really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
117,000 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.

2002 BMW 330 engine problems

engine problem

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2002 BMW 330 Owner Comments

problem #4

Mar 012013


  • 200,000 miles


This is not as much a complaint as a request for help. Since March of 2013 I have replaced 5 throttle bodies and 3 gas pedal sensors, all oem parts. The problem that happened again today: Driving at normal highway speed [55/60] the eml, traction control and brake warning lights all went on. Pulled over and turned off. Restarted, now "service engine, eml, traction control and brake lights" were on. Turned off, restarted, same lighting situation, very rough idle and car would not drive, as it was struggling for fuel. Unplugged the "mass air flow sensor": car started, displayed no warning lights, drove fine about 8 miles to repair shop. Code read shows, "throttle position sensor", replaced..same problem within minutes of driving. A little internet research on E46 finds this an all to common problem with no solution. Thanks in advance.

- Mt. Airy, MD, USA

problem #3

Aug 202012

330 6-cyl

  • 108,000 miles
I was driving on a highway with cruise set and then all of a sudden I got a service engine soon light on.

- Alameda, CA, USA

problem #2

Apr 302011

330 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
Car was driven daily. Parked in garage at 6:30pm. At 7:20am the following day it was noticed that a white vapor/smoke was coming from the front grill of the BMW 330ci. The car had not been started since being parked the evening before. Within minutes, the white vapor turned into heavy black smoke and the entire engine compartment became engulfed in flames. (flames were visible from beneath the car as it was parked in a garage) the fire department was called at the first notice of vapor and firemen arrived 12 - 18 min. Later, at which time the fire was fully engaged. Two explosions emanated from the car. The fire and its significant heat caused structural damage to a portion of the home, including a bent lolly column and burned framing. It took the fire department over 2 hours to fully extinguish the fire which led to major smoke and water damage as well.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #1

May 222010


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 BMW 330xi. The contact was driving 65 mph when the vehicle independently decelerated to 30 mph. The vehicle was merged slowly to the shoulder and the engine was turned off. Once the vehicle was restarted, there were several warning lights illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and the dealer advised that the engine wiring harness would need to be replaced. The contact stated that the failure was recurring and previously when the failure occurred, the contact had the throttle body replaced, at the dealer's recommendation. The vehicle was not further repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure who offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 50,000 and the current mileage was 58,000.

- Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA

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