hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
89,533 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 BMW 325 Owner Comments

problem #8

May 092010


  • 153,000 miles


In a matter of two hours my 325I was running fine to not going in reverse at all. I have been researching this problem and it seems to be happening in a lot of cars my year and type. This is a safety hazard because there is no warning, one minute you can back up next it is just stalled in reverse. BMW needs to stand up and see that their product has a defect and potentially can cause injuries. The dealership I called said it's is the transmission, let's set up an appt and bring it in. It still goes no problem at all in drive. Someone please help!!!!

- Mount Airy, GA, USA

problem #7

Feb 112010


  • 60,000 miles
Transmission fails to operate when placed in reverse vehicle has 60,000 miles.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #6

Dec 112009


  • 135,000 miles
BMW 2002 325I with 135K miles on it reverse gear does not work. I started my car let it idle for 3-5 minutes since the temperature outside was cold. I shifted into reverse gear, and nothing happened. I had just parked the car approximately 2 hours earlier. There was no indication prior to this incident that there was a problem with the transmission. On the next morning I called the local BMW dealership and explained what had happened. They stated that I needed to replace the transmission. How can you determine that from a phone conversation, I wondered. I pushed the car out of my garage and proceeded to a mechanic. When I completed my dialogue of what had occurred he responded that I was number 4 for him this year. A replacement transmission cost between $3K - $5K. I returned home and began my unofficial internet research...I am not alone and BMW of na is doing nothing to address the manufacturer's defect. I consider this a safety issue. Suppose I was 100S of miles away or if I was in a position where I need to use reverse to get out of harms way and it did not work. As other BMW owners have stated, at least my Chevy or Ford used to tell me that it was sick and needed some attention. BMW has no maintenance requirement for this transmission. I am assuming that they think it is replace upon failure. Unacceptable, the part that failed is called the drum. A band breaks and the reverse gear is broken. They have modified the materials in the newer drums to alleviate the problem. That tells me that they are aware that the material they installed in my vehicle was inadequate. I have not repaired the vehicle at this time still shopping around for options. This is a safety issue and a recall is warranted.

- Iselin, NJ, USA

problem #5

May 122009


  • 99,000 miles


BMW 325 2002 under 100K miles with transmission problem. Jmk springfield BMW said hey could fix for $500 I agreed to go ahead. After the work completion they called me back to tell me problem still exists but they still charged me $540. They say I need to pay another $700 to try the next 'gear selection switch change' suggestion. And if that fails they'll change the gear box for $5K. I think this should be a recall. Gearbox should not fail on ultimate driving machine under 100K miles.

- Belleville, NJ, USA

problem #4

Aug 202008


  • 52,000 miles
Transmission failure, reverse gear doesn't work.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #3

Jun 062008


  • 92,000 miles
BMW 2002 325 I with 92,000 miles, transmission failure, car will not go into reverse, same situation many people are experiencing with 99-2004 models.

- San Ramon, CA, USA

problem #2

Apr 072007

325 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,955 miles
After 100,000+ miles of normal operation the 2002, BMW X5 4.4 began exhibiting unusual transmission operation. At random times, during start up, the transmission shifted to neutral, allowing the engine to rev very high, then engage in 1st, causing an abrupt lurch forward. Also, it will experience this disengagement sometimes when down shifting into passing gear, causing the engine to rev, and a loss of forward motion, and then an abrupt engagement, resulting in a major lurch forward. This was a major safety issue, as you cannot be certain the transmission will engage or disengage when pulling into traffic or performing passing maneuvers. After researching this problem there is considerable information about this on the internet as it is a common problem, and has been identified now for more than 3 years. It is related to zf supplied transmissions on BMW and Jaguar vehicles, and is attributed to the controlling software the BMW dealer suggested I replace the transmission at a cost of $7,600, and has not indicated a willingness to explore software solutions or admit any common problem existed. Reports on the internet indicated that sometimes a software update will cure this problem, and sometimes not, as it occurred in both old and new vehicles. As an expert in this field, I am still conducting my own analysis, but am coming to the conclusion that this is a BMW and zf problem that needs further investigation by NHTSA as a critical safety hazard in the affected vehicles.

- Aptos, CA, USA

problem #1

Feb 292004

325 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,312 miles
My 2002 BMW 325ci engine stalled as I was slowing down to exit the freeway. The dash lights lit up and my engine shutoff. As I was rolling to a stop (good thing no one was in front or behind me), I put the car into neutral and restarted the engine. The engine started back up and I was able to continue to drive. I have an automatic transmission with steptronic. This has happened one other time a few months back when leaving a gas station where I needed to come to a stop and pressed the brake and the engine turned off. I didn't think of it as a problem then but coming off the freeway at 65mph to braking and the engine shutting down now that's a problem. I have also noticed that when I put the car into reverse, that it take about 3-5 seconds for the gear to engage from park or drive. My car is currently at the dealer since yesterday; crevier BMW is talking with BMW na in New Jersey about possible fixes for the transmission. I have a service loaner in the meantime.

- Tustin, CA, USA

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