The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced that BMW is recalling 241,000 3 Series models for potentially faulty rear lamps. According to NHTSA, certain 2002-2005 325i, 325xi, 330i and 330xi models built between September 1, 2001 and March 1 2005 may experience increased resistance at the electrical contacts. This resistance may eventually lead to the failure of tail light, brake light or turning indicator lamps over time. That failure could impede a driver's ability to warn other motorists of his or her intentions, potentially leading to an accident.

BMW dealers will repair the electrical components free of charge once the recall gets underway in October of this year.

Previously, BMW issued a technical service bulletin concerning a certain eight-pin connector which would overheat and melt under extreme electrical load. BMW dealers corrected the issue by adding additional grounding to the circuit. It's unclear whether this remedy will also be applied to the recall. Hit the jump for the full recall notice.
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Vehicle Make / Model:

Model Year(s):
BMW / 325I

2002-2005
BMW / 325XI

2002-2005
BMW / 330I

2002-2005
BMW / 330XI

2002-2005

Manufacturer: BMW OF NORTH AMERICA, LLC
Mfr's Report Date: AUG 25, 2011

NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 11V438000
NHTSA Action Number: 2 Investigations found (View)

Component:
EXTERIOR LIGHTING:TAIL LIGHTS

Potential Number of Units Affected:
241,000

Summary:
BMW IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2002-2005 325I, 325XI, 330I, AND 330XI VEHICLES MANUFACTURED FROM SEPTEMBER 1, 2001, THROUGH MARCH 1, 2005. OVER TIME, RESISTANCE IN THE ELECTRICAL CONTACTS MAY CAUSE ONE OR MORE REAR LAMP FUNCTIONS (TAIL LIGHT, BRAKE LIGHT, AND/OR TURN-SIGNAL), WITHIN THE VEHICLE'S BODY PANEL, TO STOP WORKING.

Consequence:
INTERMITTENT LIGHT OPERATION REDUCES THE ABILITY TO WARN OTHER MOTORISTS OF THE DRIVER'S INTENTIONS. THIS COULD CAUSE A VEHICLE CRASH WITHOUT WARNING.

Remedy:
BMW WILL NOTIFY OWNERS, AND DEALERS WILL REPAIR THE VEHICLES FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING OCTOBER 2011. OWNERS MAY CONTACT BMW CUSTOMER RELATIONS AND SERVICES AT 1-800-525-7417.

Notes:
OWNERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV .


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 86 Comments
      Hank
      • 3 Years Ago
      This must be a more widespread problem then they've even realized! I haven't seen a BMW driver use their turn signal in years.
      gregmlr
      • 3 Years Ago
      Don't bother, most drivers do not know how to operate turn signals anyway.
      Ron
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ah, so they're trying to use their blinkers but they don't actually work... that explains it.
        ack154
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ron
        If that's the case, we need a LOT more recalls...
      Klinkster
      • 3 Years Ago
      Huh? A broken taillight on a "German" manufacturered vehicle? Really? This is a surprise??!! This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone since VW, Audi, BMW products have been rife with these lighting/electrical defects for decades...which should make people wonder: What the heck do the Germans do to their lightbulbs anyways to make them so fragile!??
        wat
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Klinkster
        My money would be on what BMW computers call "BulbCheck", which sends a pulse every few seconds to the bulb to see if it's out. If it is, it informs the driver. It's enough power to illuminate an LED, but not of a regular bulb. That probably wears it down somewhat.
      Jason
      • 3 Years Ago
      Is this just for the US spec car?
      LtbeTru
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hey! I Own a 2003 3Series Car and I'm having the exact same problems. Since i live in Germany it would be nice if someone could tell me wether or not this recall is also being done over here. I really don't wanna pay more than 100bucks for something that BMW now officially acknowledges as their fault.
      Philip Stevens
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think they pictured the 2000 model here, the 2002 model has the face & rear redesign. Autoblog; wrong car shown.
      adam1keith1980
      • 3 Years Ago
      Good. I have enough with BMW unreliability and how the company makes owners pay ridiculous amount of money to repair things that should not break in the first place. The companies intentionally make their cars complex without thoroughly ensuring reliability, thereby causing the drivers to be in unnecessary dangers and expenses. I list of problems I can think of include: E38 and E39 cooling systems that are known to fail (in fact, it may be a matter of national security as shown here: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=353163) Excessively long service intervals and “lifetime” fluids may decrease the life of the vehicle. According to a buyer’s guide for used E38, the transmission may last as little as 80K, and the differential may last as little as 100K. These are not high mileages. Turbocharged six-cylinder engine used in newer BMWs appears to be susceptible to problems with the turbocharger, and HPFP. Bad seals and gaskets on parts like the valve covers, oil pan and water pump causes various oil and coolant leaks. It’s no wonder that BMW is profitable. Making expensive cars that requires constant expensive repairs. I hope there will be more recalls for BMW soon. They need a Toyota-style crackdown, except the problems with BMW are actually real. Is it not scary that BMW is now thinking about self-driving cars?
        Tim
        • 3 Years Ago
        @adam1keith1980
        I agree with what you are saying but in BMW's defense they did increase the fuel pump warranty to 10 years.
        Trevor
        • 3 Years Ago
        @adam1keith1980
        My girl had a 2007 335 turbo-charged six engine, and it was horrible. Sounded great but the reliability was horrible. had to replace the turbo's twice in one year, after only 1 year of owning it. thank god for warranty. just watch this abc news video and it will shock you. (http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/video/bmw-investigation-flawed-fuel-pump-11978794)
        • 3 Years Ago
        @adam1keith1980
        [blocked]
      protovici
      • 3 Years Ago
      1994 Civic EX finally had to replace my first tail light...... at 235K miles.
      Dodsworth Fandango
      • 3 Years Ago
      Gotta love that German engineering. Since they are recalling them all for the lights, they might as replace all those plastic connectors for all the hoses, that all seem to disintegrate after the warranty is up. I'll never own another one.
      Nick
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yes! Finally! Now please fix the window regulator failure issue.
      Justin
      • 3 Years Ago
      Love the countless horror stories from posters, ya go buy a BMW what a great investment... ha
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