really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
49,228 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 1 of 3)

problem #49

Jun 292020


  • 46,000 miles


Vehicle steering becomes "sticky" after vehicle has been exposed to warm temperatures. This causes the steering to center and require greater than usual force to off center the wheel, causing the car to be difficult to control especially at highway speeds.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #48

Jul 182019


  • 103,000 miles
Very sticky steering, dangerous in hot weather, this happens at all speeds. It sometimes requires significant effort to correct it. This is a serious safety issue.

- Margate, FL, USA

problem #47

Mar 292019


  • 70,500 miles
Steering appears to be sticking or staying at a certain point in the steering radius. I almost veered into oncoming interstate traffic. I compensated immediately, but it released its "stick" and turn to much and almost veered into traffic I was in. Very scary, very dangerous. There was a possibility of much injury or death because of this issue. Bad

- Charleston, WV, USA

problem #46

Oct 082018


  • 32,000 miles


Recurring problem with steering input effort when driving on highways. The steering sticks when in the center position. Resistance is felt and is difficult to return back to the center position. Sticking problem seems worse at higher speeds and with warm outside temperature above 80 degrees. The faster the speed, the more effort needed to overcome the detent resistance, to the point that it becomes easy to oversteer the car. This can be real scary during avoidance maneuvers and quick lane changes.

- Harvest, AL, USA

problem #45

Sep 282017


  • 105,000 miles
Steering is extremely notchy and unpredictable, especially on hot days. When in motion, the steering wheel requires force to turn, and sometimes will turn slightly without driver input. It appears that the power assist steering is actuating when it should not be, causing either resistance to steering inputs, or applying force when no steering input has been applied. When the engine is not running, or at very slow speeds, noise can be heard from the power assist motor. It actuates when no steering inputs are being applied. When steering inputs are applied, too much resistance can be felt and the motor makes additional noises. I purchased the car in February of 2016, and this has been happening since approximately spring of 2016. It has been getting progressively worse.

- Fayetteville, GA, USA

problem #44

Aug 162017


  • 80,000 miles
During weather above 80 degrees, the steering becomes "twitchy" or "notchy, " no longer smooth, but requiring additional effort to turn the steering wheel, at which point, the tires move more than needed, requiring a steering adjustment the opposite direction. At the same time, the car does not hold a "line" as well, requiring a series of small left and right steering corrections.

- Evanston, IL, USA

problem #43

May 192017


  • 54,000 miles


On warm days the steering on my 2006 BMW Z4 becomes unresponsive and unpredictable. On hot days it is downright dangerous. I have read in many places that this is due to a design defect in the steering column. One source who is an ase-certified master technician says that the "BMW Z4 sticky steering is related to a manufacturing defect, that has been rectified as of 2007 and up. There is a bearing located in the middle of the steering column that is not sealed. With time and when hot, the lubricant gets dry and gums up. To make matters worse, there is not a race for the bearing to ride in the inner race is actually the steering shaft itself, which is a poor design". my vehicle was built in 2006 and has only 54,000 miles on it. BMW apparently was aware of this problem and corrected it the following model year. There are many complaints on the NHTSA website about the same problem, which could get worse over time. BMW should issue a recall before someone gets seriously hurt.

- Ridgefield, CT, USA

problem #42

Jun 152016


  • 47,000 miles
In higher temperatures the steering wheel has a very sticky feeling, feels unsafe. Steering will not return, without assistance when going around curves.

- Manchester, NH, USA

problem #41

Jun 212016


  • 65,000 miles
Faulty steering with our 2006 BMW Z4. The steering is very difficult due to sticking steering in hot weather. This makes the vehicle very unsafe. BMW is aware of this problem and has avoided a recall. A recall is warranted.

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #40

May 012015


  • 60,000 miles
Faulty steering. Steering is difficult because of sticky steering. In hot weather the vehicle is unsafe. Steering is much worse.

- Powell, TN, USA

problem #39

Apr 072015


  • 65,000 miles


The problem of the sticky steering of the Z4 is related to the worm/reduction gear mechanism that transmits the torque from the electric motor to the steering shaft. The circular reduction gear has a nylon crown with teeth. All the surrounding parts are metal (steel or aluminium). The thermal expansion of the nylon is 3X bigger than the surrounding parts. To compensate for this expansion, there should be a clearance between the worm gear and the reduction gear. Unfortunately BMW and their steering supplier zf nacam chose this clearance too small. When the nylon gets warm, the clearance with the worm gear becomes zero and the reduction gear is stuck with the worm gear. The friction increases dramatically and you will then "feel" the engagement of the individual teeth of the reduction gear. This is a defect in the car desigen and needs to be recalled.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #38

May 252016


  • 21,225 miles
The steering is very sticky, scary when temperatures are warm. It has scared me to the point where I will not let my wife drive the vehicle when its above 70 degrees outside. The steering wheel has a mind of its own. Any speed from 10 to 70 mph

- Cranberry Twsp, PA, USA

problem #37

Apr 152015


  • miles
Very sticky steering, dangerous in hot weather, this happens at all speeds. I have 65K miles on vehicle. I have been trying for over a year to get this problem resolved, no accident.

