really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
47,948 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 1 of 16)

problem #320

Jul 032012


  • 35,000 miles


When driving with air temperature above 80 degrees the steering becomes sticky/notchy making it difficult/dangerous to keep the vehicle in the travel lane at any speed.

- Florence, MA, USA

problem #319

Jun 222018


  • 36,000 miles
Sticking manly when hot out side but also with the heater on, at hi way speeds it takes more effort to make small corrections needed to keep the car in the lane.

- Pasadena, MD, USA

problem #318

Sep 012018


  • 113,000 miles
Takata recall.....steering notches and locks....unsafe to drive....when car is is in warm weather the steering is very sticky

- Santee, CA, USA

problem #317

Sep 182018


  • 48,500 miles


My 2004 BMW Z4 with fewer than 50,000 accummulated miles has been experiencing significant "sticking/dedent" steering problems under highway driving conditions that result in unsafe steering responsiveness. This problem appears to be common to us and european BMW Z4 model years 2003 through 2005 and has been extensively reported on the internet and to BMW itself. BMW technicians have indicated that the problem can render a vehicle "unsafe to drive" and have further indicated that the problem can only be corrected by replacing the electric power steering unit at a cost of several thousand dollars. The prevalence of this identical problem in hundreds, if not thousands of BMW Z4S clearly points to an engineering design flaw. Even so, BMW refuses to take resposibility for this problem and have rejected any assistance to BMW Z4 owners who have sought such assistance. Considering the significant negative impact that this steering control problem may have on safe vehicle operation, the manufacturer should be forced to undertake a recall of all the vehicles affected by this manufacturing defect.

- Sandy Hook, CT, USA

problem #316

Jul 052018


  • 58,000 miles
The electric steering is notchy- it seems to fixate in the center and gets hard to steer from the center position. It happens mostly when we are on the open road going over 35 miles per hour. It seems to get stuck in the middle- and you get the feeling that it is stuck there. It is hard to move the steering wheel away from the center which results in over steer and over correction. I have taken it to the sewickley pa BMW dealer and they said there is nothing wrong but it seems to be getting worse. The car only has 60,000 miles on it. It is hard to keep the wheel straight when this happens and I have read online that others have also had this problem.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #315

Jul 252014


  • 65,000 miles
Electrically assisted steering is very sluggish when the air temperature is above 80 degrees. 2011 and 2012 models have got the same problem and they have a recall for that issue

- Tulare, CA, USA

problem #314

Jul 172018


  • 65,000 miles


The steering sticks at all speeds and turning radius to the point you can barely control the steering with both hands. The only repair solution is the replacement of the entire steering column at parts $3-4,000 & labor $1-2,000 it's a life threatening hazard and should be recalled vs BMW waiting for a huge class action law suit! the vehicle has only approximately 65K miles way too soon for catastrophic failure of a major mechanical system widely known and suffered by BMW enthusiasts ┐ not "the ultimate driving machine!"

- Winter Park, FL, USA

problem #313

Jun 072012


  • 20,000 miles
If the vehicle is hot, while driving, the steering will hang up in the 12:00 position and you have to use more force to get it through this position, causing to vehicle to over-steer. It's been getting worst and the BMW dealership can find the problem, even though I've sent them computer links describing the problem.

- South Bend, IN, USA

problem #312

Jun 012018


  • miles
While driving, the steering wheel sticks in position. It will break loose with very little force. But very irritating. I feel it is a safety concern.

- Hyde Park, UT, USA

problem #311

Jun 292018


  • 57,000 miles
When temperatures are about 75-80 degrees, the steering will "stick" when making minor corrections while driving. Apparently this is a common issue with this BMW make and model. There are 57000 miles on vehicle. It is not noticeable in cooler ambient temperatures.

- Amherst, NY, USA

problem #310

Jun 012011


  • miles


Steering issue: While driving at various speeds and various outside temperatures, the steering will stick, and is not smooth and responsive regardless of the curve degree. The sensation is that the turning of the steering wheel is jerky and requires both hands on the wheel. This safety issue has been ongoing for several years. The car is not driven often as evidenced by mileage, 16,000.

- Clemmons, NC, USA

problem #309

May 192018


  • 52,000 miles
Steering jerky just purchased a used BMW 2004 Z4 only 50,000 miles and drove fine for a few days then it got real hot outside and now the steering is jerking me around. Feels like when I try to keep the car in the lines I am having to fight the steering wheel. Upon researching the problem seems this is a very common dangerous problem and this needs to be recalled. This is going to cause an accident. Very dangerous to have to fight to keep the car in the lines of the road. BMW wants to charge to replace the whole column at $3800. Appears they recalled 2006-2007 BMW other models for this same thing. The 2003-2004 Z4 should also be recalled.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #308

Apr 052017


  • 26,442 miles
Steering is "sticky" and can cause me to swerve out of my lane while driving.

- Madison, AL, USA

problem #307

May 042018


  • 82,000 miles
Driving on interstate 70 in md went to go around a bend in road steering wheel didn't want to turn. I had to jerk the wheel to make the bend thus making me almost hit car beside me. From what I have read this is a known problem by BMW but in 14 years no recall is insane. I am now scared to drive this thing out on a highway again.how many people have to die for this to get fixed

- Brunswick, MD, USA

problem #306

Apr 242018


  • 118,000 miles
While driving the steering 'sticks┐ and requires considerable force to overcome to stay on the road. Several near incidents when it finally un sticks and goes to far in the other direction.. accident waiting to happen. This problem has been going on for quite some time and just keep getting worse.

- Crawfordville, FL, USA

problem #305

Jan 202016


  • 82,000 miles
My car has the commonly reported problem with the electronic power steering unit. I bought the car used in April 2015 from stevens creek BMW. The power steering worked fine. I began to encounter problems in early 2016. The steering began to tighten up and would not allow the wheels to self straighten upon acceleration. I first learned of the problem when entering a freeway from an on ramp. The steering, instead of allowing me to ease gently into a traffic lane, wanted to continue to pull me left into the center divider. I was able to yank the wheel and avoid an accident. I then researched and learned about the common power steering issue and learned that a grease fitting into the steering column could help. I then learned that my vehicle had already been fitted with such a grease fitting. Additional grease then alleviated the problem temporarily. Eventually additional grease became less effective and I learned to drive with steering that was stiff and prone to stickiness. Recently (December 2017), the power steering began to entirely shut off intermittently. It shuts off and then turns on again after restarting the car. The car is therefore no longer drivable for safety reasons. I've learned that the power steering unit needs to be replaced entirely with a part cost of $3,400. Given the broad based occurrence of this issue on 2003-2005 (and even some 2006) cars, this must be seen as a serious product safety defect worthy of a recall by BMW.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #304

Oct 312017


  • 12,200 miles
Steering feels detented, won't return to center and is difficult to manage on a curving road. Very "sticky". many testimonials on the internet relating to this issue. Must be a known problem.

- Ferndale, WA, USA

problem #303

Aug 082017


  • 92,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 BMW Z4. While driving 70 mph, the steering wheel failed and became stuck. The vehicle was taken to a local dealer (BMW of san diego, ar 5090 kearny mesa rd, san diego, ca 92111) where it was diagnosed that the steering column needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified and did not assist. The failure mileage was 92,000.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #302

Sep 082017


  • 34,500 miles
Steering vehicle is not easy to stay straight and in lane. Does not feel like in control of car. Tires are ok and had alignment. Very noticeable on highway.

- Stratford, CT, USA

problem #301

May 282017


  • 43,000 miles
Sticky steering at higher straight-line speeds unsafe to drive!

- Hubertus, WI, USA

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