hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
128,336 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.

2000 BMW 328 suspension problems

suspension problem

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2000 BMW 328 Owner Comments

problem #18

Nov 302016


  • 159,001 miles


Car was making unhealthy noises while being driven and also when getting on and off the the vehicle. Noises were coming from the rear and mostly underneath, as time goes by the noises were progressively gotten worse. I finally took it to a shop to get it checked out and the mechanic found that the sub-frame completely ripped off from the main frame of the car. The mechanic advised that it's very dangerous to operate the vehicle and that the problem can or may cause a serious accident, even death.

- Spring Valley, CA, USA

problem #17

Mar 082016


  • miles
I brought this car on 3-2-16 was told there was no issues. Same day I drove it was making a noise I immediately call them they said I can bring it up too the shop the next day where I brought the car from. Went too shop no answer no one was there so I left I then made appt too get it check out for 3/8/16 they told me bad news and car is unsafe too drive I went back too the shop there not even trying too refund me any money back.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #16

Sep 252015


  • 172,000 miles
Rear driver's side subframe mount point failure. The car has gone through class action suit in 2009, and was inspected by BMW in 2010--was told everything is ok and it will not fail since only ones with visible defect will fail. But mine failed anyway 5 years later. This shows even if the damage/defect is not visible it can manifest itself at any time. I was driving about 20mph on city streets going straight, accelerating from a stop, shifting gears from 2nd to 3rd when a loud explosive bang was heard from the rear with an alarming jolt that triggered an interial lock on seatbelts, made all occupants scream in shock and children crying. Inspection of undercarriage revealed that the floor pan where the rear driver side subframe attaches to has completely shattered, leaving driver side of the subframe, differential, and rear axle floating with chunks of sheetmetal from mount point missing. I have been advised by two independent mechanics that this is a dangerous failure and I should not be driving the car, and the only reason of failure is defect in the car. Mechanics believe this failure poses serious safety hazard saying it can easily separate the rear axle and if this happens while driving, the separated rear axle will pull on the emergency brake cable and lock it up, immediately stopping the car. If this happens on a freeway it can cause catastrophic collision incident, endangering lives. They were shocked the car was never formally recalled for safety. Hundreds of cars are affected and this is just one glimpse of the extent of the failures: forum.E46fanatics.com/showpost.php?P=16850066&postcount=1473 it is appalling that such dangerous defect that is so well-known and prevalent in 1999-2000 BMW 3 series has never been recalled to make BMW accountable. Repair estimate min. $5000

- Burlingame, CA, USA

problem #15

Jan 012016

328 6-cyl

  • miles


2000 BMW 328I. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle defective subframe structure issues. The consumer stated a recent inspection, revealed the sub-frame was cracked. With the crack, the consumer was no longer able to safely drive the vehicle. The consumer was never informed of the defect which was the subject of a class action suit launched against BMW of North America.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #14

Feb 252015

328 6-cyl

  • 163,000 miles
I was driving 20 mph and accidentally hit a pot hole in the road. After doing so the 2000 BMW 328I drove normally. However after this incident I began to hear a clunking noise in the rear area of the vehicle every time I put the vehicle in drive. I took it to the repair shop for an analysis and was told there is a tear in the subframe. The mechanic told me the car is not repairable because the 1999 to 2006 BMW 3 series have a manufacturing subframe defect, and that once the differential begins to separate from the defective subframe the vehicle is rendered worthless. He said that the vehicle is totally unsafe to drive been with trying to repair it because of the inherent defect. I called my insurance company, usaa, explained the problem and filed a claim. Their adjuster looked at the vehicle and reported that it is a total loss and is unsafe to drive. However, the adjuster said usaa will not pay anything on the claim because it is a pre-existing manufacturing defect that BMW should be responsible for. I contacted BMW and found that a class action lawsuit was filed years ago because of the manufacturing subframe defect rendering the vehicles unsafe to drive and worthless. BMW paid for repairs to re-weld the subframe but quit paying in 2006. BMW accepts no responsibility for its defective manufacturing of my car, so now I have a car that is totally worthless and can only be sold for parts. BMW's refusal to recall and be responsible for the model years for which it manufactured defective subframes, thereby creating a safety hazard that could end in death for the car's occupants, is inexcusable. BMW should take responsibility and be required to recall all of the affected vehicles and reimburse all persons like myself for manufacturing a defective car that is a serious safety hazard and causes the vehicles to become worthless once a tear occurs in the subframe.

