really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
26,400 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 BMW M3 Owner Comments

problem #2

Nov 022005

M3 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 45,000 miles


On November 2nd, 2005, at 6:30 P.M., my family got into the M3. That included my wife in front, and three daughters in the back. We were on the way to meet my father for dinner. We had planned to take the 60 freeway westbound, of which the on ramp is off a street called chino hills parkway. To our shock, the freeway was jammed like a parking lot, so we proceed to make a U-turn to take an alternate side road. Travelling southbound on chino hills parkway at about 25 to 30 mph in 2nd gear, the smg gear indicator goes to "0". I do not recall shifting at all, so I just proceed to move the gear lever to put it back in gear. It does not change, reamins at "0", and since my foot is still on the gas pedal, I just hear the revs of the engine while noticing I have no power to move forward. Thankfully, we were on a slight downward slope, so I was able to safely coast to a stop by the right side of the road. The first thing I notice is the yellow gear-shaped transmission light has come on. I proceed to shut the car off, thinking a restart would correct the situation. I try shifting into gear, but it remains at "0". before I restart the second time, I pop the hood open, and go out to close it, having heard that sometimes the smg pump acts funny if the hood is not closed. I'm still unable to shift. I turn off the engine, wait a few minutes. This time, the engine doesn't even start! this happened two more time. Finally, on the sixth restart, the engine comes alive, and I am able to shift into gear. The yellow transmission light is still on, but we made it home since this all happened about 3 miles from home. The car has been flatbedded to the dealership.

- Chino Hills, CA, USA

problem #1

Dec 112003

M3 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 7,800 miles
2002 BMW M3, repeated smg transmission failures rendering the vehicle inoperable. BMW has no idea what is causing the problem. BMW also damaged the vehicle trying to retrive it for yet another repair attempt. It may have started itself without the key in it while the tow truck was picking it up. BMW is in a constant state of denial. Vehicle has been in the dealer 6 weeks now and counting and it has less than 8000 miles on it.

- Houston, TX, USA

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