really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
45,754 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.

2006 BMW Z4 steering problems

steering problem

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2006 BMW Z4 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #22

Aug 152012

Z4 6-cyl

  • 56,000 miles


On hot days (85F+) the steering seems to "stick" requiring more than normal force to "break" the stick and resume normal steering. This can be very disconcerting as it feels like the car does not want to move. This issue does not occur in the winter.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #21

Dec 012011


  • 64,000 miles
Steering is jerky from center position. Extra effort is required to move sterring wheel from center position causing over correction in either direction. Sometimes this extra effort puts the car into oncoming traffic or the ditch. This is a very dangerous situation an I am afraid to drive in this condition. BMW wants to replace the steering system (expensive). There should be a recall for this item because there are too many complaints for the same issue.

- Bradley, SC, USA

problem #20

Jun 012013

Z4 6-cyl

  • 52,488 miles
This 2006 BMW has the "sticky steering" problem that has been previously reported to the NHTSA. The problem occurs 100% of the time. When driving, the steering wheel will not turn without applying excessive force to "unstick" the mechanism and have the steering wheel, and in turn, the car steer properly. The car should not be driven as is. There can be a delay when reacting to corners, on coming traffic or any number of normal driving hazards.

- East Lyme, CT, USA

problem #19

Mar 062013

Z4 6-cyl

  • 56,000 miles


When the car is driven on a warm day, the steering becomes very rigid and stiff. When driving and trying to make small adjustments in the line of direction, the car does not respond. The alignment has been checked and the tires replaced. Something is clearly wrong with the steering mechanism and the car becomes hard to manage. Accidents are going to happen because when the driver can't make timely adjustments to course. Please look into this. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #18

Jul 162012

Z4 6-cyl

  • 46,000 miles
The steering becomes difficult to control when temps are above 90 degrees. There is a significant difference when driving at any speed. When trying to turn the steering wheel to either side there is a quick over steer at the slightest movement causing the driver to try and correct which then causes a reverse over steer. This problem has been well documented by other owners to NHTSA and bmwna but ignored or viewed as not a safety issue. I beg to differ. I've experienced first hand the cause and affect of this steering issue when trying to avoid an object on the highway that only required a relatively easy turn of the steering wheel. However, because of the "sticky steering" the minor maneuver became a major control issue to bring the car back to a normal steering path. This problem is known throughout BMW Z model owners as "sticky steering". I will not let my wife drive this vehicle because of the problem. It is just too dangerous. Why is this issue not being addressed. It is so wide spread and it is a safety issue.

- Little River, SC, USA

problem #17

Jul 172012

Z4 6-cyl

  • 69,000 miles
The steering wheel intermittently locks up at higher speeds (50-70 mph). Usually the issue happens when the temperature is above 85 degrees.

- Chandler, OK, USA

problem #16

May 292012

Z4 6-cyl

  • 43,000 miles


Steering wheel tends to 'detent' in one position until moved to another position. Steering response is not smooth and linear. Vehicle steering is 'darty' and unpredictable - more pronounced on crowned roads. Lane control is difficult and requires constant steer / counter steer to prevent lane Excursion. Higher ambient temperatures tend to compound / amplify problem. Vehicle build date is 05 / 2006.

- Danville, PA, USA

problem #15

Apr 282012

Z4 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
The steering pseudo-locks (has a "tick") and its nearly impossible to hold the vehicle straight. One is continually fighting the steering tick/lock to keep the car going straight.

- Athens, TX, USA

problem #14

Aug 202011


  • 52,000 miles
On hot days, the steering on my BMW "sticks." This is becoming more and more of a problem. I just drove the car home from the mechanic on a 60 mile trip. The problem causes me to have oversteer and over-correct when changing lanes. It's increasingly difficult to maintain control of the vehicle. Furthermore, I now drive with my forearms completely tense in an attempt to compensate for the problem which results in undue fatigue. My mechanic suggested tat the only remedy is an entirely new steering rack, in excess of $2,000. The car only has 52,000 miles though it is out of factory warranty. A quick search online, indicates that this is a common problem. The problem has been occurring for some time (at least 25,000 miles) but I'm beginning to feel at more and more of a risk. I mentioned it to the dealer when it first began happening, while the car was still under warranty, but they told me nothing was wrong.

