really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
44,882 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.

2005 BMW Z4 steering problems

steering problem

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2005 BMW Z4 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #111

Jul 232015


  • 38,000 miles


At speed 25 to 70 and tempertures over 70 the steering wheel gets sticky and locks up. Very hard to turn. The only way to turn it is use both hand and turn it forcefully causing over-turns and running off the road or to oncoming traffic.

- Hiram , GA, USA

problem #110

Jul 052013


  • 122,000 miles
Steering seems to lock in a position, or at least stop. I then have to use extra force to get to go past the lock / stop point. And then after a little more time the situation repeats itself again. The problem is that not every time that I use the car does it do it, about 25% of the time. I am concerned that it may sometime lock in position and then there will be an accident. There must be a fix easier than a steering rack replacement, which was recommended by one shop....updated 10/01/15

- Bellingham, WA, USA

problem #109

Jul 112015


  • 15,000 miles
Steering has become very stiff and steering wheel does not center after making slight turns. Seems to be worse in hot weather. Have to really concentrate on steering and is becoming dangerous. Appears to be a common problem with the Z4 according to blogs. Recall by BMW should be issued.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #108

Aug 012006


  • 500 miles


Experienced what appears to be known problem with erratic steering at any speed. Design flaw known to both BMW na & reported numerous times to your org based on the numerous complaints at url below: www.bmwcoop.com/2010/07/06/steering-problems-for-BMW-Z4-in-the-U-S/#comment-87602. Problem recurred 3 yrs ago and I simply garaged it & used my Subaru. Last week had car towed to local service center which acknowledged the problem and alerted me to the numerous websites documenting this design flaw. Having car towed to BMW dealership today as I refuse to drive it. But because there has not been a recall which there should be I am on the hook to pay for its design flaw or I can garage it or sell it. Btw, car only has 4400 miles on it due in large part to this recurring defect. I cannot believe no one has not been killed or seriously injured due to this defect. After the takata airbag debacle it is my hope that NHTSA takes these numerous customer complaints re: Z4 dangerous steering column design flaw seriously & acts quickly.

- Downingtown, PA, USA

problem #107

Jun 022014


  • 32,600 miles
Sticky steering starts in spring, continues in summer, ends in fall. Must be temperature related. A recall needs to be made!

- Brookville, PA, USA

problem #106

Jun 172015


  • 79,905 miles
Steering response was sticking while driving. Difficult to drive in a straight line down the road.

- Pelzer, SC, USA

problem #105

Apr 162015


  • 72,000 miles


On a hot day while traveling over 40 mph, the steering becomes "sticky"; that is it get stuck in a position and you have to physically jerk the wheel to adjust the steering which is very dangerous at higher speeds. This only happens in warm weather-above 70 degrees Fahrenheit. I recently experienced this on I-95 while traveling to philadelphia. I noticed this before and I reported this to BMW of alexandria (now arlington) and they replaced the steering box, lower joint assembly - total cost $1,721 - this was at 69,000 miles. The problem is back and as bad or worse. I have read of this problem on BMW forums where the entire steering column must be replaced at about $4,000. What I don't understand is why this isn't a recall item as it definitely is a safety issue. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #104

Oct 292014


  • 31,000 miles
Steering seems to stick, I just bought the car the same day and was driving it several hundred miles home. It felt like the car was in a rut, and I had to jerk the wheel to "unstick: It. it was scary. It happened several times during the trip, and has happened since then.

- Brighton, NE, USA

problem #103

Feb 042015

Z4 6-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
I was driving the car at approximately 45 mph and the car sterring got stiff. I couldn't control it. The power steering malfunction light came on. I got very concerned and somehow made it home. Luckily I was close to home when it happened. The car after turning off and turning back on got normal. The symptom did not come back for 2 days but then came right back on. Now I'm scared to drive this car. This is so dangerous and can cause an accident. I did some research and found I'm not the only one with this problem. A lot of other people had the same issue. BMW should fix this issue at no cost and there should be a recal on this.

- West Palm Beach, FL, USA

problem #102

Dec 312014

Z4 6-cyl

  • 37,000 miles
The steering sticks when the cab temp gets high it does not lock complete when I try to correct I will over correct or under correct. This is the most dangerous car I have ever driven.

- Thomasville , GA, USA

problem #101

Jan 122013

Z4 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles


The electric power steering on the car is dangerous. The steering is erratic and very twitchy. The problem is noticeable at lower speeds but at highway speeds it is dangerous to drive the car. The steering wheel starts out stiff, like an old car without power steering, but then the electric motor suddenly provides too much power assistance. The electric assist results in a sharper turn than you need and therefore requires immediate correction. It consistently does this; it is not a one-time thing. It requires constant attention, with both hands on the wheel at all times. This makes the car both mentally and physically exhausting to drive on the highway. Driving at lower speeds is annoying but at highway speeds it is dangerous. The correction and subsequent overcorrection problem makes the car drive down the highway like a snake. It is difficult to keep the car in the correct lane. The rougher the pavement the more difficult it is to drive the car. There have been a few times where the overcorrection has resulted in accidentally veering out of the correct lane. Fortunately, no accident has occurred yet. Please feel free to contact me and come drive the car to see for yourself. It only has 55,000 miles on it and based on the other complaints this is a systemic problem with the 2005 BMW Z4.

