really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
76,087 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.

2002 BMW 325 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2002 BMW 325 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #44

Sep 262018


  • 168,000 miles


On Wednesday, seotember 26 2018 - my car had been parked outside since Friday, Sept 21. It had rained a great deal that weekend. At 1:00 in the afternoon, I went to get in the car and the windows were black from the inside. I had been smelling a strange electircal bruning smell all day. I did not open the door. I called the fire department.they arrived and investigated. The inside of the car on the drivers side dash was completely melted and the dash was still on fire inside. The pillar airbag had exploded and melted and had spewed plastic on the front seats. The upper driver side corner area of the windsheild was broken from the inside as though something had cataplulted into it from below. The pillar bag inflator was found on the floor of the car and was burnt in the bottom. The driver door panel had deployed. The car was a total loss

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #43

Nov 212015


  • 160,000 miles
While driving our car the dash lights will come on and the car will loose all power. We have to pull over and turn car off wait a minute with key completely out of the ignition and restart the car then all lights are off and car is completely drivable. This happens multiple times a day no matter what speed is being driven. Also within the same month the locks will not unlock when car is stopped and shut off or by the power button inside the car. As well as our 4 way indicator which is on same switch as the power lock button no longer works.

- Saxton, PA, USA

problem #42

Apr 102017


  • 129,000 miles
I opened the passenger door in the morning after the car had been parked overnight. I had a hockey bag with approximately 25 lbs of equipment sitting on the passenger seat which I removed from the car and closed the door. I forgot something and went back to the car, about 40 seconds later, and saw a cloud of white smoke at the ceiling and I opened the door. The car had a strong smell of burning plastic/electronics. Whatever was burning stopped and there was no visible flame. I checked all the electrical switches and all the equipment seemed to work fine and no fuses were blown. The burning seemed to come from the passenger seat heater as there was evidence of the seat cover having smooth marks on the surface (instead of the normal pebble surface) where it might have melted. I'm not sure if the seats are real leather or simulated.

- Lake Elmo, MN, USA

problem #41

Apr 122016


  • 10,000 miles


Can not unlock car in any way. The relays in the GM5 module which give power to the actuators become weak and can not open car. Car can not be opened with car key as key hole is also electronic. In the end I cant get inside the car.

- Inglewood, CA, USA

problem #40

Jul 042016


  • 89,000 miles
Locks occupants in car and cannot electrically or mechanically unlock. Many BMW operators have reported this problem on internet but no recall exists for dealerships to repair/replace. Happens when vehicle is in motion or stationary, on a city street or highway, turning or anytime the system locks the doors trapping occupants

- West Chester, PA, USA

problem #39

Aug 312016


  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 BMW 325I. When the brake pedal was engaged at any speed, the exterior lighting failed. The failure recurred numerous times. The contact mentioned that the message board displayed "exterior lighting for the rear right side". the dealer and manufacturer were notified of the failure. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 11V438000 (exterior lighting). The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 55,000.

- Boiling Brook, IL, USA

problem #38

Jan 242003


  • miles


Final stage unit (aka blower motor resistor) keeps failing and shorting out internally causing engine malfunctions and related obd2 warnings as well as battery drain. I have replaced this part 5 times and 2 times in the last 6 months.

- Alta Loma, CA, USA

problem #37

Mar 112015


  • 45,000 miles
Look at this - another BMW recall is in order my battery keeps getting flooded with water and then the car won't start under snow the ice melts and somehow getting into the compartment with the battery in the boot nothing else in the boot is wet - not even on the plastic plate that covers the battery but it gets into the battery compartment and there is no drain for the water to go so my car fails to start many many complaints on this one website is this also check on bimmerfest - too many people having this dangerous condition and complaining to BMW which won't do the recall you need to force them to do the recall www.E90post.com/forums/showthread.php?T=949111 they should be fixing the leak when they do the lamp recalls which is also probably causing failure to start issues next issue is the window regulators - google that issue you will see the internet is flooded with people complaining they can't get their windows to roll up on this car I have very little mileage for a 2002 - under 50K and yet I am already replacing my third window regulator - that is the regulator on both front windows went and one of the back windows now went - $200-400 repair job big problems with BMW and I called them and complained and they won't reimburse unless there's a recall which they said they've no intention of doing too many people having these issues for it not to be a BMW recall - they won't pass your car for inspection with the window down obviously also a safety issue.

