really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
18,000 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.

2004 BMW X3 steering problems

steering problem

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2004 BMW X3 Owner Comments

problem #1

Jul 252005

X3 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 18,000 miles


On July 25th, 2005 at 12:30 pm my daughter lost steering control of our 2004 MINIcooper (18,000 total miles of travel), approximately 1.5 blocks from our house and slightly side swiped a parked car going at very low speed because of a construction zone. Upon inspection, it was apparent that the tie rod of the right front wheel was completely severed. The damage was far below the threshold that would be expected to break a tie rod. When prompted, my daughter recalled bumping the curb when she parked the car and hour or so before the accident. The impact to the curb was at 1-4 mph and consisted of a slight bump and a scrape and was not considered significant by my daughter. The tie rod has now been replaced and is in our possession. The damage tie rod is completed severed and apparently snapped where a threaded area of the rod is inserted in a bolt. All of the breakage and damage to the rod is limited to a 3/4 cm threaded area of this rod where the breakage occurred, there is absolutely no bending or worn areas outside of this portion of the rod. Because this breakage occurred at the weakest position of the tie rod and resulted from a typical parking maneuver, I am very concern that this breakage resulted from either a defective tie rod or is related to a systematic structural-design defect. Of course an alternative is that bumping a curb during careless low speed parking creates a sufficient force to break a tie rod and make this vehicle unsafe to drive thereafter. This late explanation was proposed by the manufacturer. Although my daughter was not injured and the cost of repair was less than $500 dollars, I am submitting this complaint because of the unusual nature and the potential to result in a mortal accident.

- Oak Park, IL, USA

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