- Snellville, GA, USA

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problem #13

Jan 012010


  • 135,000 miles
I own a 2000 BMW 328 ci. It also has had a rear end sub frame failure that they have been found at fault for by the state of ca in a lawsuit dated in 2006. I brought my car to their attention and they admitted thier failed design, and because someone had to tried to repair it before they sold it to me, of course without informing me about, they refused to do warranty work on it, because a feeble attempt at reinforcing a failed sub frame mount. Fast forward to now, they offered me 2000 dollars on a 6100 dollar repair because they have admitted fault. Now they re-nagged their offer, because rather than doing it their way, I had the mounts upgraded with better steel and mounts rather than use their failed design. They continue to tell me they are doing me a favor, when it is their failed design in the first place, which they admit to. When is it a favor for buying a car that has a failed frame design, and having the company not take responsibility for it when the failure could be the rear end falling out, as has occurred to many people, and something they admit to. This is very dangerous, and also goes against every type of design ethics thought to exist. When companies fail on this caliber, it has the same potential to kill someone for something they know nothing about.

- Redding, CA, USA

problem #12

Jul 232013

328 6-cyl

  • 192,000 miles


The left rear subframe mount torn away from the vehicle unibody/frame mounting location. The rear body metal fatigue was caused from loading and unloading of the drive train due to an engineering design defect. This occurred under normal driving conditions and is a known defect by BMW. A class action law suit required BMW to fix the problem from 2009 to 2010, but there are still many vehicles on the road that have not been repaired or the metal fatigue showed up after the 2010 deadline for repair. This is a major defect making the vehicle unsafe to drive because the rear axle can separate from the vehicle. This should be a vehicle recall and all BMW E46 3 series should have the rear subframe mounting points repaired and reinforced by BMW at no cost.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #11

Mar 272013

328 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
I was leaving my driveway when all of a sudden I heard horrible noise's coming from under the driver side rear wheel. I then jacked up my car to see if anything was visually wrong and couldn't believe what I saw the rear subframe that bolts to the bottom of my car had riped through the metal. Scary!

- Molalla, OR, USA

problem #10

Mar 032013

328 6-cyl

  • 150,205 miles
This is a follow-up complaint to my NHTSA-ODI 10503685 incident description, which describes a serious subframe failure that occurred to my car. The fortunate survivors of the many subframe failure incidents who filed a BMW 3-series automobile subframe failure complaint have alleged that the failure was caused by a defective subframe assembly design in these cars. According to the NHTSA, all "complaint information will be entered into NHTSA-ODI's vehicle owner's complaint database and used with other complaints to determine if a safety-related defect trend exists." "if a safety-related defect exists in a motor vehicle or item of motor vehicle equipment, the manufacturer must provide a remedy at no cost to the owner." "we do not have to receive a specific number of complaints before we look into a problem." "we gather all available information on a problem." "your complaint is important to us." This complaint specifically alleges that the many BMW 3-series subframe failure safety complaints have (1) not been used by the NHTSA "to determine if a safety-related defect trend exists." (2) BMW is not providing a remedy at no cost to owners because the NHTSA has either not investigated the complaints at all, or has not investigated them sufficiently to determine if a safety-related defect trend exists (!) (3) these complaints are of the utmost importance to all of us who have filed the complaints. The mission of the NHTSA should be to determine if a safety-related defect trend exists in order to prevent crashes, fires, injuries, and fatalities; not vice versa. NHTSA, I am asking you to promptly investigate these BMW 3-series subframe failure safety complaints in order to determine once and for all if a safety-related defect trend exists.

- Manhattan Beach, CA, USA

problem #9

Mar 032013


  • 150,205 miles
The rear subframe assembly tore off at the left rear differential/axle mount points, rendering the car unsafe to drive. BMW of North scottsdale (scottsdale, AZ) inspected the damage and verified that the car was unsafe to drive. The failure occurred on a smooth highway. Inspections by BMW of North scottsdale, penske automotive collision, and Mercury auto insurance agents found no evidence of impact. The consensus of expert opinion is that the failure was due to metal fatigue, and that this is a major safety issue with BMW E46 3 series automobiles. The inevitable subframe failure in these cars, in many instances having occurred at low odometer mileage, has the potential to cause a major accident and consequent loss of life. I was totally unaware of this safety issue in my car before the failure occurred, because BMW has never issued a recall campaign for inspection and repair.