- Franklin Square, NY, USA

problem #36

Dec 012014


  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 BMW 325. While the vehicle was parked in the driveway, the contact discovered that the driver side air bag deployed and evidence of a fire was present. The contact indicated that the dashboard was melted and burn marks were present throughout the cabin of the vehicle. The front windshield was shattered and the ceiling panel was burned and hanging down. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The failure mileage was 140,000.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #35

Aug 052014

325 6-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
ABS, brake lights warning indicator constantly on. Possible dsc inop. Potential crash issue. Original owner with approx. $13,000 in maintenance and repair receipts. 95K miles on car. No notification/recall from BMW.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #34

Aug 012014

325 6-cyl

  • 152,000 miles


After completing a trip of approximately 25 miles coming into a parking spot and bringing vehicle to a stop the vehicle was shut off. Driver was able to egress out of vehicle without issue, passenger door was unable to be opened. Door remained locked with seemingly no mechanical link to door latch. Driver attempted to open door from outside, also unable to do so. Passenger had to egress vehicle through drivers door, passenger door unable to open despite repeated use of unlock button on center console and unlock feature on keyless entry. Automatic locking on drive off locked doors, occupants were unable to unlock or open door by any means.

- Superior Township, MI, USA

problem #33

Jun 232014

325 6-cyl

  • 122,000 miles
Using key fob to unlock doors, sometimes only driver door unlocks. Sometimes no doors unlock/lock. Interior master lock switch sometimes works sometimes does not. Replaced switch twice. Been in car and unable to unlock any doors to get out of vehicle using electric systems and even manual ie. Door handles. In a non stressful situation, got out by rolling down window and inserting key in driver door to unlock. For panic situations bought a window shatter tool to break windows to get out.

- Melbourne, FL, USA

problem #32

Jul 062014

325 6-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
None of the passenger locks open, automatically or manually. This is a serious safety hazard if there is an accident or fire. No one can get out.

- Flushing, NY, USA

problem #31

Mar 012013


  • 200,000 miles
This is not as much a complaint as a request for help. Since March of 2013 I have replaced 5 throttle bodies and 3 gas pedal sensors, all oem parts. The problem that happened again today: Driving at normal highway speed [55/60] the eml, traction control and brake warning lights all went on. Pulled over and turned off. Restarted, now "service engine, eml, traction control and brake lights" were on. Turned off, restarted, same lighting situation, very rough idle and car would not drive, as it was struggling for fuel. Unplugged the "mass air flow sensor": car started, displayed no warning lights, drove fine about 8 miles to repair shop. Code read shows, "throttle position sensor", replaced..same problem within minutes of driving. A little internet research on E46 finds this an all to common problem with no solution. Thanks in advance.

- Mt. Airy, MD, USA

problem #30

Jul 312013

325 6-cyl

  • 108,477 miles
Battery and alternator checked good with various service providers yet vehicle had a persistent battery drain witch would only appear after car was on the road and driving. After car stopped running due to low battery it then would not restart. No warning lights would come on until just a minute or two prior to engine quitting. Took vehicle to monrovia BMW in monrovia ca and was told that alternator was faulty. Installed new (not rebuilt) specified alternator and new battery and 5 months later same problem came back. Further own personal investigation found that BMW is aware of a faulty electrical system design flaw and I was never told about from BMW tech's at time of inspection as to the possibility of a system problem when the climate control "blower motor resistor" of "final stage unit" (fsu) and its internal resistor fails. This part has hundreds of write ups online from other owners and has gone back many years. When the part fails it leads to a whole variety of electrical problems with the affected vehicle. This could lead to a full engine shut down and lead to a crash. My vehicle has also been experiencing loss of engine coils and these are also part of the electrical system that could be being impacted by this fsu / resistor problem. Fire and or other electrical problems are also possible.

- Alta Loma, CA, USA

problem #29

May 062005

325 6-cyl

  • 26,323 miles
A/C system when engaged made a lot of noise. Dealership technician checked and found noise coming from A/C compressor. Replaced compressor.

- Scarsdale, NY, USA

problem #28

May 052008

325 6-cyl

  • 55,594 miles
Headlights came on for brake, ABS, traction, etc. And car went dead. Dealership technician performed battery and draw test. No draws were found so battery was deemed failed. Replaced battery.

- Scarsdale, NY, USA

problem #27

May 122008

325 6-cyl

  • 55,692 miles
Battery was replaced a few weeks ago but it went dead again. Took that car back to the dealership. The dealership technician found an open circuit in alternator. Replaced alternator.

- Scarsdale, NY, USA

problem #26

Nov 162011

325 6-cyl

  • 92,715 miles
Rear right window came off the track and broke window regulator. Replaced window regulator. Technician remarked that both front windows are moving slowly so will need to be replaced soon also.

- Scarsdale, NY, USA

problem #25

Oct 302012


  • miles
The report is in response to not being included in a recall of the rear taillight assembly. Some vehicles seem to be excluded for no reason from the recall and replacement of faulty wiring. NHTSA campaign id # 11V438000.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

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