really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
48,495 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.

2003 BMW Z4 steering problems

steering problem

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2003 BMW Z4 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 14)

problem #264

Nov 142016


  • 97,000 miles


Steering is too unstable on straight driving. A sudden pull to the right/left and steering is not centering. Steering is stiff and hard to control.

- Fairfield, CA, USA

problem #263

Sep 012016


  • 0 miles
Takata recall. I'm having problems with my BMW Z4 2003 the steering wheel is getting notchy and sometimes it gets stuck in the left or right position. I replaced the steering column and it still doing the same thing. Need help.

- San Juan, PR, USA

problem #262

Oct 162016

Z4 6-cyl

  • 29,000 miles
Steering wheel sticks when the ambient temperature gets above 80 degrees. The steering wheel gets hard to turn and turn back straight. This happens when the vehicle is moving at speeds higher them 10 mph. The vehicle become unsafe to drive.

- Newburgh, IN, USA

problem #261

Aug 302016


  • 40,000 miles


When driving the steering is sticky especially when it is hot out. It is hard to keep the car straight without constantly moving the wheel right and left and you can feel the gap in the move. You feel a skip in the move. It makes it feel like the car is going to jump to far right or left. It has been doing this the last 3 years I have owned the car. My tires are new and well balanced so it is not the tires. It did this with the old tires and now continues to do it. You are welcome to come and drive it. This happens when in motion and trying to drive straight ahead. When making a reasonable turn it is fine.

- Union Hall, VA, USA

problem #260

Oct 252007


  • 30,000 miles
When operating vehicle after about 2 hours, normally in hot weather, the steering gets sticky and feels catchy. The vehicle is moving, at any speed when this happens. After letting sit for a couple hours it is fine. Drive for another few hours and it happens again, repeatable. Happens going straight, turning is fine.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #259

Aug 112016


  • 28,500 miles
The steering sticks often on the open highway forcing me to overcompensate to steer the car. Constantly fighting the steering wheel to adjust the direction the car if going. Noticed the problem during warm/hot temperatures outside. Unsafe condition and very uncomfortable driving the car. Condition causing the problem is unknown.

- Poquoson, VA, USA

problem #258

Jun 142016


  • 80,000 miles


Since purchasing this car 2 yrs ago. The steering gets "sticky". it is hard to center and hard to move the steering wheel then it over adjusts. Many people have this issue and I can't even drive it when it is above 80, it is very dangerous and almost impossible to control. Huge safety issue

- Rolesville, NC, USA

problem #257

Mar 012016


  • 167,000 miles
Steering is shifty at all speeds and sticks requiring extra force to redirect it making the possibility of crossing into other lanes or oncoming traffic a risk. Makes groaning noise in slow speed turns.

- Saratoga Springs, UT, USA

problem #256

May 052014


  • 16,000 miles
Steering wheel sticks and results in erratic driving to move it from the stuck position. Happens in city and the highway.

- Maitland, FL, USA

problem #255

May 032016


  • 40,000 miles
I purchased the car used on April 2, 2016 and noticed the condition on the first warm day (75F or higher) on or around may2, 2016. The car exhibits sticky steering during warm weather. This condition makes the steering feel as though something is sticking while driving at all speeds but is more noticeable at highway speeds. It makes it hard to go straight down the road because the steering feels "notchy".

- Avon, IN, USA

problem #254

Jan 012006


  • 25,000 miles


Steering sticks after temperature gets warmer. Will almost over steer on curves or narrow roads. Harder to steer at higher speeds. When first started steering feels pretty normal, but gets harder to steer the further you go. Will not my family members drive, could be very dangerous. Happens in all weather conditions wet or dry.

- Calhoun, GA, USA

problem #253

Apr 182016


  • 72,000 miles
This car has been exhibiting sticky steering when temperatures are above 70-75 degrees. It has been going on for a while, and I attributed it to tire pressures etc. Having now experienced it more severly I did some research and have discovered that this is a known issue with this type of car. This is a safety hazard since the ability to safely adjust the steering when this happens is limited, and the car can easily oversteer and cause unexpected lane changes. It is surprising that there is no recall for this issue. There are a number of references to this issue in online forums such as these: Https://www.bmwcca.org/forum/index.php"threads/sticking-steering-unsolved-mystery.5921/ www.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php"1055032-sticky-steering

- Everett, WA, USA

problem #252

Mar 292016


  • 23,000 miles
Power steering completely failed. Car is very difficult to drive creating an unsafe condition. Car has 23,256 miles. I stored the car from October 10, 2015 until March 27, 2016. Took the car out on easter Sunday for about 10 miles, car ran fine. Pulled it out of the garage on March 29, 2016 and steering assist failed completely. Did not drive the car on the road. Called my local BMW dealer and scheduled a service appointment for April 14, 2016.

