really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 6
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
77,418 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 1 of 2)

problem #37

Aug 192016


  • miles


NHTSA does not recognize the recalls on my 2004 BMW 325xi 4dr sedan. There were 2 recalls that are related to air bags. The NHTSA campaign numbers are #15V318000 and #14V428000. I would like to receive official confirmation that these recalls are valid so I can get the manufacturer to fix this. Please see the supporting docs attached. Also, I have been having weird electrical issues happening to the point the car wont shut off at times, headlights go out after a day, turn signal goes out, car dies, stereo wont work etc. I was wondering if other recalls were placed on this car as well?

- Trinidad, CA, USA

problem #36

Mar 292019


  • miles
My left reverse/tail light does not work. I have replaced the bulb and assembly and also have found online that there were recalls for this specific issue.

- Bowie, MD, USA

problem #35

Nov 092018


  • 137,000 miles
Car sitting in driveway of primary residence for several days after repeated heavy rains and hurricanes and spontaneously caught fire. Fire was self extinguished but started in dash on left side of steering wheel centered on the head-light control module.

- Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #34

Jan 252018


  • 40 miles


The car seat warmer burned through leather and burned through my coat. I made compliant to BMW and spoke to michael pigoncelli. BMW refused to repair the defect or to compensate me for my coat. The car has been maintained. The seat warmer will severely injure anyone who uses it if a heavy coat is not worn. I was told by the BMW dealership that the seat warmer burning through the leather and peoples skin/coat is common. BMW (newmarket, Ontario) took pictures of the damage to the seat and my coat.

- Scarborough, OR, USA

problem #33

Sep 082016


  • 100,000 miles
Vehicle adaptive xenon headlight wiring is faulty. Wire insulation is cracking/deteriorating and entire wires are breaking apart. Symptoms start with flickering xenon headlight eventually (about a week later) stops working at all. Vehicle is moving or stationary, engine on. The faulty wires are in a weather sealed compartment of the headlight and have never (to my knowledge) even been unsealed/accessed since leaving the factory. The issue is on the passenger side, unknown if it is on the driver side as well. The attached photo shows back side of the headlight housing looking down, with the weather-sealed compartment open. All exposed wire is as a result of the issue, nobody has actively cut or stripped the wires. Problem first noticed in Sept of 2016, attempts were made to repair but now it has happened again, worse.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #32

May 242017


  • 204,000 miles
My vehicle unexpectedly started on fire as my daughter was driving to school. It was determined that it was an electrical fire, and resulted in the car being totaled. The 2004 models need to be included in the recall (not that it will help with the loss of my car).

- East Bethel, MN, USA

problem #31

May 032012


  • 130,000 miles


Headlight wiring insulation on standard BMW headlights is brittle and falling off exposing bare copper wires within the headlight assembly. In order to protect the headlights I have had to wrap the wires in electrical tape and shrink wrapping. This issue has existed for several years.

- Bethlehem, PA, USA

problem #30

Oct 042015


  • 42,000 miles
The power door lock on passenger side cannot be unlocked either via remote or inside button. Worse, often when this happens, the door cannot be opened even by pulling on the handle from the inside! a passenger cannot get out of the car via the door. Furthermore, repeatedly attempts to have this fixed all fail within a short time.

- Woodside, CA, USA

problem #29

Feb 042015


  • 170,000 miles
All doors, with the exception of drivers door, are unable to open manually inside and outside. Cannot use alarm or unlock button to open either. This is of great concern considering I have two young children under my care.

- Granada Hills, CA, USA

problem #28

Nov 202014

325 6-cyl

  • 202,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 BMW 325I. The contact stated that the turn signals and the headlights failed to activate. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the light module needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 202,000. Updated 4/7/15

- Myrtle Beach, SC, USA

problem #27

Oct 162014


  • 53,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 BMW 325I. The contact stated that after parking the vehicle, the doors would not unlock. The contact attempted to unlock the doors manually and by using the key fob but failed to respond. The failure recurred several times. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The failure could not be duplicated or diagnosed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 53,000.

- Kansas City, KS, USA

problem #26

Jan 092015

325 6-cyl

  • 128,000 miles
I was not able to unlock my car with my car key. I was able to hear the click sound on pressing the unlock button on the key but nothing was happening. After numerous attempts for about 10 minutes car got unlocked. Now I'm having this problem on/off basis. I took the car to the local BMW dealer. After diagnose they said I have a failed general module which will cost me around $1000. This is way too much for car for it's total value of around $7000. This is scary since I'm not able to trust the locking system on my car. Sometime I'm not able to lock at all and at sometime I'm not able to unlock anything.

