really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
47,771 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 Z4 steering problems

steering problem

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2004 BMW Z4 Owner Comments (Page 11 of 15)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #96

Jun 012008


  • 5,000 miles


2004 BMW Z4 - regardless of the conditions, the steering wheel is "notchy" or sticky while driving straight down the road. Naturally, when driving down a road, you are required to make minor rotational movements with the steering wheel to remain in a driving lane. In order to keep the vehicle in the lane with this sticky steering wheel, extra force is required to rotate the steering wheel, causing the driver to swerve slightly. This problem is a major concern as sometimes it becomes problematic and dangerous when the wheel sticks around turns and narrows lanes. Dealership states this is "normal" and has not been resolved.

- Cypress, TX, USA

problem #95

Jun 152010


  • 52,500 miles
2004 BMW Z4 'sticky steering'; follow up to earlier complaint, in response to BMW letter of 9/24. BMW describes the condition as a gradual increase in steering effort noticeable when the car is first driven off, and not a significant increase in effort. This is incorrect. Not a gradual increase in effort, but an unexpected 'catch' that occurs, for example, when changing lanes.

- Alpharetta, GA, USA

problem #94

Nov 072010


  • 24,000 miles
A year or so ago I noticed the steering on my BMW Z4 would get "notchy" and feel "sticky" at the end of the day. Eventually I was able to recognize the problem would occur when parked outside in direct sunlight. I found it odd this would be brought on by time in the sun, but after some research online discovered many people with similar complaints. Unfortunately it appeared experiences with BMW service varied, and since my car was out of warranty a "fix" would be a replacement of the steering column at the tune of 3-4 thousand dollars. When I heard this issue was under investigation I decided to wait for a decision as it seemed likely such issues with steering would be addressed. I have followed the case closely and have been reading BMW's responses to NHTSA. Several of their arguments against addressing this are especially disturbing. BMW appears to recognize the issue, but claims the effect is "minor". I am not an expert and cannot say whether it presents risk, but as a driver I can tell you any steering effects are disturbing and distracting. BMW claims the effect only occurs during specific/limited conditions - high ambient temperatures and direct sunlight. What really upsets me about this statement is that it's a convertible sports car marketed for these conditions, so while they may be "specific and limited", they are primary conditions for this car. Finally, BMW claims this is not an issue of safety, but one of quality. From my perspective, there are some subsystems where quality should not be compromised, and steering should be considered one of these. I do believe this is a safety issue, and anxiously await NHTSA findings in hopes I can have this safety issue addressed by BMW. I sincerely hope this issue is not swept under the rug and the manufacturer takes responsibility for the quality and safety of their automobiles.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #93

Jun 012008


  • 38,000 miles


When driving in hot weather, the steering wheel get very sticky and need extensive force to be maneuver. I went to my dealer and they said they need to change the eps and that its not cover since it happened 1 month after the end of the warrantee. Its seem that a lot of owner have the same problem but their is still no recall from BMW. I now live in Canada but my car is from the state and I am filling a complaint so that BMW would be force to act on this dangerous problem.

- St-Leonard, Quebec, Canada , NY, USA

problem #92

Oct 262010

Z4 6-cyl

  • 62,391 miles
When car sits out in the hot sun 100 degrees or better for an extended period of time, is difficult. Steering wheel stays in a tuning position and does not return to center, it sticks in whatever turn you put it in. You must manually force the steering wheel back to center. Just today 10/26/2010 all of the warning lights came on and power steering completely failed while driving and the car would not change gears.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #91

Jul 042010


  • 24,000 miles
The steering wheel sticks, it feels like it is binding which required increased steering effort that made it difficult to control the vehicle because it seems to over-steer when making hard and abrupt steering wheel movements. The failure is more noticeable at higher vehicle speeds (highway speeds) and in warm/hot weather (85 F).

- East Taunton, MA, USA

problem #90

Jul 252010


  • 43,000 miles


2004 BMW Z4 - steering problem: I just recently moved to South Florida from denver and now have notchy/sticky steering when driving at highway speeds (60 mph) when it is warm (70 degrees). Making small corrections requires a large input causing the car to go outside of it's lane. Have had several very close calls. Took the car to dealer, BMW South in South miami and they want to replace the steering column for $3,200. This problem is a matter of public safety and soon a driver or the public will be hurt or killed. BMW needs to stand behind their product and make the steering safe or the NHTSA needs to direct them to recall the cars to fix this problem.

- Homestaed, FL, USA

problem #89

Aug 302010

Z4 6-cyl

  • 118,565 miles
On warmer days (80+ F), my 2004 BMW Z4 steering will stick in one position while driving, requiring excessive force to unstick. This is especially noticeable at higher speeds (45+ mph) where smaller movements are required, and the tendency is to over correct when the sticks occur.