- Montgomery, AL, USA

problem #100

Jan 012014


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 BMW Z4. While driving various speeds, the vehicle veered out of its lane independently. The contact had to use excessive force to regain steering control. The failure occurred intermittently. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 60,000.

- Waynesboro, PA, USA

problem #99

Mar 142014

Z4 6-cyl

  • 55,347 miles
Steering started to seem stiff or sticky on occasion at various speeds, now occurring much more frequently. The car seems to drift back and forth and one must keep frequently correcting to keep car going straight. More so than you would normally expect and much more for a car of this caliber I would think. It sticks then there is a "dead space" until you catch it to correct it. I think this type of occurrence can be very dangerous. I was checking everything I could to find the issue, I.e. : tire pressure, balance, alignment, bearings etc. To no avail. Even tried to locate the power steering fluid reservoir but obviously now I know there is none! one would think that BMW would correct this issue for generally honorable reasons. All it will take is for that steering to stick, the "dead space" to occur and at 70 mph on the freeway no time to correct until you hit the concrete divider and well you can guess the rest. How many could be killed " especially in heavy traffic? and for a obviously faulty electric motor? I'm sure there are many more people who own these cars and may not know what to do about it. We need you to make this right before someone dies, perhaps this has already happened and its not known and is related to a poor driver or error" be cautious when near a Z4 on the highway you or someone you love or know may be the next unwilling victim! just saying. Help!!!

- Hewitt, TX, USA

problem #98

Jul 122014

Z4 6-cyl

  • 113,450 miles
The steering seems to stick and force is needed to move in either direction.

- Lenoir City, TN, USA

problem #97

Jul 012014

Z4 6-cyl

  • 30,400 miles
I bought a 2005 BMW Z4 2.5I in 2013 and it only had 19,000 mi. On it. At about 22,000 miles I started noticing that the steering would stick, but I thought it might be my tires out of alignment, I then put a new set of tires on the front and had it checked and it made no difference in the problem. My car now has 30400 miles on it and the problem has just recently gotten much worse, I'm now afraid to drive the car. After reading about the number of people with the same problem, I'm hoping we can get a recall on a serious problem.

- Marshall, TX, USA

problem #96

Jun 182014


  • 61,000 miles
This steering in this vehicle is downright dangerous! I purchased the car used 6 months ago in the winter and only drive it a few times. As I've been driving more in the nicer weather, the steering started to "stick" causing me to oversteer. I am terrified to even drive this car on the highway because it gets worse as you increase speed and because of the unpredictability of the steering mechanism. The steering problem intensifies in hot weather. It nearly impossible to stay within your lane on a road with slight curves. I brought the car to BMW service center and was told the steering column needed to be replaced at a cost of $3500. I came online to do some research only to find hundreds of other people with the same exact problem. BMW must be aware of this potentially fatal flaw in their vehicle. I don't understand why there was not a recall issued. My fear it that one day the steering is going to lock completely. Until we try to get a better estimate on the price of the steering column replacement we will not be driving this vehicle. Please look into this, it is an accident waiting to happen.

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #95

Jul 082013

Z4 6-cyl

  • 42,000 miles
When car is sitting in sun for the day the steering gets stuck in position will not center while driving at highway speeds feels like something is holding it in place. Went to dealer to see if it has a recall none at this time looked into the matter on line there are lots of other problems with other cars and years what is going to be done about this before life is lost !

- Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

problem #94

Nov 012013


  • 98,000 miles
My 2005 BMW Z4 has a steering issue that has affected thousands of similar vehicles. The steering column is faulty and results in loss of stability at speeds between 65-75 mph. The steering "drifts" and is difficult to control the vehicle. Steering also "sticks" and requires force to turn. There is much talk about a recall being forced onto BMW for their faulty steering column. Please move this forward for the thousands of drivers BMW has put at risk by not acknowledging and correcting this problem for their drivers.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #93

Mar 112014

Z4 6-cyl

  • 35,337 miles
First time was on the interstate approximately 65mph. The steering wheel felt like it had tight spots requiring the need for both hands on the wheel. The car seemed to wander left and right and when corrected it was insensitive. It felt like a goose neck bearing that had been over tightened on a bicycle, it had a tight feel, yet it was only in the center position. When making lane changes it felt normal, back to center the feel returned as before. It happened again yesterday on a state highway. The car has the sport mode and in both occurrences it was in sport. I have 60 years of driving experience and many cars have been high performance and sport vehicles. This is a dangerous condition because it is intermittent and requires both hands on the wheel to counter.

- Waynesville, OH, USA

problem #92

May 122014


  • 95,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 BMW Z4. The contact stated that while traveling 35 mph, the power steering assist malfunctioned and prevented the vehicle from moving. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 95,000. The current mileage was 120,000.

- Murfreesboro, TN, USA

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