras caught the hole thing.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #23

Mar 302015


  • miles


Specific monitor lights remain on even after being checked and cleared. An asterisk type icon shows up next to the prnd panel and slows down vehicle where as you need to put much pressure on gas pedal to get it to move slightly, pulling over and shutting off engine for 2 mins removes the icon and issue, but mostly these are unpredictable occurrences.the body of car icon lights stay on indicating the cars back lights are not working, even after fixing lights. The car's recall #14V428 ; passenger side front airbag has not been fixed as of yet. Currently all windows are jammed the motor hums but windows do not open unless pushed on, 3 of 4 don't even do that..

- Englewood , FL, USA

problem #22

May 152015


  • 94,000 miles
A recall has been issued for this problem for cars produced from 9/1/01 to 02/01/05. [recall campaign 11V-438: Repair ground cable for rear light lamps (side panel)]....updated 09/22/15 I have the exact same problem although my car was produced approximately 14 months prior to the vehicles affected by the recall. Situation one or more of the following lights does not function in the rear lamp assembly, mounted on the rear quarter panel (rear parking light, rear turn signal, and rear brake light). Cause a poor ground connection at the rear lamp assembly (connectors X338 left side " pin # 2 and X339 right side " pin # 3) causes a malfunction of the rear tail lamps.

- Cambridge, MA, USA

problem #21

Jun 012015


  • 85,000 miles
Recalled passenger air bag was replaced by dealer last week, but the dashboard light indicates the passenger air bag is turned off. The dealer says this was an existing problem and refuses to fix without charging several hundred dollars to "diagnose." I maintain this is directly elated to the recalled air bag and should be fixed without charge.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #20

Oct 152014


  • 190,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 BMW 325I. When the brake pedal was depressed, the passenger side tail light became inoperable. In addition, the headlights flashed independently without warning. The contact also stated that the headlights became inoperable intermittently. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 190,000.

- Monterey Park, CA, USA

problem #19

Sep 092014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2001 BMW 325I. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 14V438000 (electrical system); however, the part needed to do the repair was unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Suwanee, GA, USA

problem #18

Sep 242009


  • 69,000 miles
My doors won't unlock. I have actually been locked in the car, and had to climb out my window/sunroof. This seems to be a common problem mentioned on many BMW enthusiast forums. I wish more of those who experience this problem with submit a complaint. I am worried about being in an accident and not being able to get out of my car. Sometimes my doors unlock, sometimes they don't. this is associated with the GM5 module, and a person online even specializes in fixing it since it is such a common problem (www.bmwgm5.com).

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #17

Oct 152013


  • 172,000 miles
Pin number 3 on the taillight bulb housing begins to melt at the connection point causing any number of things to happen with the electrical system. You may experience flickering headlights, loss of taillight function, loss of turn signal function, or electrical fire.

- Lakewood, CO, USA

problem #16

Jun 122013


  • 143,000 miles


My passenger brake light out of the blue started not working as I took it in the dealership they said a socket connector that involves the wires have been corrupted and burnt out. This is a serious hazard while out on the roads, I have seen many other post about that are having the same issues and im unaware of any recalls about this is issues. This is a issues that needs to have some attention.

- Bloomington, MN, USA

problem #15

May 232013

325 6-cyl

  • 160,000 miles
Right side rear lights burned out replaced bulbs nothing happened unplugged the harness to find #4 prong completely burned away on car checked the left side and the same thing is happening it is getting hot and looks like it is ready to burn out also.

- Vista, CA, USA

problem #14

May 142013

325 6-cyl

  • miles
Electrical ground contact resistance in rear tail lamp has rendered tail lamp non functional and caused warning lamp illumination. Problem appears to be identical to campaign 11V438000.

- Durham, NC, USA

problem #13

Feb 082013

325 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
Headlights flicker on and off while driving. Tail lights and brake lights non-functional. I believe this is an issue related to previous recall of BMW's recalled in NHTSA campaign number 11V438000. I called BMW which told me my car was not covered under that recall. I believe that it should be.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #12

Dec 012012

325 6-cyl

  • miles
Right side tail lights failed in the manner described in NHTSA campaign id number: 11V438000. This vehicle was manufactured in 2000-10-30 and that campaign applies to vehicles manufactured after 09-2001.

