hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
61,800 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.

1998 BMW Z3 body / paint problems

body / paint problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 1998 BMW Z3:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

1998 BMW Z3 Owner Comments

problem #6

Apr 102011


  • 50,000 miles


The contact owns a 1998 BMW Z3M roadster. The contact was traveling 25 mph when the rear frame of the vehicle fractured completely. The contact towed the vehicle to the dealer where they advised that the frame metal was extremely weak and caused the frame to drop and the rear axle to fracture from the vehicle. The contact was concerned because he could have been involved in a crash if he were traveling faster in the vehicle. The vehicle was not repaired. The current and failure mileage was 50,000.

- Santa Rosa, CA, USA

problem #5

Jan 012009

Z3 8-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
1998 Z3 subframe failure. I'm worried my differential or rear end will fail during driving and BMW refuses to fix it. This is a safety concern for everyone on the road. BMW has inspected my car, acknowledged the problem, and blamed the failure on the modifications I made to the car, however, the problem is occurring in a very high number of un-modified Z3 vehicles as well. There is also a class action lawsuit for the same exact problem on E46 models (Z3 is not an E46) and BMW is fixing the E46 but not the Z3. This is a very dangerous situation and someone is going to be killed eventually B/C of this issue.

- Brewster, NY, USA

problem #4

Jan 082010


  • 75,000 miles
Normal driving resulted in frame failure at the differential mounting point. The entire differential mount broke loose from the frame and the cross frame is broken in two places.. the vehicle also has trunk floor pan spot welds breaking loose. The problems result in a rear axle assembly that is loose and steers the car erratically. The car is unsafe to drive at this time due to erratic handling.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #3

May 152007


  • miles


I have had many problems with a knocking sound on the rear of the car, a BMW Z3, and I have now found that it was a common problem with these vehicles, the rear subframe was damaged. BMW advised that there was a defect with some units when produced, but they will not replace this for me on warranty, its appauling.

- Wakefield, West Yorkshire, 00, USA

problem #2

May 152006

Z3 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 83,000 miles
The subframe is tearing apart from the frame itself in the trunk. Spot welds have failed and separation is obvious.

- Shoreline, WA, USA

Search CarComplaints.com for these popular complaint phrases...

problem #1

Aug 182005

Z3 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 72,800 miles
I heard a creaking from the rear of my car, I put it on jacks to check it out. To my surprise I found extensive damage to the floor pan mainly around the differential mount. The car is claimed to be undrivable by BMW, but yet they will not take full responsibility for the matter. I see it as a safety issue as if I did not check it and continued to drive the cracks and tears in the body metal that exist could have continued even further and led to an accident or worse. I was estimated at a whopping 5200 dollars which BMW said they would only pay 3000 of. I believe it is a manufacturer defect, so it should be paid in fully by the company, but they will not stand up the their fault. I have at this time no choice but to drive the vehicle in its current state, I am a college student who doesnt have the largest income around so picking 2000 or more dollars out of nowhere is quite impossible. And I still have to go to work for the remainder of the time I am home, and so without a loaner from BMW or them taking full blame and paying in full I am forced to drive an unsafe car, for however long. I hope this situation can be taken care of as there are cases of similar subframe problems popping up all over forums online. Enthusiasts of the Z3 will recognize this issue if they tediously and carefully inspect their cars, however the average person who just buys their car and drives it around has absolutely no idea of the problem at hand and the possible safety issue that it may lead up to if not taken care of properly.

- Union, NJ, USA

Not what you are looking for?