hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
65,910 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 lights problems

lights problem

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2004 BMW 325 Owner Comments (Page 3 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #48

Oct 282011

325 6-cyl

  • 78,000 miles


My car is subject to recall campaign no. 11V-438: Lamps in rear quarter panel. I had this repaired on 10/28/11 at murray motors in glendale Colorado. The invoice # is[xxx] and the service advisor is [xxx] (303-759-4646). I can provide a copy of the documentation. I had this repair done at an authorized BMW center, submitted the invoice detailing the cost and nature of the repair to BMW customer relations in westwood, NJ via us mail, and they refuse to pay it. I received only a phone call from "[xxx]" at BMW customer relations saying that they won't pay it. It is disappointing that BMW refuses to abide by the requirements of the national traffic and motor vehicle Safety Act. I would appreciate any help that you can provide in getting BMW to abide by federal law. Thanks! information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #47

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 #46

May 272009

325 6-cyl

  • miles
Bought my vehicle brand new from BMW dealership & after about 5 years of having my car, I noticed that my xenon headlights were not shining as bright as they usually did. Over time I eventually had to use the high beams at night in order to see while driving. I had the passenger side headlight replaced after an accident in Nov 2010 & recently went to have the driver side headlight checked to see why it wasn't illuminating as it should be. It was found that the protective sheath covering the wires in the headlight had dry rotted/desintegrated & there was hardly any sheath covering the wires, due to the heat generated by the xenon light. In addition, it was found that the projector bulb reflector had melted & burned out, also due to the heat generated by the xenon light & is why the light no longer illuminates as it should. I contacted BMW due to my findings & because many other BMW owners with the same year and model vehicle have experienced similar issues & BMW has been unwilling to address the issue. There is clearly a defect in the light design given the number of owners who have had this same issue and the fact that zkw & BMW has since changed the design of the xenon headlight in newer models & the newer design doesn't have this issue. BMW need to be accountable for this design defect & replace the headlight with the newer design because replacing the headlight costs over $1200 dollars each light & being that the replacement lights have the same design defect you will find yourself having to replace the headlights every 4 to 5 years because it to will burn out and the projector bulb reflector is not sold separately & the entire lights has to be replaced. I can visibly see areas on the replaced headlight where the projector bulb reflector has already started to melt & burn & I have only had that light a little over a year.

- Snellville, GA, USA

problem #45

Jan 032010

325 6-cyl

  • miles


Bought my BMW brand new from the dealership and after about 5 years of having my car, I noticed that my xenon headlights were not shining as bright as they usually did. Had to use the high beams at night in order to see while driving. After having only one headlight replaced due to cost. Have always gotten a dash warning light that indicates no high beams. Had lights checked out and was told that the high beam was not getting power in the light that was replaced despite the fact that this was a brand new headlight with wiring harness. After having other light checked, it was found that all the wires in the light had dry rotted and all the protective covering had just about come off the wires obviously due to the heat that is generated by the xenon light. Contacted BMW North America regarding the matter and got no resolution despite the fact that there is clearing a defeat in the headlights and it's wiring. Have had the igniter, ballast and control box checked by switching it out with the new headlight parts and the unreplaced headlight still illuminated dim as it did before switching out the part.

- Snellville, GA, USA

problem #44

Jan 162012

325 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
The bi-xenon projector headlights on my car do not produce the focused light that they did when the car was purchased. Investigation has produced evidence that the plastic xenon reflector bowls have lost their reflective material and that the plastic reflector bowl is now deteriorated and brown. The pattern of where the reflective material has disappeared indicates that the vapor deposited reflective material has failed due to the heat generated by the headlight bulb. Other headlights in the BMW 3 series line have metal bowls and do not display the same problem. I've spoken to my BMW dealer and BMW of America and registered a complaint but received no assistance. If the projector bowls were available as replacement items I wouldn't be as un-happy unfortunately that's not the case and to rectify the problem it requires the customer to purchase headlight assemblies at around $1200 per side. As I am an engineer by profession I would consider this a design defect due to a poor choice of material capabilities and/or material compatibilities. I consider this to be a safety issue due to the fact that this occurs over time leaving the owner operator with slow deterioration of light quality. I would appreciate your assistance in holding BMW responsible for the safety of their customers and others on the our highways. I had notice the reduced light quality but was blaming it on the condition of my headlight lenses. But after having my headlight lenses reconditioned the lighting condition continued. Leaving me to investigate and find that this is a common issue with other BMW 3 series automobiles.

- South Lyon, MI, USA

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problem #43

Dec 012011

325 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
The vehicle came equipped from the factory with bi-xenon auto leveling headlights manufactured by zkw. The past couple months, the light output has steadily decreased. Looking at it further, brown scorch marks are visible in the projector when the headlight is on. On the driver's side, there is also distortion in the upper half of the projector which looks almost as if the top half of the projector has melted and distorted. The light output from the projectors has been reduced to a thin beam of light right below the cutoff, with the driver's side being worse than the passenger. Parked 6 feet away from a wall, this strip of light extends only about 8-12" below the cutoff, putting out virtually no light below that. At night, it is becoming very difficult to see with no light in the foreground; this problem is getting progressively worse.

