really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
23,600 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 325 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 BMW 325 Owner Comments

problem #5

Jan 212008

325 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 77,000 miles


I recently purchased a 2003 BMW 325I in December 2007. Today (January 21, 2008), my wife drove the car to work and parked said vehicle in her required parking space. Than about two hours later a local police officer came in and informed her that the BMW started by itself and crashed into the police department. The vehicle was in first gear and some how started with no one in the car. This vehicle came with a remote start feature which is located on the key. The keys were on the desk and my wife was not in the same building there the keys were. My wife was actually in the police department working on their computer. There was damage to the front hood. A police report was filed.

- Lincoln, DE, USA

problem #4

Apr 032006

325 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I was driving through an intersection at approximately 15 mph when I was struck in the driver and passenger doors by a vehicle who was running a red light. The other driver did not see me and struck me at full speed, probably around 45 mph. My vehicle was hit so hard that it spun around and slid about half a block. None of the airbags, including the side impact airbags, deployed, and the engine did not shut off. The car was deemed a total loss by my insurance company.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #3

Feb 212005

325 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
I've had this car for only 2 years and the ignition coils have been replaced three times now. The events include the "service engine soon" light coming on and the car vibrating and idling rough. The car eventually stalls and cannot be driven and must be towed. BMW is aware of this problem with the ignition coils because they have an internal service bulletin on the problem. Even after replacing all 6 coils the second time, the problem has happened again for the third time. There is a definite design issue with this car that BMW has refused to address.

- Scotch Plains, NJ, USA

problem #2

Feb 042004

325 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,000 miles
Intermittent severe engine miss. Engine hesitation/failure to accelerate. Engine surges and has very rough idle. Transmission failure to up shift (maximum speed is approximately 50 mph). Service engine soon light illuminates, but not always (intermittent). With less than 9,000 miles this car has been towed in three times for this and other failures which have left the car undriveable. BMW dealership service personnel have replaced many parts, without success, as far as we know (more later). These engine events can occur spontaneously, and are not always indicated by a "service engine soon" light illumination. The most dangerous situations are when it occurs as one comes to a stop before entering high speed traffic or when making a left turn. Because the problem can occur spontaneously, if the engine were to stall or begin to run on less than its full complement of cylinders, it could leave one exposed to oncoming traffic with no way to accelerate. Very dangerous. Internet seaching after the latest "repair" attempt has exposed a "secret" BMW bulletin regarding bremi ignition coils. (apparently, this is the same coil brand used in the VW/Audi cars with similar problems two years ago.) all six ignition coils, spark plugs, and a host of other parts have been replaced thus far. Unknown if these attempts were successful as this car is no longer being driven--it's fate awaits a possible law suit against BMW. I strongly urge the NHTSA to recall every BMW with these coils, in addition to addressing BMW's efforts to not publicize this information more readily. Please feel free to contact me if you have additional questions. Mark peters pylt@comcast.net

- Bedford, TX, USA

problem #1

Dec 012003

325 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,000 miles
I purchased a new 2003 BMW 325 in July, 2003 from performance BMW in chapel hill, nc. The ignition coil had to be replaced today on the #2 cylinder. The vehicle currently has 8,000 miles on it. I was told by mel, the service tech at performance BMW in chapel hill, nc, that BMW has had problems with the ignition coils on the 2003 and 2004 models and that because of these problems BMW has switched vendors for these ignition coils and no longer uses the vendor that supplied the parts for my car. Since there a 6 ignition coils in my car, that means that at any point in time any one of the other 5 ignition coils could fail and leave me stranded as happened today. I asked the dealer to replace all the igniton coils in my car that were supplied by this vendor seeing as I am a female who travels frequenctly for business through rural areas where it would be easy for me to be stranded. The dealer refused saying that the other coils have not yet failed so they cannot replace them. It appears to me that this is a known quality and safety issue with this product, for which BMW is unwilling to stand behind it's product.

- Durham, NC, USA

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