- Miami Beach, FL, USA

problem #13

Aug 132011

Z4 6-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
Same issue as described in NHTSA investigation PE 10-020 "sticky steering" occurs during periods of high ambient temperatures. The car darts and wanders. It is extremely disconcerting and requires constant attention. An increased steering effort typically occurs when the steering wheel is at the center position and thedriver attempts to make small steering adjustments. This is not a one time incident so "approximate incident date" is inappropriate. It is constant. Also not sure why the investigation you conducted lists only '03-05 when it clearly states in the investigation that BMW did not fix the problem until July 2006. My car is a 2006 with a June 2006 build date, just prior to the fix of the acknowledged problem.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #12

Jun 082011


  • 54,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 BMW roadster Z4. The contact stated while driving 40 to 70 mph the steering wheel pulled to the right which made it difficult for the contact to continue moving in a straight line. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who inspected the failure and confirmed that the vehicle was functioning normally. The vehicle was also taken to another mechanic who stated the vehicle needed an oil separator to avoid a yellow liquid from forming within the oil. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was 54,000.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #11

Mar 252011


  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 BMW Z4. The contact stated while driving 35 mph, the steering pulled to the right or the left. While making a right turn, the steering pull to the right and the vehicle crashed into the curb causing extensive damages to the front fender and sides. There were no injuries. The vehicle was towed to the dealer who stated there are no recalls for the steering problem. The manufacturer was contacted who stated he should take the vehicle to the dealer for an inspection and offered no further assistance. The failure mileage was 55,000.

- Mountain View, CA, USA

problem #10

Jul 032010


  • 42,000 miles
When cornering in my 2006 BMW Z4 the electric steering will seem to stick in one position then requiring force to release, normally happens on ramps and off ramps when cornering, car then will dart when you force the wheel, could become a sticky situation if it gets worse.

- Waterford, MI, USA

problem #9

Aug 242010


  • 34,700 miles
Outside temperature was over 100 degrees. I was driving on the freeway and the power steering seemed to stick in one place, requiring more than usual effort to move the steering wheel.

- Richmond, CA, USA

problem #8

Aug 012010


  • 32,500 miles
Power steering sticking, notchy feeling, took to dealer, dealer replaced steering column under warranty.

- Broken Arrow, OK, USA

problem #7

Jul 152010


  • 9,025 miles
2006 BMW Z4 3.0si electric steering system requires repeated corrections to stay going straight down road. It's as is it will only steer 3 degrees or more in each direction, but never in 1 degree increments. This only happens on very hot days after being parked outside in sun.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #6

Jul 222010


  • 50,000 miles
In hot weather (over 90 degrees F), after sitting in the sun, steering will bind or stick when turning. It requires more force than normal and does not return to center as easily. This makes it difficult to take corners smoothly. Situation gets better as car interior cools.

- Aiken, SC, USA

problem #5

Jul 012010


  • 50,000 miles
The steering in my car seems a little odd at speed. The car wants to sway back and forth when traveling in a straight line. I thought it my be the road conditions but I am not totally convinced that the steering should be bad enough that you many need to slow down in order to make the necessary steering corrections at speeds of 70 mph. I know for a fact that others are experiencing the same issues as me as O have read post after post to the problem while looking for solutions. I have tried buying new tires and that seems to cut it down some but it did not get rid of what some call tramlining. I am calling it swaying as I may not know the correct terminology. I hope that you investigate this issue so that we can truly find the issue so that a fix can be put into place so that these cars are more safe.

- Auburndale, FL, USA

problem #4

Apr 022010


  • 4,800 miles
I have had a recurring serious problem with the steering input effort, especially when hot outside. The steering seems very heavy and sticks when close to the on-center position, and is very heavy and difficult to return back to the on-center position. It is a problem that has been a concern for my wife and I now for several months. The vehicle has been in and out of service very frequently since April of 2010. It is in service for the forth time now regarding the problem with the steering. The vehicle this time has been in now for almost a month and has not been repaired yet.

- Glen Carbon, IL, USA

problem #3

Apr 142010


  • 37,500 miles
Today I experienced a steering problem with my 2006 BMW Z-4. the outside temp was approx 86 degrees. I noticed the steering (which is electronically controlled) became very heavy and it became difficult to maintain the vehicle in the lane. Twice the vehicle jutted to the right causing me to ride on the edge of the road (hitting the grinders) - it took both hands and a tight grip to maintain center. I first noticed this problem last summer - steering is normal at cooler temps but today it was hot outside and the problem recurred. I took my vehicle to the dealer last summer and they found no fault codes, but this is a definite problem and BMW is very aware of it.

- Florissant, MO, USA

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