fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
17,127 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.

2011 BMW X3 steering problems

steering problem

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2011 BMW X3 Owner Comments

problem #10

Oct 032016


  • 51,000 miles


While coming to a stop the car jerks violently forward with no warning, while moving slow it does the same, to the point where it now hurts to drive it. I get an error that says transmission malfunction, and without warning the car shifts to a lower gear, I have to stop, then turn the car off, when it is turned back the error goes away, then it reappears once again a day or two later. While driving, the steering wheel does not correct in time, and it slides on turns for a second, then over corrects, I have brought it in to BMW dealership, they have replicated the issue, but do not want to cover it under warranty, this has happened at highway speeds as well which is very scary, I am not sure where to turn at this point, so I hope that the NHTSA does an investigation, as I've seen other users have the same issues, and it just one death away from a recall, thank you.

- Palm Springs, CA, USA

problem #9

Sep 032015


  • 88,863 miles
While driving on an interstate road, exiting a tunnel, the X-3 suddenly, without any warning or indicators, lost the power steering and power brakes. The engine lost power and the dash board lite up with a myriad of warnings that made no sense. Then, just as suddenly the entire dash board went dark. The vehicle was extremely difficult to steer and stop. Since I was in fast moving traffic, the situation was scary to say the least. I found a place to pull off and did so. I turned the X-3 off. At restart it seemed ok, but the problem re-occurred again. I was able to finally get to my house. Stopping and re-starting several times. Losing all power, brakes, steering, etc at each instance. Vehicle was placed on a flat bed and taken to sewickley BMW the following day. After almost a week, the car was returned to me. I was told it was an electrical issue. Exactly 2 weeks later the same problems re-occurred. Again I was on an interstate and the lose of control at a high rate of speed could have been a catastrophe if an inexperience driver was behind the wheel. The car was repaired again and this time more work was done. The dealer said that they found a bulletin from BMW that explained this possibility. I saw the BMW info and it understated what actually could or would occur should their systems fail. In my opinion, my life was in severe jeopardy when the failures occurred and had I not been an experienced driver with calm reactions, a fatality is not out of the question. My wife will no longer ride in the vehicle and I have been told to get rid of it asap. I reported these incidents to BMW and quite frankly they were totally indifferent to the problem, only saying that the vehicle is out of warranty and they have no obligation to do anything for me. In my opinion, this is a major problem waiting to explode. BMW is ignoring the issue and someone will die

- Bridgeville, PA, USA

problem #8

Jun 042013


  • 25,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 BMW X3. The contact stated that while traveling 25 mph, the steering control malfunction light illuminated and the power steering assist failed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where unknown repairs were performed. The contact mentioned that the failure was experienced multiple times. The manufacturer was not contacted. The approximate failure mileage was 25,000.

- Dix Hill , NY, USA

problem #7

Jun 252012

X3 6-cyl

  • miles


My vehicle suddenly lost power steering control and a yellow warning symbol appeared on the instrument panel. I experienced the problem the first time while I maneuvered a corner. I was coming out of the turn and accelerating when the steering locked up, and the loss of steering control almost caused me to crash. I took the car immediately to murray motors (in denver, co) and was advised that there was simply a computer programming "glitch" that came from the factory; the service center advised they downloaded new software and the problem was solved. Some weeks later, I again lost power steering suddenly while driving straight. I took the car into murray motors again and stressed the enormity of my concern over this frightening problem. After some days, murray motors advised me that the electronic power steering assist unit had failed. They represented they replaced the power steering rack, the electric motor mounted on the rack, and the eps module. I researched BMW recalls thereafter and found that a recall had been issued for this problem on several BMW models already. I called BMW's customer relations number (1-800-525-7417) and was informed that my vehicle VIN number fell outside the scope of the current recall, and I was therefore never notified. I am writing the NHTSA to report that BMW's recall is not broad enough as defects in the eps module and related parts exist in vehicles beyond the immediate recall. I also want the NHTSA to know that murray motors allowed me to drive this vehicle out of their service center after the first (inadequate) repair, even though the steering complaints I reported to their service technicians were identical the description of the steering problem listed in BMW's recall letter for the X3 posted on their website. Murray motors claims to have no knowledge of this defect in any X3.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #6

Jan 102012

X3 6-cyl

  • miles
Safety recall campaign 11V-341: Electric power steering (eps) assist the above recall covered vehicles manufactured between Feb 25, 2011 and June 8, 2011. My X3 was manufactured on June 4, 2011. Yet I was not notified of the recall and have had the power assist fail 3 times.