- Union City, CA, USA

problem #25

Nov 012014


  • 74,000 miles
The heating element on my 2004 BMW X3 caught on fire while I was driving. I don't use it often, but had noticed a hot smell when I did use it and that it would be too warm in the lumbar and hip region. The fire actually burned about a dime size hole in the driver side left seat panel (under the thigh). After reading of many others having the same or worse experiences, I am glad I immediately shut if off, although it still burned all the way through the leather. Please advise me of next steps I should take. I have shut off the heater and will no longer use it. With so many complaints, I would think this would result in a recall. Thanks for your advice.

- Olathe, KS, USA

problem #24

Oct 212014


  • 156,000 miles
Wire loosing coating on inside of adaptive headlights, causing shorts or broken wires where the headlights and or turn signals will fail to work. Wire is very brittle as this is also roughly 20 gauge wire. This can be an extreme hazard especially at night. This seems to be affecting BMW's 3/5/6/ series from at least 2004 to 2008 from my independent research. Many pictures and complaints on various BMW forums to document this problem. My problem occurred when I lost one headlight on my way home in the dark and an indicator came on to identify a fault in the headlight. Originally I though it was a bulb, changed bulb and it still did not work. Further investigation led to a broken wire inside of the headlight assembly. I fixed the broken wire and then noticed two more wires where the coating on the wire seem to have flaked off causing bare wire. I also fixed those wires and all was well. A day or two later, the indicator came on again pointing to the same headlight. This time the turn signal was out. I opened the access panel to check the wiring and now a forth wire has been severed, however I can not fix it as it is down pretty far inside the headlight and to repair would require removing the headlight and taking it apart. Apparently BMW used biodegradable wire for the headlights?? source of the headlight is believed to be hella. Supposedly BMW knows about the issue but unwilling to fix unless you purchase a $800-1500 new headlight. This is crazy for a car that is 10 years old and well maintained. This is a safety hazard as you will can loose a headlight in the dark and maybe both headlights going out, plus the fact of bare wires that can short and cause a fire.

- Glendale, AZ, USA

problem #23

Aug 012012

325 6-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
As reported by other owners, the bi-xenon headlights no longer light up the road. It is a safety hazard and is a known issue with headlights manufactured by zkw on 2003-2005 BMW 330 models. The reflector bowls on these units burn out over time and reduce the headlights ability to reflect light. Driving at night is literally no better with the headlights on or off. I have to rely on my fog lights just to see anything. Please look into this safety issue as it is wide-spread. Replacement of headlights is expensive at $1300 ea, this has to be resolved by BMW immediately.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #22

Jan 222014

325 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
Cannot open the 3 passenger doors from interior. Passengers cannot exit the car.

- Aptos, CA, USA

problem #21

Feb 182013


  • miles
My bi-xenon headlights have been slowly fading resulting in extremely poor visibility during normal nightime driving. This degradation has been occurring without my knowledge until it became obvious after driving another vehicle. As it turns out, my mechanic has advised there is a common issue with certain BMW assemblies that the projector lenses literally burn due to heat resulting in the need to replace the entire assembly. This loss of headlight intensity resulting in poor visibility is a significant safety situation and request someone look into why no recall has occurred as this is obviously a safety concern. I have entered today's date as incident date as I am not sure when degradation of the projectors began.

- Davie, FL, USA

problem #20

Feb 162008

325 6-cyl

  • 80,450 miles
Door locks intermittently will not unlock with switch or remotes. Central locking does not work even when using the key fob. My kids and I have been trapped in the car on several occasions for up to 10 minutes. This is a serious risk to my life and the life of others on the road. BMW refuses to fix this problem. I have video of me trapped in the car. I addressed his problem with BMW before my warranty was up but they state since the technicians could not identity any problem it's not covered. I researched this issue and this is an ongoing problem with other customers.

- Menifee , CA, USA

problem #19

Nov 092012


  • 63,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 BMW 325ci. The contact stated that she noticed there was a leak from under the front of the vehicle. The contact then attempted to start the vehicle but to no avail. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for inspection where they advised her that the battery failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified but provided no assistance. The failure mileage was 63,000.

- Montebella, CA, USA

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

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