Complaints about BMW 3 Series - No Reverse
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I have a 2000 528i. While trying to get out of a snowy spot, my
reverse went. But my problem sounds a little different, reverse is
park! and neutral is low! I even stopped on a steep incline and went
through the gears, I could not roll backwards in reverse nor
neutral! For me its forward or nothing! I can even drive around in
neutral but it stays in 1st gear.
tried to back into my garage like I do every night when out of
nowhere the reverse is gone! After calling BMW service with a $4000
estimate I now see that I am part of BMW's pretend it isn't a
problem scheme that has effected thousands of other bimmer owners.
My car only has 77000 miles on it and I would expect to still be
able to go into reverse. I do occasionally need to back up. I would
like to be part of a class action law suit against BMW for this
potentially dangerous situation.
I have a 2000 BMW 323i, and as everyone else in this site, the
reverse went out. I took extremely good care of the car; it has
75,000 miles, which I guess is average for a seven years old car. I
took it to a BMW mechanic and told me that it will cost about $5,000
to fix. Then I thought about trading it in to get another car. Here
I was told that I would get $2,000 for the car with no reverse. Then
I looked for used transmissions, but as expected since the demand
for 323 transmissions is so high, it is four times more expensive
than use transmissions for other BMWs. This is a very bad situation,
especially since I got two friends to buy BMWs in the past two
years; now I have to tell them to get rid of them soon.
San Francisco, CA
2000 323i, my reverse will not engage, the car acts like it is in
neutral. This happened without warning. Car is in excellent
condition otherwise. I had to have others help me push the car out
of a parking spot to drive it home.
BMW needs to recall these cars for this problem as the documentation
of experiences is clear that it is a manufacturer defect.
Our 323 ti, always serviced regularly and on time, gave up on his
reverse when only 75,ooo Km driven. NO response from BMW Canada,
options are: New transmission, find a second-hand one or repair
existing unit. We chose option 3 and "thanks to the extended
warranty" the insurance helped, we still ended up with a bill of
slightly over a 1,000$.
I will contact newspapers and the media about this let-down
philosophy from BMW----NO MORE BMW FOR ME!!!!!
I purchased my 2000 323ia new from a dealer, had regular
service/maintenance by local dealer in Southern CA.
The car problems began with failure of cooling system at 60,000 and
a window regulator failure. A mechanic told me that I should expect
my tranny to go out around 70-80,000 miles, and that its common
problem for this model.
At 65,000 miles, cooling system goes out again.
At 70,000 miles, cooling system goes out once again.
At 79,000, today, reverse gear goes out, car needs to be hand pushed
out of a parking space to drive to a service center - as warned by
This is an inherent problem with the 323ia's that BMW needs to
address - its a part failure based on the manufacturing quality of
the part, not caused by misuse nor normal use and BMW needs to be
responsible for the quality of its products.
I too have no reverse at just above 86,000 miles. 2000 BMW 323i with
Steptronic. Car was running fine and then out of the blue the
reverse goes out. Since BMW doesn't want to respond I think it would
be useful to post a "how to drive your BMW without reverse" on
youtube. It would be absolutely hysterical if I video tape this.
Imagine planning out your trips so that you don't have to back up
car. How to push your car out of the garage, etc. Many of us stiffed
consumers should get together and put it out there for all to see on
the net. Then maybe we could get BMW to take notice!
Los Angeles, CA
While I finished my last final test for FALL 07, walking to the
parking lot where I parked my beauty, so focused thinking about the
fun I'm going to have after I worked my ass at school( telling my
self dude school is done )....got there ...got my car started ....
my sun glasses on, put it on 'R' and my lovely car is not going....
, So I did the Push and Pull technique . It has 106k and has been
well-maintained. ....Please some one tell me how to fix this problem
?? and can i drive this car or the transmission will break down?
I own a 2001 325i and recently have discovered the same problem with
my car. It behaves as though it is partially engaged in reverse, but
fails to fully engage. Please let me know if a class action lawsuit
is filed, I'll be sure to keep you posted on any progress that I
make with regard to this situation - I imagine like many of you, I
too will be stuck with a $5k bill.
I own a 1999 323I BMW. I lost the reverse at 156,000 miles.
Just lost reverse on my 2000 323i...like everybody else, no
warning...BMW is laughing about it as I'm stuck with a $6000 bill
for a car worth 10000.
I own a BMW e46 year 2001, it is 325ci with 74,000 miles on it.
I lost the reverse on the car and I am so pissed about BMW. the
dealer and no one is doing nothing about that problem and I am going
to tell every person.I know and every website with my really poor
experience with BMW.
the 328i 1999, to the list. My car suddenly lost the reverse. Still
at the shop right now, but it has been in three different ones and
gives no code. I'll let you know the cost once is repaired.
problem as everyone else...2000 323i with no reverse. 77K WELL
maintained miles. This is my wife's car and I've done EVERY repair
it ever needed. It drives, or did drive, perfectly. Actually, it
still drives forward perfectly. Finding pull through parking spaces
has been a challenge. I contacted BMWNA and they were actually
really great. They're giving me 50% off the parts. 100% would have
been nice but every little bit helps (especially with Christmas
right around the corner). Merry Christmas Honey!, Here's you new
transmission! I still have to pay the labor, $900ish I believe.