- Manhattan Beach, CA, USA

problem #8

Dec 262012

328 6-cyl

  • 136,000 miles


Around christmas of 2012 I started to notice a clunking noise in the rear of my car when torque is applied to the body of the car by the differential. This is an indication of the body's subframe failing. BMW needs to issue a full recall for early model E46 cars. I do not have a job and now my car is a hazard to drive due to this issue; this makes it nearly impossible for me to fix effectively.

- Henrico, VA, USA

problem #7

Jul 012012

328 6-cyl

  • 133,000 miles
Heard a squeaking noise from near my rear differential. Lifted the car and found that the subframe had pulled the mount from the body causing the car to become difficult to control and nearly sideswiped a person in the next lane.

- Mountlake Terrace, WA, USA

problem #6

Feb 062012


  • 160,000 miles
On February 6, 2012 exiting the freeway an about a mile or so after, I heard this big clunk that came from the rear, stopped and pulled over to see what that was. Looked under the car and the rear axel was hanging and subframe was severely damaged. Took it to the dealer the next day for inspection and called bmwna to file the claim. They will not pay for the repair and offered 50% of the cost. My car has 160K miles and it is in excellent condition besides this faulty engineered by BMW and they will not pay. Luckily I am still alive. How about if I was still on the freeway driving and this thing happened and caused an accident? this is really serious! safety of myself and other people. I am still dealing with bmwna to cover for the really expensive repair that this incident created. It was a defect from the manufacturer and now they do not want to take responsibility. Please help!!!

- Santa Monica , CA, USA

problem #5

Jan 172012

328 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
The rear of the car started making a loud thumping sound one day. After inspection on a shop lift, the vehicle was found to have multiple cracks and fractures in the rear sub frame mount locations. Upon research it was determined that it was due to metal fatigue in the general areas.

- Lawrenceville, GA, USA

problem #4

Nov 052010

328 6-cyl

  • 141,640 miles
Subframe crack!! on October 24, 2006, [xxx] filed a class action complaint against BMW of North America, alleging that 1999-2006 BMW 3 series vehicles suffer from defective sub-frames. According to the complaint, the constant loading and unloading associated with normal driving can weaken the sub-frame to the point where it cracks and separates from the chassis, resulting in thousands of dollars of damage to the vehicle. The complaint alleges that BMW was aware of the alleged sub-frame defect, but failed to notify consumers or pay for sub-frame repairs under warranty. On March 3, 2009, hon. Judge [xxx] granted preliminary approval of a proposed class settlement, under which BMW will reimburse E46 owners or lessees in full for their sub-frame repair expenses. As part of the settlement, BMW has also agreed to implement a national sub-frame inspection and repair program. All current owners and lessees of a 1999-2006 BMW 3 series vehicle will be notified of the sub-frame problem and will have one year to present their vehicle for a free inspection and repair (if needed). The court is scheduled to decide whether to finally approve the proposed settlement on August 3, 2009. I've called bmwna but they won't help me. Just simply claim the "lawsuit is over." Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Hamilton, NJ, USA

problem #3

Nov 012011

328 6-cyl

  • 128,000 miles
I heard a squeaking noise coming from the rear end, took it to my mechanic, and was told the subframe has torn off of the rear suspension. He checked to see if there is a recall, but none has been found. He did notice online that this has been an ongoing problem, with many complaints, and that a class action lawsuit had been filed.

- Bradenton, FL, USA

problem #2

Nov 122011

328 6-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
I had heard that subframe failure was extremely common on BMW E46 models (1999-2006) but had no problems, until today. I was driving my 2000 BMW 328I when suddenly there was a loud pop, the steering became lose and there was a constant knocking noise. Once I got it home I looked under the car and sure enough the sub-frame had ripped completed away from the body, the entire drivers side was ripped out leaving two big hole in the under body of the car. I did some research and found there was a successful class action lawsuit against BMW na but that claims had to be filed by 2010. They are not refusing to fix it. This is a clearly dangerous situation and there are 10's of thousands of others in online boards who are experiencing the exact same thing.

- Lehi, UT, USA

problem #1

Jan 132009


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2000 BMW 328ic. The contact stated that when applying the brakes, the brakes would exhibit a loud thump from the rear of the vehicle feeling similar to being struck from the rear. The dealer inspected the vehicle and advised that the rear bushings were failing. The contact stated that they received notification of an unknown recall two years prior for the problem. The manufacturer advised that the vehicle was not listed under any recalls for the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 120,000 and the current mileage was 125,000.

- Alabaster, AL, USA

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