really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
0 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 M3 engine problems

engine problem

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2002 BMW M3 Owner Comments

problem #5

Oct 272002


  • miles


Crankshaft bearings are starved of engine oil causing a series of chain reactions that ultimately blows the engine, causing engine oil to spill everywhere and form thick clouds of smoke from evaporated engine oil to come out of the car, hindering the view of others behind, and creating a dangeriously slippery surface. The engine completely shuts off, causing very possible potentially dangerous situations that are too speculative and many to list. These issues have been observed on vehicles produced within October of 2001 to feburary 2002. BMW refuses to acknowledge the problem as a defect repeatedly blames the consumer. Simply replacing the engine(which is what BMW does) is not acceptable, due to inevitable loss of value from such a disasterous failure. Furthermore, many have payed more than $60,000 for the car, excluding the premium of $2500-$15000 extra depending on dealership. BMW also does not provide people with this failure problem with any form of compensatory actions, such as loaner cars for periods as long as 2-6 weeks.(the estimated time it takes to fix the problem)

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #4

Jul 172002


  • miles
BMW has had a rash of engine failures on their new E46 M3S. These failures usually(in my case and many others)has resulted in the engine actually blowing up. This is probably one of the most dangerous failures that could happen. Oil dumps all over the road, things lock up and you could easily loose control. Fortunately for me, I was able to get off the road and no one else was involved. BMW has been replacing these motors under warranty, but will not disclose the reason for the failures or what has been fixed to insure it does not happen again. I have sent request to BMW asking for an official response to my particular failure and what has been done to fix it on the replacement motor. I have not received any response from BMW as of today. I have received E-mails from other concerned M3 owners stating that replacement motors have been known to fail also. I cannot afford to have another engine blow. I might not be so lucky the next time. What worries me most is that BMW seems to be ignoring the problem. Eventually someone is going to get hurt or killed.

- Mechanicsburg, PA, USA

problem #3

Aug 152002


  • miles
Replaced under warranty at no charge by don jacobs BMW. No safety defewct mentioned.

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #2

Sep 142002

(reported on)


  • miles
As an owner of this vehicle I am concerned by the safety, reliability and resale value issues raised by over 80 engine failures. These have been catalogued at url members.roadfly.com/jason/M3engines.htm. please investigate. Nlm

- San Rafael, CA, USA

problem #1

Mar 282002


  • miles
Engine blew up while consumer was driving on highway. After pulling over consumer found a lot of pieces to engine on floor, and oil was every where. Contacted dealer, and they were not willing to do anything.

- Wellington, DE, USA

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