- Barberton, OH, USA

problem #251

Oct 012015

Z4 6-cyl

  • 59,000 miles
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration fines BMW $40 million for failing to meet safety requirements NHTSA 53-15 Monday, December 21, 2015 contact: [xxx], public.affairs@dot.gov fine is auto company's second since 2012 Washington the U.S. department of transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has imposed a $40 million civil penalty and a series of performance requirements to automaker BMW North America for a series of violations of the motor vehicle Safety Act and NHTSA regulations. ******************************************************************************************************************************** NHTSA needs to do a recall on the issue of sticky steering. For BMW to say it is just a nuisance steering is totally not true. With your latest fine for BMW you know BMW response to this issue is just another smoke screen of the issue. If steering of a vehicle is not a safety issue then the NHTSA needs to elevated what is safety. Their will be serious accidents and deaths then law suits that should have never been and only a recall can solve this issue with the steering. Thank you. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Rochester, MN, USA

problem #250

Dec 012015


  • 95,000 miles
Steering becomes very sticky when outside temperatures become hot. Vehicle seems unsafe when on highway and lane changes are difficult to make as steering does not return to center position !

- Golden Beach, FL, USA

problem #249

Nov 112015


  • miles
My Z4 has about 70,000 miles on it and I just got it back in 6/20015 and I noticed when steering there is a sorta sticking problem with it and it kind a want to drift side to side " now the steering indicator light comes on and its like a old type standard steering car. And when restarted it works for a little while and then all of a sudden it does it all over again. This would be a real problem for a older person if this would happen, may cause a sever accident. I did some internet research and I don't think this is a solo event for me. I did ask my local dealer and they said there was no recall on this car. As far as I can tell I am the 2nd owner "

- Williamsport, PA, USA

problem #248

Oct 202015


  • 78,000 miles
While driving on the interstate and in the city, my BMW Z4's steering wheel gets stuck, pulls to the left & right and needs hard force to release it. I've almost wrecked several times because of this! I'm afraid to drive the car because it's too dangerous. After much research on this issue, I've found out that thousands of BMW Z4 owners have the exact same problem.

- Millington, TN, USA

problem #247

Aug 282015


  • 84,665 miles
Suddenly unable to steer. When moving it was very hard to steer. When stopped at a red light it was again unable to steer. But again was very hard to steer when moving as well. Steering light came on. Problem is intermittent. Getting worse. Turn off and restart engine and the problem goes away for a short while then returns. Seems to be a very dangerous issue.

- Maysville, GA, USA

problem #246

Jul 162012


  • 6,000 miles
After sitting in hot direct sun for over two hours, the steering on the car is difficult to manage. The steering gets extremely loose and you have to hold tightly to the steering wheel to keep the car from swerving. There is no issue on a cool day, nor is there an issue on a hot day if the car is parked in the shade. This has been happening for the last 3 years to my 2003 Z4. The car is garage kept and stored in the winter. It has never been in the rain or snow and is well-maintained. As of September 2015, the car only has 12,000 miles, so it should not be a wear and tear issue. There have been over 300 complaints filed about this issue since 2003. The investigation done in 2010 was closed in 2011, and yet hundreds of complaints remain unanswered. It should be confirmed whether or not the investigation included testing the cars after they have been in the direct sun on a hot day for several hours. If the testing was not completed under those circumstances, the test would be flawed and the investigation should be reopened. It is unacceptable that hundreds of people all have the exact same issue, and a safety issue, and nothing is being done about this.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #245

Aug 012015


  • 56,000 miles
Steering becomes very sticky and jerky in hot weather. Steering is so bad it is not safe to drive when weather is hot. This is been an on going issue and reported before but nothing gets done about a recall. I don't understand when steering isn't a factor for recall by nthsa. BMW lawyers apparently out smarted the nthsa. I invited any hthsa official to come drive my 2003 Z4 and put his life at risk. BMW North America will not do anything about the issue until nthsa issue a recall.

- Rochester, MN, USA

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