- Pilot Point, TX, USA

problem #88

Sep 222010


  • 83,000 miles
2004 BMW Z4 steering system fails to perform properly and is unsafe when the temperature is somewhere above 80 degrees (F). On all warm days, the steering becomes unsafe - heavy, and does not perform properly - it becomes hard for the driver to control and "notchy" to steer.

- Hampstead, NC, USA

problem #87

Jun 012009


  • 45,000 miles
When air temperature is greater than approximately 80 degrees F, the steering on my 2004 BMW Z4 becomes "sticky" requiring a much higher level of effort to make steering adjustments. Initially this higher level of effort is applied with no change in vehicle direction and then with additional effort vehicle direction changes significantly requiring re-correction to keep vehicle in lane and/or on the road.

- Apex, NC, USA

problem #86

Jan 012009


  • 80,000 miles


Steering wheel "sticks". requires force to move to either side from current position. Happens almost daily when temperature is above 85 degrees.

- Cordova, TN, USA

problem #85

Aug 152010


  • 68,000 miles
While driving on the highway at about 60 mph eps light came on and the car lost it's power steering. I got off the highway parked the car, turned the engine off and back on and eps light went off. After a couple of days the eps light started to turn on everyday, specially in the afternoon. Took the car to a BMW dealer and they said it was just a loose cable. The day after I got my car from the dealer and nothing had changed. Took it back and they said they had to replace the whole upper section of the steering column quoting me a total of repair costs of $3000 after discounts. Could not afford the repair costs at that moment and car hasn't been repaired till this day.

- Buena Park, CA, USA

problem #84

Sep 162010


  • 62,000 miles
2004 BMW Z4 steering issue. While driving my Z4 over the past month I have had incidents of my steering locking to the left or right. I never know when the time will come and it is very scary. My wife had happen to her yesterday and almost lost control. I brought it to the dealer today and they told me they could not recreate the issue but would replace the steering column for $3000,00. After some research I noticed many complaints and feel a recall should occur because this is safety issue.

- Evans, GA, USA

problem #83

Sep 092010


  • 62,267 miles
2004 BMW Z4, VIN:[xxx], 63000 miles the BMW is having a severe steering problem on hot summer days. Traveling at 70mph on the highway the car can be unsafe to drive. This problem is related to an electric steering. The steering is supposed too tighten some depending on speed and driving conditions. In many cases that I have found in research it gets to tight and makes it difficult to make the minimum of steering corrections. In my case it can make the car move into another lane on the highway from a small correction. I have been told there are similar problems in the MINIcooper, Z4, and 3 series BMW's. I have taken the car to a BMW dealer (sunbelt motors, Inc., meridian, ms) for diagnosis. Their solution is to replace the steering column in the car at a cost of $2600 (parts only) plus labor. I contacted BMW and open a case study with them regarding this matter. The car is out of warranty and they do not feel any responsibility to repair or offer any assistance with the repair. All it takes is a quick google search for: BMW Z4 steering problems to see how many people have been affected by this. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Decatur, MS, USA

problem #82

Aug 212010


  • 44,000 miles
2004 BMW Z4 with loss of power assisted steering. Dealer made front end alignment and front tires were replaced. Old parts to front end were not given back.

- Tulare, CA, USA

problem #81

Feb 112004


  • 60 miles
I own a 2004 BMW Z-4 with 18,648 mi on the odometer. I have the same steering problems as most other owner's. the steering is over reactive, the problem is more pronounced in warm/hot weather. At times it feels like the power steering is sluggish or not working. When turning right or left I can feel a chattering in the steering wheel. When I went to the, he told me his mechanic said there was no problems with the steering and there wasn't any thing he could do any way. I have checked on line and there seems to be a lot of unhappy owner's out there. I feel that this is safety defect and should be addressed as soon as possible. My wife is the principle driver of the car and she has complained of steering control problems. I am concerned about her safety and other drivers of Z-4. can you help me!!

- Glenville , PA, USA

problem #80

Aug 202010


  • 68,000 miles
I have 2004 Z4 BMW the steering is sticky it feels like that is binding and have to use extra effort to control car. At times I have to jerk it back into line. At times it feels like im fighting with it.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #79

Aug 092010


  • 32,000 miles
Power steering on car is very stiff in the center causing great difficulty in turning, and then safely turning / keeping the car in the proper lane. This is a known issue by BMW on these cars, and I believe an investigation leading to a recall is under way. I am afraid to allow my 22 year old daughter to drive this car. It seems to be much worse in high temperature conditions.

- Union Grove, WI, USA

problem #78

Sep 012010

Z4 6-cyl

  • 50,100 miles
Power steering failure at highway speeds and high temperatures.

- Orange, CT, USA

problem #77

Aug 312010


  • 29,500 miles
Steering sticks when it's hot or sitting in traffic. Need to apply effort to move the wheel which is a concern at highway speeds due to possible oversteer.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

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