- Franklin, TN, USA

problem #11

Jul 022012

325 6-cyl

  • 132,000 miles
Recently my rear taillights were noticeably darker and less responsive. Taking my BMW to my authorized BMW dealership/service center, resulted in a diagnosis that the rear wire harness needed to be replaced at a cost of ~$300. Following the visit to the dealership/service center, resulted in the rear light failing completely. Researching this incident online produced many similar problems w/other 330I models and I also discovered that NHTSA had issued a recall of BMW 3-series from my 02-06. My BMW is a 01. It is apparent, from the many postings on BMW boards and websites, that this defect also occurs in older bmws of the same E46 series earlier than model yr 2002. I ask that NHTSA extend the previous recall to earlier model years of the E46 series of bmws.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #10

Jan 102011


  • miles
Purchased the car used, in January 2011, with approximately 110,000 miles. Vehicle had several stored engine codes, PO0300,171,174,1345,1351,1353; mostly relating to oxygen sensors and the maf. All engine hoses, the maf, all 4 oxygen sensors and the ignition coil packs were replaced by a certified mechanic. Within 2 months of normal driving, all codes had returned. Mechanic is unable to determine the points of failure for these issues and BMW denies any existing problem the passenger side airbag light, turns on and off, randomly, whether someone is sitting there, or not. Failure of the sensor could cause the ab not to deploy during an accident, causing serious, if not fatal, injury. BMW is aware of the issue, does not replace/repair. Door lock/window/windshield wiper control module, known as GM5, fails randomly and often. It has failed several times, while I was in the car. Since it disables the door locks and windows, I was trapped in my car for several minutes. Thankfully, I had the window rolled down far enough to pass my keys to someone on the outside, so they could unlock the door. In an accident, passengers could be stuck, keeping emergency workers from giving them medical attention, in a timely fashion. BMW is fully aware of the problem, but denies it's existence. I also receive random exterior light out warnings, on the dash. Usually, it's both taillights, but more frequently, it is the driver side light sensor, that fails, though the light is actually working, just fine.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #9

Oct 172011

325 6-cyl

  • miles
Various times I have experienced intermittent issues with my tail lights. I get warnings on my instrument panel but when I check the bulbs they are not burned out. On October 17, 2011, los angeles police pulled me over notifying me that my tail lights were not working. We checked the bulbs and fuses but they were ok. We found that when you slightly touch the harness of the taillight socket that is inside the body panel, the lights go on and off. I did some online research and found that this is a common issue with this model car, BMW E46. On Saturday January 21 I went to santa monica BMW. They said it was not a common issue. Today I just learned about recent NHTSA campaign id number 11V438000. This recall addresses the issues I have been having. However, it is only for models manufactured after September 2001. My vehicle was built in July 2001 but uses the same harness and body panel assembly that has prompted the recall for models built in September 2001. Thus, I believe my vehicle should be recalled as well. Please advise. Thanks in advance.

- Santa Monica, CA, USA

problem #8

Jun 112011

325 6-cyl

  • 156,111 miles
Car is a BMW 325I. Model year 2001. The electrical door unlock mechanism does not always unlock the doors. In particular, the button to unlock all doors works intermittently. This problem has existed for a number of months now. I suspect that it is related to a faulty general module 5 unit in the car. On rare occasions unlocking the door will not work when pulling the door latch when the all door lock button is not working, leading to driver/passengers trapped in the car.

- Redmond, WA, USA

problem #7

May 272011


  • 113,025 miles
GM5, and mass airflow sensor not working on my 2001 325I BMW. It shuts off when get a dead stop and about to take off again. The doors will unlock and lock after pressing the buttons multiple times. The remote as well will not unlock or lock the doors everytime. Its at random with no specific pattern.

- Hickory, NC, USA

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