really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 7
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
78,802 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2004 BMW 325 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #18

Oct 022012

325 6-cyl

  • 91,500 miles


Driver side brake lamp has gone out. In researching, found that this is a common problem with this model in the led tail light and can cause a crash due to other drivers not being able to tell that you are stopping. Found recall information on NHTSA site and contacted BMW. I was informed that my specific VIN was not included in this campaign, yet the problem is the same problem that affects 241,000 other cars. I would like to ask that my situation (and VIN) be evaluated and included in the recall since this is a known issue with this model. Thank you for your assistance!

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #17

Aug 092012


  • 94,000 miles
Module that controls central locking, wipers, and several other parts (the GM5) started to develop a fault. We had problems unlocking doors, locking doors, using windows, and worst of all - the wipers were hit or miss. BMW wanted $750 for the part replacement.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #16

Jun 042012


  • 109,000 miles
The vehicle came equipped from the factory with bi-xenon auto leveling headlights manufactured by zkw. The light output of the headlights is below any vehicle that I have encountered on the road. Cars that are over 20 years old have brighter headlights. I have replaced the bulbs and it hasn't helped. Looking at it further, brown scorch marks are visible in the projector when the headlight is on. The rear of the projector is completely brown and burnt. At night, it is becoming very difficult to see. At this point I don't feel safe driving the vehicle. This problem is getting progressively worse.

- Clackamas, OR, USA

problem #15

Mar 062012


  • 50,000 miles


My BMW 325I xenon headlight bowls had melted and dimmed toa dangerous point, they are all original and unaltered.

- Caselberry, FL, USA

problem #14

Feb 152012

325 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
The vehicle had been parked approximately 15-20 minutes when we were alerted by the fire alarm in our condo building. Upon evacuating the building, we were told that our 2004 BMW 325I was on fire. We still have not been given any specific cause for the fire, except that it was probably electrical in nature. Special agents from our insurance company were also called in, who, in turn, called in two more experts. Evidence was bagged and the car was shrink wrapped to be taken to a lot with at least three other BMW's which had also caught fire while parked. This is one of the most frightening things to ever happen to us. We are posting this hoping it can help this from happening to anyone else.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #13

Jan 012010


  • 80,000 miles
I received a letter from BMW ststing there was now a recall for the bad ground wire on the rear taillight assembly that caused the metling of the connector. I had already spent $400 for the fix, now they recall the part. BMW North America took too long to do this, and I am going into the delaership to see about getting a refund for the service I paid for that they would not cover.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #12

Jun 212011

325 6-cyl

  • 75,480 miles


Right side signal light intermittent failure. When it finally failed there was a scorched wire. Upon investigation found there is a tsb from the manufacturer but only in warranty. No recall.

- Higganum, CT, USA

problem #11

Oct 012011

325 6-cyl

  • miles
During a massive rainstorm windshield wipers, radio and central looking system stop functioning properly. Looks like general module 5 has failed.

- Boca Raton, FL, USA

problem #10

Jul 062011

325 6-cyl

  • 79,000 miles
Rear turn-signal indicators began failing to operate, especially in hot, humid conditions. Inspection of wiring harness revealed evidence of wiring-connection degradation by heat or corrosion. The car has not been damaged or flooded in any way. It is kept in a garage. Since both rear blinker assemblies have been affected, I believe that the design or engineering was defective. The intermittent failure of turn signals is a serious safety hazard.

- Pittsboro, NC, USA

problem #9

Jul 052011


  • 48,717 miles
2004 BMW 325I - safety defect. Rear tail light wiring, missing additional ground wire to avoid burning bulb carrier. BMW service information bulletin issued 2/2007 reveals BMW was aware of this issue and failed to notify consumers. Purchased car cpo in March 2007 and was not told. Replaced several taillight bulbs due to intermittent false indicator lights. Finally in 2011, 1 year after car came out of warranty...removed the wiring harness connector to the bulb carrier and found it to be melting. Contacted dealer and was told it could definitely start a fire if left too long. BMW dealer also stated this is a defect on cars produced from 2001 to 2005. After doing research found that BMW has used faulty wiring and there is a additional ground wire needed to fix. Needless to say, had to pay $300 to have peace of mind and repair.

- Corona, CA, USA

problem #8

May 272011


  • 49,000 miles


Tail light working intermittently in BMW 2004 325 4 door sedan.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #7

Feb 082011

325 6-cyl

  • 50,790 miles
Just paid $419.53 for repair on my 2004 BMW 3 series for tail lamp connections and grounds. I understand that this defect is under investigation in number EA09-019. Please include me and inform me when I can submit paid bill, as I was terrified while driving in fl on turnpike when a light on my dashboard showed my rear brakes were failing. I immediately found fields BMW jin winter park fl and brought it there. They were aware of defect and told me that their fix would include grounding other rear brake light to prevent other side from failure. Thank you

- Woodstock, NY, USA

problem #6

Oct 232010


  • miles
2004 BMW 330xi sedan (E46) rear tail light indicator light consistently comes on, even though there is no tail lamp failure. Online community forums report that this is likely due to ground wire short in the tail lamp assembly. Cost of repair at dealership estimated at $700. Currently being investigated by NHTSA as EA09-019, but I'm wary of being overcharged by dealership for what should be a recall.

- La, CA, USA

problem #5

Feb 262010

325 6-cyl

  • 93,500 miles
I want to report a problem with the ignition coils in the BMW 330xi model made in the year 2004 that results in reduced ignition firing power. The engine runs rough and the "service engine soon" light illuminates. BMW had a recall on ignition coils failure in 2005 and 2006 on some models but this problem now surface on other models as well. Please investigate.

- Falls Church, VA, USA

problem #4

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

problem #3

May 012009


  • 52,000 miles
This is a formal petition for a safety defect investigation. My 2004 BMW 325xi has a left tail light that does not work because of a poor connection at the rear lamp connector (the ground wire receptacle and housing have burnt out because the ground is not strong enough for the current). My right tail light still functions but I am concerned about this side burning out as well and posing a possible fire hazard. BMW has issued a service bulletin (si B 63 03 06) which addresses this issue and says that the cause is "minor corrosion at the 8-pin rear lamp connector creates high resistance causing damage to the connector housing." BMW has not issued a recall and I am worried about getting into an accident without a properly functioning tail light.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #2

Aug 082009


  • 49,000 miles
At first I thought it was defective light bulbs (one from two different sets failed when one set was installed for my turn signal and the other from my brake lights), but as I began to do more research online, I found that other people were having an issue similar to mine. They reported that there seemed to be an electrical problem that would cause corrosion and a loose connection. So I decided to check my car out as well and discovered that the problem had afflicted my vehicle as well. I then followed the link to the technical service bulletin released by BMW, and the problem that I am having is just as they have described. One of the 8-pin rear lamp connectors has melted causing a loose connection and my car continuing to tell me that I have a dead bulb, when in fact it is the connection.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #1

Mar 012009


  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 BMW 325I. The contact stated that the faulty lamp warning indicator would intermittently illuminate on the instrument panel. The electrical harness that plugs into the rear of the lamp harness for the exterior lighting had a faulty ground in the connector. The dealer stated that the wires could not take the heat distribution, which caused the wires to fry inside the connector. The failure also caused the turn signals and rear lamps to not operate correctly. There were no recalls for the failures; however, the contact was able to locate technical service bulletins pertaining to the issues (NHTSA item numbers 10025585 and 10020856). The current and failure mileages were 85,000.

- Blackwood, NJ, USA

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