- Scotts Valley, CA, USA

problem #42

Jun 012010

325 6-cyl

  • miles


The bi-xenon zkw lights kept getting dimmer and dimmer. Bulb replacement did not correct the problem. When looked into the issue found out that the zkw projector bowls have burned up and do not provide any reflection for the light output anymore. Driving at night at this point with lights on is almost like driving with the lights turned off.

- Waxahachie, TX, USA

problem #41

Feb 172012

325 6-cyl

  • miles
My 2004 BMW 330 equipped with bi-xenon headlights is experiencing greatly reduced light output. Upon research on BMW forums, the problem is due to plastic reflectors in the light housing manufactured by zkw. This is a safety issue as the light output decreases slowly over time as the heat from the xenon bulb burns the coating off the reflector and leaves a burnt amber color as the plastic degrades. BMW refuses to replace the defective part under goodwill or cpo warranty, and classifies it as a wear item, which is incorrect. Bulbs are wear items, not any non-moving part in the housing. This is a serious safety issue, especially for owners who are not aware due to the gradual degradation of lighting quality.

- Cedar Knolls, NJ, USA

problem #40

Dec 012008

325 6-cyl

  • 77,000 miles
Factory bi-xenon headlights gradually dimmed. By 77K miles the light output was too dim to safely drive at night. Compared to a new model at dealer with xenon lights and found very noticeable difference. Mechanic analysis found metallized plastic reflectors on xenon bulbs had burned and lost their reflectivity. Replacement reflectors are not sold as service parts by BMW, so remedy involves complete replacement of headlight assembly.

- Export, PA, USA

problem #39

Jan 062012

325 6-cyl

  • 123,000 miles
The zkw projector bowls are burned out on the headlight fixtures, reducing light output and visiblity. After some research, it is evident that this is not an isolated incident. BMW needs to address this safety issue.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #38

Feb 112012

325 6-cyl

  • miles


The xenon projector bowls are made of plastic, which eventually burns. This diminishes the light output so drastically that it is incredibly difficult to see at night. The "burning" of the plastic bowl also seems like it might cause the bowl itself to melt or catch fire.

- Schaumburg, IL, USA

problem #37

Jan 072012

325 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
Headlights have gradually lowered light output to the point that the vehicle is unsafe to operate in dark conditions. This condition has apparently happened to many other vehicles of the same make and model, and may have something to do with the low beam reflectors on 2003-2004 zkw hid headlights were made of some material that degraded when subjected to the heat produced by oem xenon bulbs.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #36

Dec 232008


  • 35,000 miles
Extremely low output. Very dim.

- Graham, AL, USA

problem #35

Oct 302011


  • 73,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 BMW 325I. The contact was driving 25 mph and attempting a left turn when the turn signal and the brake light failed as the brakes were depressed. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic. The manufacturer was contacted and they advised the contact that the VIN did not qualify for the repairs under NHTSA campaign id number: 11V438000 (exterior lighting: Tail lights). The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 73,000 and the current mileage was 80,000.

- Winter Park, FL, USA

problem #34

Aug 012008


  • miles
My 2004 BMW 330I, with zkw produced headlight components, suffers from what appears to be a known issue with the projector bulb reflectors burning after approximately 50,000 miles of driving time. This results in a diminished light output, and is a definite safety concern. Please address this issue as I believe BMW is aware of the issue, yet will do nothing to remedy the issue with it's owners.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #33

May 012008

325 6-cyl

  • 38,520 miles
Zkw xenon headlights equipped on the car have a plastic reflector bowl for the low beam. The oem light bulb burns hot and melted the plastic reflector bowl. This causes a severe loss of projected light to the road. Many times I have to drive with high beams on to see more than 10-15 ft in front of the car cause me to blind other drivers. BMW nor zkw recognize this as an issue and my dealer suggested I buy a whole new headlight assembly for 1.5K (each side) to fix the issue. This should be recalled because it is a design failure. The later versions on the zkw headlights use metal reflector bowls (not interchangeable with earlier version) so the issue is know to them.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #32

Dec 012011

325 6-cyl

  • miles
The driver's side rear tail light assembly failed. Received a warning indicator light on the dash panel. Replacing the bulbs in the assembly failed to correct the problem. Researching this issue I discovered there has been an equipment recall for failed tail light assemblies.

- Mcdonough, GA, USA

problem #31

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 #30

Sep 012011

325 6-cyl

  • miles
The bi-xenon zkw lights kept getting dimmer and dimmer. Bulb replacement did not correct the problem. When looked into the issue found out that the zkw projector bowls have burned up and do not provide any reflection for the light output anymore. Driving at night at this point with lights on is almost like driving with the lights turned off.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #29

Aug 162010

325 6-cyl

  • miles
Problem began with rear right tail light working intermittently. Now the problem is occurring with the left tail light and front right signal. Problem prevents other drivers from knowing when I am braking or making a right turn. I have tried replacing bulbs but problem still persist and appears to be a problem with the wiring. I have called BMW North America to inquire about recall and I have not received any solid information on how to have my vehicle repaired.

- Freeport, NY, USA

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