- Wichita Falls, TX, USA

problem #5

Nov 192011

X3 6-cyl

  • 4,000 miles
This complaint is in reference to NHTSA report 11V-341. It concerns a malfunction of a control module in the electronic power steering (eps) unit in 2011 BMW X3 passenger vehicles manufactured from April 27, 2011 through June 8, 2011. One of these 51 vehicles is ours. My concern is that BMW did not notify us of the recall even though the company has known about the malfunction since June 2011.. (BMW reported a safety recall to NHTSA on June 28, 2011, as documented in a letter of July 1, 2011 from NHTSA to BMW, acknowledging the recall.) on Saturday November 19, 2011, the warning, "chassis stabilization malfunction!" appeared on the video display of our X3 following engine startup. At the same time, steering was more difficult than normal. An hour later, during engine re-start, the warning did not recur, and steering was normal. Personnel at our local BMW dealership were not able to explain our observations and told us via telephone to continue using the vehicle. In spite of that, we advised the dealership that we would bring the vehicle to them for evaluation on Monday, Nov 21. Subsequently, I found documentation on-line that confirmed the malfunction and our observations. At present, the vehicle remains at the dealership awaiting a replacement eps unit. I remain concerned that BMW did not contact us concerning the recall, and also that our local BMW dealership had apparently not been told of the issue. That is the reason for my complaint.

- Charlottesville, VA, USA

problem #4

Nov 032011

X3 6-cyl

  • 1,035 miles


Power steering failed. Vehicle reported that steering may be impacted. A current campaign exists though this VIN was not reported under existing campaign # 11V341000.

- Alpharetta, GA, USA

problem #3

Aug 152011

X3 6-cyl

  • 500 miles
Car reports steering malfunction and electrical power steering assist is not provided. Appears similar to issue with power steering system covered by recall 11V341000, however bmwna confirms this vehicle is not impacted by recall 11V341000.

- Santa Monica, CA, USA

problem #2

Feb 232011


  • 193 miles
Car veering to the right, increased on sudden stops; happens at various speeds. The prominent and dangerous condition is lag in acceleration. Sent the following E-mail to dealer& BMW along with 3 service reports from dealer attempts to address: "this X3 3.5I with all it is electronic engine/drive train controls is a nightmare. It"S a huge design flaw that is going to kill someone eventually. Yet again, yesterday, I felt unsafe due to the hesitation. The car didn't move for about a second or two when I tried to make a left turn in an intersection and then again when I was on the highway changing lanes. There were cars heading towards me but the initial distance was quite comfortable and safe. With the hesitation of the X3, I was actually in a panic and stepped really hard on the gas pedal to avoid a potential collision. And since then I have been stepping on the gas pedal much harder, guzzling gas, not to mention rough starts off of a full stop. I have seen countless internet threads of people complaining about the same thing with the X3 model, both versions, however equipped. I would strongly suggest someone look at how this car"S software is failing to function and fix this thing. I will report the problem to the appropriate governmental agencies. The veering is still there and eventually I will come to pass the issue with the low tread life run-flats BMW's 2-23-11 visit, dealer aligned vehicle, kept car one day due to factory specs not yet being loaded on new vehicle model; on 7-13-11, dealer noted car left in Transport mode, removed codes from computer software and car drove ok for 4 days; 7-23-11 took it back for same issue as noted above with lag in acceleration becoming dangerous and still veering, this time dealer noted nothing wrong with car after test drive comparison. Gave car back, still have issues which prompted E-mail.

- Plantation, FL, USA

problem #1

May 132011


  • 680 miles
The contact owns a 2011 BMW X3. The contact stated the vehicle would abnormally veer towards the right while driving at various speeds. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where they were unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was made not made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileages were 680. The VIN was unavailable. The consumer stated the dealer was going to replace one tire and two wheels. Updated 06/10/11 the consumer stated the dealer found a belt had shifted and performed a 4-wheel alignment for a second time. In two weeks. Updated 06/15/11

- Oil City, PA, USA

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