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 1 of 3)

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

problem #29

Aug 162014


  • 65,000 miles
Eps suddenly disconnect the power steering, difficult to steer.

- Monterey, CA, USA

problem #28

Jul 092014

Z4 6-cyl

  • 59,000 miles
Just purchased the car 2 weeks ago and I live in Texas. The car drives fine in the morning but after it sits in the sun all day long and you drive it the steering is sticky, meaning that it wants to turn right without cause and then jumps back to the neutral position.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #27

Jun 222014

Z4 6-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
I have a 2004 Z4 3.0 with 69K miles. Have had the car for several years and have noticed a steering issue that seems to be getting worse. I researched this on multiple forums and it appears that there are numerous examples of similar problems. Most relate to issues in hot temperatures, mine is more related to speed. Here are the symptoms... at low speeds (under 20mph) steering is very light and smooth, no issues at all. As speed increases, the steering gets heavier (as it should) but develops a "detent" at straight center. 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.

- Chapel Hill , NC, USA

problem #26

Jun 102013

Z4 6-cyl

  • 58,000 miles
I picked up this car used with 57000 miles on in May 2013. The steering has always been 'touchy' but the dealer told me that it's because it's a sports car. When driving car in temperatures around 85 and up the steering gets really 'jerky'. this started in June 2013 as the weather warmed up. It's my 2nd car so don't drive it every day and did not notice this problem until the weather turned hot. High 80's into the 90's. I didn't use it much during the really hot weather last year. But the problem was there. I thought it was the tires, had them checked and had no issues. Took the car in for an alignment in the spring. These past few days the weather has turned really warm. I drove the car to work, left at 4pm yesterday with the temp over 90 and thought I was going to have an accident! the steering wheel would not glide smoothly left or right. It's like it gets stuck, you pull it back causing you to oversteer, you pull it back the other way. I fought this all the way home for 23 miles. The temperature and the erratic steering was so bad yesterday that I will not drive it. It is sitting in my garage today. I called the dealer, tom bush BMW in jacksonville fl, to inquire about the service bulletins I found and this website where others are reporting it. I also called BMW na and they told me I had to go to the dealer first. I have left 2 messages and I have a feeling I will have to keep calling. They are aware of this issue. You cannot keep the car going straight without jerky it back and forth when outdoor temperature is above 85. This causes you to oversteer and drive erratically. It's very hard to control the car. I live in Florida. This is a safety issue! why is there no recall" does someone have to die first? there have been numerous complaints, what has the NHTSA done to investigate"

- Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, USA

problem #25

May 132014


  • 39,753 miles
At 5pm I drove the car to market. Steering felt stuck in the middle or null point. It took some force to move steering wheel past the stuck feeling and then the same effort to return to the straight ahead position. This has happened many times before when the outside temperature exceeds 80+ degrees F. it is a very uncomfortable and unsafe problem as the correction can cause the car to swerve into oncoming traffic or the swale or curb.

- Flagler Beach, FL, USA

problem #24

Mar 182014

Z4 6-cyl

  • 33,400 miles
Got in the car and started it and the light for the power steering came on and when I turned the wheel it was very difficult to drive. Went home and looked online and found that is a common issue with this model and that you guys have been looking in to it. Plan to call the dealer tomorrow.

- Van Wyck , SC, USA

problem #23

Sep 122010

Z4 6-cyl

  • 14,935 miles
Vehicle has a flat spot in the steering system. This problem appears to be temperature related as it is not as sever as when it is a cool day. The steering seems to lock up in the straight ahead position.

- Naples , FL, USA

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