fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
9,033 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.

2014 BMW i3 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2014 BMW i3 Owner Comments

problem #3

Jun 012016


  • 15,600 miles


While driving the car and at a stop light the car made some jerky noise and got the "drivetrain malfunction - stop and turn off engine. Do not continue driving. Call roadside assistance" message. This has happened about 6 months ago and had the car towed to the service and they never found any problem. Now in the span of a day it has happened 3 times. When I turn off engine, wait a minute or so and start again, I was able to drive the car again. I am not sure why this is happening and I have looked through all BMW forums and facebook pages and nobody seems to have an answer. I am worried about driving the car and having it completely halt in the middle of driving on the freeway. This needs to be addressed by BMW and I have yet to get an answer.

- Oakland, CA, USA

problem #2

Jan 012016


  • 6,500 miles
Charged my car overnight in my climate controlled garage and went out the next morning to run errands. Turned it on, put it in drive, heard a pop or clunk from the rear and then got a drive train not available - do not move vehicle error. Couldn't even put the car in neutral for towing - BMW roadside had to send a tow truck with skates to prop up the back end and push it out of my garage. It's been at the dealer almost 2 weeks now - the local mechanics have had calls with BMW back in germany and they can't seem to figure out what the problem is.

- Charlottesville, VA, USA

problem #1

Aug 242015


  • 5,000 miles
The BMW I3 electric vehicle that comes with a range extender has a critical hazardous design flaw. It cannot consistently power the vehicle to maintain a safe speed when driving on a moderate incline for a reasonable period. In other words, you may be driving on a California freeway and run out of electric charge and the range extender will kick in. Everything is fine until you approach a hilly area. As the car ascends the incline it starts to reduce speed. So before you were going the same safe speed as the surrounding traffic now you start to slow down. 70, 65, 60, things start getting scary as cars start passing you on both sides, 55, 50 45, now it's really scary and very dangerous as cars are passing you going 70+ mph. By this time you are desperately trying to get to the slow lane, sometimes crossing multiple lanes of traffic going 25+ mph over your speed. You put your 4 way blinkers on and now the car is going 39 mph, well below the minimum speed limit on the ca highway, and you are praying that someone does not slam into you going 80 mph. I hope this gives you a clearer picture of my serious safety concerns. I had my car in for service at the BMW dealership a few months ago and the head I3 technician explained that that I would be getting an electronics update/upgrade and thought that maybe it would fix the problem that I was experiencing. After the service was performed the only difference that I noticed was the warning of potential loss of power alert appear on the display as I started up a hill. The loss of power was exactly the same as before. This experience that I described to you has happened to me several times in the past and continues to happen every time I run out of electricity and have to run on the extender and climb a hill that is not necessarily steep but extends some distance at an incline. The car is unsafe.

- Aliso Viejo, CA, USA

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