- Powell, TN, USA

problem #36

Dec 092015


  • 70,000 miles
My 2006 BMW Z4 has an issue with the steering getting stuck or notchy during warmer temperatures. The steering seems to get stuck. It sometimes requires significant effort to correct it. This is a serious safety issue. Many Z4 models suffer from this issue and a recall should be issued asap before someone is injured or killed

- Carlsbad, CA, USA

problem #35

Sep 102015


  • 78,115 miles
Steering is "sticky" when driving straight. Feel a resistance when making a slight adjustment thus resulting in oversteering.

- Mankato, MN, USA

problem #34

Sep 052013


  • 36,748 miles
The steering on the BMW is extremely jerky and erratic. It seems to jump and does not steer easily. It's hard to keep the car on the road because it all of a sudden will turn rather.quickly. The steering sticks, and then all of a sudden will jerk to the side that you were trying to steer too. It's extremely dangerous and BMW needs to have a recall on these vehicles and get the problem fixed before someone dies. Once someone gets killed, I can see a huge lawsuit against BMW because they know they have a problem with these model of cars but won't fix the problem. Please make them recall the Z4's that have this problem and let them fix this dangerous problem. Thanks

- Columbus, IN, USA

problem #33

Jul 172015


  • 83 miles
While driving steering is hard to turn lots of resistance then moves and is loose. This comes and goes however seams to get worse with higher temperature. Other times it's just loose other times fine. Many examples if you look it up, most call it sticky steering. Car has had front end alignment checked several times including checking for wear { have life time alignment}. no codes. As I said this is a BMW problem that they have chosen to ignore. Fun car to drive but I'm scared to drive it. I can see where this problem could easily cause you to end up in an accident. Defiantly not an ultimate driving machine now.

- Martinsburg, WV, USA

problem #32

Sep 242014


  • 106,000 miles
Steering is difficult to control when ambient temperature exceeds 85F. It is not speed dependent. When steering in either direction there is a sticking feel the results in potentially dangerous oversteer. It appears that this problem is not uncommon based on BMW owner forums and is well document in the NHTSA complaint database. It is only a matter of time before this issue results in injury and/or property damage.

- Friendswood, TX, USA

problem #31

Sep 202014

Z4 6-cyl

  • 21,500 miles
I just purchased a 2006 Z4 3.0I with 21000 miles from a dealership in wilmington, nc. During the test drive I noticed that the steering was unusually stiff and at higher speeds the car was somewhat hard to keep in a straight line. I dismissed the issue as a possible alignment or worn out tire issue. On the 120 mile drive home to raleigh, nc the steering became more and more erratic, pushing the car half way to the other lane. I noticed that the steering was getting really sticky and jerky the longer I drove. When trying to slightly correct the trajectory of the car to any side, the steering would not react to light torque on the steering wheel as it would with any other car I've driven before. When applying more force the steering would suddenly jump a degree or more, causing the car to oversteer and making for some rally scary and erratic maneuvers at highway speeds. When trying to correct this unexpected jump, the car would do the same thing in the other direction, causing me to swerve right and left. Later, when coming out of a long right turn on a narrow two lane road, the steering was stuck in the right turn position and suddenly popped into a left turning position, almost causing a collision with an oncoming semi truck. Since the behavior is so unpredictable and hard to control, I consider this a very serious safety issue that needs to be addressed immediately. I got lucky and I am convinced that it is only a matter of time until someone gets hurt or killed.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #30

Sep 062014

Z4 6-cyl

  • 54,901 miles
I was backing out of my garage one morning and noticed a slight sticking feeling in my steering. Thinking it was a tire, I ran my errand and checked my tire inflation. One week later we took a short trip (50 miles) and the further I got down the road, the more I felt this notch in the center of my steering. When one tries to overcome this notch, you overcorrect the steering and could possibly dart off too fast. This is a dangerous situation. Again we checked our tires which seemed to be fine, then determined it was in the steering. We researched for similar situations on line and found there was an issue with these cars prior to 06/2006. Our car was mfg. 04/2006. Is there a recall in place for this wide spread problem?

- Lebanon, TN, USA

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