really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 11
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
68,762 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 lights problems

lights problem

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2002 BMW 325 Owner Comments (Page 3 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #12

Sep 192010


  • 150,000 miles


2002 BMW 325I rear tail light wiring could cause a fire in the vehicle. BMW America should have to recall these even though the vehicles are 8 years old. It is a very costly repair.

- Celina, TN, USA

problem #11

Aug 032010


  • 92,000 miles
2002 BMW 325I sedan, electrical fire in left rear trunk due to short in rear drive tail light assembly, brown grounding wire melted housing, unit not working.

- Nottingham, MD, USA

problem #10

May 172010


  • 107,718 miles
2002 BMW 325I, turn signal failure resulting in small fire. 1- symptoms: Car turn signal failure warning light illuminated. 2- upon removal of housing I noted that the light operated intermittently which caused me to investigate further. Upon removal of the plug or wiring harness I noted that the brown wire showed evidence of melting of both wire and metal male plug end with black residue. A simple internet search revealed that BMW issued sib number 63 03 06 to mechanics. I have not found a recall for this hazardous failure, however, did find a forum where several owners noted the same failure. Internet address to this forum is: www.aboutautomobile.com/complaint/2002/BMW/325I/exterior+lighting 3- I have not corrected the failure but plan on investigating the procedure to replace the harness. Per the information I found I have noted that it seems that a faulty ground wire is the source of the problem. Believe that BMW should be responsible for repairing potentially hazardous faults.

- Hyattsville, MD, USA

problem #9

May 082010


  • 76 miles


While undergoing a complimentary service review on my 2002 BMW 325I, I was informed that there is a known defect with the tail lights. Apparently, the lights are not properly grounded and there is a risk of overheating and fire. Although the vehicle is eight years old and has over 76,000 miles, I have not experienced any problems. The dealer representative admitted that the problem is a design defect, but BMW has not issued a recall. The dealer wants to charge me $400 to fix the problem.

- Norwalk, CT, USA

problem #8

Jan 052010


  • 74,500 miles
The tail lights electric connector module is dysfunctional. It is burned out on the passenger side. As a result, brake lights and turn indicator lights are not functional. This failure has previously happened on the driver side tail lights as well. The cause was similar. The ground cable and electric connector were burned out.

- Herndon, VA, USA

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problem #7

Sep 082009


  • 129,000 miles
Approx ten months ago the passenger side tail light started malfunctioning intermittently. Took car to dealership and they replaced all of the light bulbs...within two days the entire light fixture stopped working completely and has not worked since. The driver side tail light stopped functioning four months later. Both light fixtures have not worked (turn signal, tail light and brake light) since September 2009. I took the car to the dealership in November and was told that there was a manufacturer's defect in the light fixtures. The estimated cost to fix both tail lights was $450. I was told eventhough the dealership was aware the problem was a manufacturer's defect there was no recall issued so I would be responsible for the full cost of the repair. The dealership was unwilling to negotiate the cost estimate. I requested a written estimate, which the service department hand wrote on a piece of paper (dealership usually prints off computer). I keep this in the glove box to show law enforcement whenever they pull me over for inoperable rear lights. I read that BMW issued a technical bulletin to add ground wires to repair the problem. I feel that $450 is an unreasonable fee to be charged to add ground wires to an easily accessible location in the trunk of the car.

- Greer, SC, USA

problem #6

Aug 102009


  • 50,000 miles


Formal petition for an investigation of a safety-related design defect: BMW 325xi 2002 defective tail light. Tail light connections burn out due to lack of proper wiring. BMW has now issued a correction for this but will not cover the cost of repairs.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #5

Dec 092009


  • 107,000 miles
Brake light failure came on in my 2002 bmw325I. I went out to look for the failed bulb, but the brake lights were all working. I noticed that the left side, rear lights were much dimmer than the right side. I went to the mechanic and he showed me a burnt wire and molten plastic connector from the rear light cluster. He said that this is a known problem with this car because BMW did not provide enough ground to the cluster and overtime the extra heat generated by the current will burn the wire and connector. At other times, he said, the connector will short the gnd pin to the pins around it and causes small fires. BMW has a sib number 63 03 06 out for this problem and they have the guts to charge customers $400 to repair their own mistake. I think this is a serious safety violation and I believe that BMW should be held accountable by fixing all the cars out there with this known defect. Today, I saw the same thing happening to a 2008 BMW 550 at this link: forums.5series.net/index.php?showtopic=90746&St=0&P=1073957&#entry1073957 please investigate and keep people safe. Thank you.

- Framingham, MA, USA

problem #4

Nov 122009


  • 10,100 miles
2002 BMW 325I rear taillights have failed on both sides due to the wiring on both sides of the harness have either melted and ground to the other wires or melted the tabs off of the male plug.

- Boring , OR, USA

problem #3

Mar 152009


  • 60,000 miles
Rear lights are inoperative due to the connectors shorting out. I read online that it is a BMW design defect and is ground wire problem common to E46 model bmws.

- Rockville, MD, USA

problem #2

Jun 102008

325 6-cyl

  • 15,000 miles
For several years people such as myself with the BMW E46 ('99-'05 3 series) have complained of intermittently defective tail lights, brake lights, and turn signals. Result: No action taken. The following web sites document a mere fraction of the problem, which is likely to affect warm states more than cooler areas. In my case, in hot weather the entire taillight cluster will fail to illuminate--no turn signal, brake light or tail lights on one or both sides of the car. The reason: BMW used a grounding wire which was far too small to carry the current, thus resulting in melted wiring harness connectors on both tail lamp clusters. For details, please see the many photographs and text at these web sites: www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php"T=244598&highlight=taillight+wiring and forum.E46fanatics.com/showthread.php?T=533309&highlight=melted+tail+light and forum.E46fanatics.com/showthread.php"S=0fedaef77A3622F393734ba4B57add7C&T=512469&page=2 BMW has a service bulletin that includes a wiring modification: www.bmwtis.com/tsb/bulletins/bulletin_graphic_temp/B630306G.htm despite at least 4 visits to various BMW dealers while under my car's four year warranty, their solutions to this problem never lasted long. Furthermore, no BMW dealer ever installed this special wiring kit from BMW. Now that I'm out of warranty a local BMW dealer is more than willing to charge me $600 to install this special wiring kit so that rear lights will consistently work. FMVSS 108 is pretty clear: Federal law requires cars to have working lights. When there are systemic failures of a safety system such as brake lights, tail lights, turn signals, etc., and the manufacturer fails to step up and fix the problem with a voluntary recall, it then becomes time for the department of transportation to get involved. For details on FMVSS 108, please refer to the various links here: fmvss108.tripod.com/

- Bedford, TX, USA

problem #1

May 132008

325 6-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
This is for a potential fire hazard or possible rear end accident due to a known failure in the terminal block on the tail lights.

- Meridian , ID, USA

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