hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
80,340 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.

2004 BMW 325 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2004 BMW 325 Owner Comments

problem #5

Jul 202016

325 6-cyl

  • 7,000 miles


The vehicle (1.6 turbo) has a hesitancy to engage in acceleration relative to pressing the accelerator pedal. Once engaged, it immediately jumps out to a quick, jolting and what feels like an uncontrollable start. This typically happens at stop/start intersections where the car comes to a full and complete stop. Yesterday, (07.20.16) the vehicle choked and sputtered and almost stalled on a small rise when traffic started moving through a just-turned green light at a very busy intersection during rush hour. The tachometer winds out in a manner disproportionate to the speedometer reading. This does not mimic the effects of a turbo lag. Rather, it feels like the vehicle isn't getting a timely delivery of gas to the engine firing mechanisms (we would liken it to a dirty fuel line or a clogged carburetor on older cars), or the dual clutch system is debating whether or not to get in gear when demanded, or whatever device that interprets driver commands (pedal pushing) to engine performance isn't responding efficiently. The car has had one shop visit for this issue and the dealer (werner Hyundai, tallahassee) stated they 'reset the software." I will be taking the car back to the dealer the week of July 25, 2016. Unfortunately, I anticipate this issue will lead to a wreck, most likely from 1) being hit from behind as the car tries to figure out whether or not to accelerate, or 2) being T-boned at an intersection because the car won't accelerate through a rush-hour yellow light, or 3) being T-boned because my car launched (literally) out into oncoming traffic (that initially was at a safe distance away) once it got past the choke/sputter/stall point....updated 08/01/16

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

problem #4

Apr 122011

325 6-cyl

  • 53,500 miles
An almost fatal crash. Car was backed up from garage in the morning into the street, put in D position but there were no power to the wheels for approximately 5 to 10 seconds. Car approaching from behind on the street needed to swerve to avoid rear ending my car. This problem happens continuously when the car is cold (sitting for more than 8 hours). There is a delay of about 10 seconds for power to engage in D position. According to online customer complaints and BMW dealer, this critical safety issue is related to a software issue in the transmission. A software upgrade fixes the problem but when approaching BMW for this critical safety issue, they refuse to provide the software upgrade for free and the dealer wants to charge $360 to update the transmission software.

- El Dorado Hills, CA, USA

problem #3

Feb 162012

325 6-cyl

  • 178,200 miles
My vehicle is a BMW 325, 2004 and I have had issues with my reverse. When I place my car in reverse, it does not move. I have read of several issues pertaining to this problem in BMW vehicles from 2000 - 2005. Moreover, I understand that there was a class action law suit that was settled in NJ. I would like to understand if the NHTSA is pursuing and investigation into this matter.

- Grand Rapids, MI, USA

problem #2

Dec 102010

325 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
A year ago, I brought my 2004 BMW 325 xi in for routine maintenance. When I picked the car up, the BMW shop explained that they found premature failure of the cv outer axle boots. Both boots were split and leaking grease, and the axles were turning dry.. they replaced both boots under warranty. In December 2010, car was vibrating while riding. They stated they had to replace the right front cv shaft (axle). They did this and the vibration stopped. Naturally, this was not covered since my certified car warranty expired in July 2010. I believe BMW should have discovered the defect to the axle when they found it running dry in January. In driving the car before the repair, I believe BMW put me in jeopardy by not repairing the axle. This could definitely be a hazard, riding on a shaky defective axle.

- Lynn, MA, USA

problem #1

Nov 302009


  • 83,000 miles
At around 20K miles, the smg (sequential manual gearbox w/ paddle shifters) on my '04 325ci began experiencing many of the same problems that I've read about regarding the automatic transmission. After a cold night, the smg would not shift into reverse or drive. It would keep "clunking" over and over, continually louder, until I shifted back into neutral. I had the car towed to BMW, where they had to replace the tranny. At 83K miles, I'm starting to notice some of the same problems again. Additionally, with both trannys, the car delays its acceleration for about a second or two when starting from a stop. This has always been a problem. On top of that, my alternator just went out after a cold night. In my opinion, BMW's (at least mine) do not like the cold!

- Edmond, OK, USA

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