hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
78,976 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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1998 BMW Z3 Owner Comments

problem #4

Nov 302018


  • 139,000 miles


I have a 1998 Z3 M roadster and the trunk welds holding the subframe is failing. This is a commonly documented issues. BMW dealers acknowledge the issue but BMW North America will not fix it. This is a welding/manufacturing defect that can lead to the differential and suspension components in the rear to completely separate.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #3

Jan 052011

Z3 6-cyl

  • 86,902 miles
At 86K miles on my 1998 BMW Z3, the thin sheet metal bracket holding the rear differential up in place welded to the chassis split in half causing the rear end to hang. This is the second time it has happened, also at 93,500 miles, just 8 months later. The clutch is still original and the car has never been abused, or raced. I always baby the car because gas is so expensive, and this seems to be a problem with alot of other Z3's that I have seen online. This is clearly a manufacturing flaw. BMW claims the car must have had some rear end impact, even though this is clearly not the case. I would like to see them replace this part with thicker, or stronger metal as it can be a very serious problem if the differential falls out at high speeds.

- Nanuet, NY, USA

problem #2

Jul 012011


  • miles
I purchased a used 1998 BMW Z3 with the 1.9 liter engine on 10/14/2010 with 90564 miles. In mid November I took the car to a mechanic for a check engine light which was serviced. The mechanic informs me there is a problem with Z3's along with other model BMW's with the way the rear differential is attached. The problem seems to be flexing in the sheet metal where the differential is attached causing failure of the spot welds holding the whole assembly together. He showed me in my trunk where two of the six spot welds had broken. I have researched this on the different BMW forums and BMW is claiming this failure is due to performance modifications or cars that have been taken to a track or autocross. I do not know the previous history of my car but it appeared to have been taken care of. On 6/30/2011 I had the car in the shop again for service work and my mechanic found two more broken welds and some separation in the rear chassis. This car is pretty much un-drivable now due to this condition. I understand there is a couple of companies that make a repair kit for this that will strengthen the trunk area and prevent this from happening again.

- Victorville , CA, USA

problem #1

Jul 012010

Z3 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Z3 subframe problem. Possible detachment of differential from car.

- Brewster, NY, USA

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