I was told that getting a discount is definitely a case by case
basis. I think it helped that this was a certified car (until
recently) AND it's one of 4 BMW's I've owned AND I'm on the test
drive waiting list for the new 135i. Makes me nervous about my X5
4.4 though, that transmission is even more expensive and the miles
are about the same. If the tranny goes out on it I'll obviously be
ending my long standing relationship with BMW's. But man, I do love
the way they drive.
My car is a 2000 323i. Went out this morning put it in reverse and
it would not move. Drove it a few miles and reverse worked. I guess
this is the first signs of transmission failure?
Orleans Ontario Canada
currently own an impeccably maintained 2000 BMW 323i. Went to the
gym in the morning and when leaving I tried to back out of the
parking lot with no reverse. Took it to my local BMW dealer to which
they replied that they only replace transmissions on a BMW of this
age and not actually repair them. This would have been a cost of
well over 10K. My second option was to take the vehicle to a
transmission specialist and have it repaired there. I did have the
repair done at a cost of over 5K. Having once been a mechanic myself
I asked the service manager the correct questions about this issue
and he did say that it is a very common issue with this particular
transmission that was outsourced and built for BMW by a company in
Mexico. I believe it was ZDF. I collected the old parts and was
educated by the specialist as where the problem occurred. It is a
recognized issue that the part that failed is poorly designed and in
fact the replacement part has been redesigned to perform better and
not fail again under normal use. So my question is that if this is a
known common issue and that during the repair the replacement parts
that are being used are designed to fix the common problem, why is
BMW not taking responsibility for this? I was very close to
purchasing a BMW X5 but have decided differently.
After owning my 2001 325i for one year now, the reverse has recently
stopped working. I am extremely upset at the matter due to the fact
that I now know it's a common problem Bimmer owners all over America
are having. My car just hit 64,000 miles the other day and I'm only
the second owner. Both the previous owner and I took very good care
of the car and there's no excuse that the transmission needs to be
replaced this early in my cars life.
Even more frustrating is the fact that I'm a soon-to-be college grad
in the midst of job searching and now I have to deal with this
stressful situation as well. I've worked all throughout college and
spent every cent I had saved up to buy this so-called ďdream carĒ
last January when my old 88' Honda stopped working. I thought I was
buying a reliable car, one that would last me forever but apparently
that is not the case.
When I contacted BMW Northwest (Fife, WA) they were absolutely no
help as they were when I initially approached them last year telling
them I was interested in buying a BMW for the first time. They want
to charge me $104.00 to bring it in the shop where they'll diagnose
the problem which will be a transmission replacement the service guy
told me. The total for the new transmission was estimated at
$5,200!!! What's more disturbing is the fact that I'm so tight with
cash right now I canít afford to pay this right now, especially it
being around the holiday season.
So as of now Iím proudly taking any donations ;) Adopt this
struggling college grad! You can e-mail questions or concerns to
allprodan @ hotmail.com. We need to settle this issue with BMW and
protect, us, the drivers.
a 2001 330ci coupe with 124,000 miles. My reverse gear does not work
either. My question however is if Susan from San Diego got BMW of NA
to pay for her new transmission how do I get BMW to cover the cost
of my new transmission? Please share the secret.
Jacob of Philadelphia,
friend of mine is a former BMW technician and he said that
transmission problems in the 3 series (99-01) are common. The
transmission is not manufactured by General Motors; this is a common
misconception. It's actually just called a "GM" transmission that's
manufactured by BMW. The "GM" is just some abbreviation for a German
name just like "BMW." He said that they usually go out around 100k
and don't give drivers any notice when they do. He said that you
could possibly prevent trans failure by allowing the car to run for
a few minutes before pulling off. Apparently, it takes longer than
normal for trans fluid to circulate in those cars and people drive
off before they're adequately lubricated. He also said that people
try to be on the safe side by changing the transmission fluid when
they in fact should NEVER do that. But overall, he says that the
design of the transmission is flawed. Apparently, there are a number
of mechanics who specialize in BMW transmission problems, and there
is even a website where you can buy rebuilt 3 series transmissions
(which are supposed to re-built and defect-free).
Frank of Burlington, NJ
BMW a link to a consumer affairs article about BMW winning the lemon
of the month award, and I offered them my congratulations. What I
got back from them is a different kind of form letter, telling me
they stand behind every one of their products. I couldn't resist
responding with evidence that they indeed do quite the opposite. I'm
glad to send you a copy of their form letter that states they stand
behind every one of their products for your website. Just let me
know if you want it.
Darium of Burlington, NJ
Follow up. The estimate to repair my transmission was
originally $2,000. I just got the call today to pick up my car. The
total cost came to $3,400! $1,400 labor, $1,800 parts, plus tax.
I'll be sure to post the repair bill on this site.
Drew of Northern Virginia
Same story with my 2000 323i. A few weeks ago I tried to back into
my garage and guess what? Yup, no reverse. So, here goes $4K for the
transmission rebuild. Along with no reverse, it's been quiet from
BWM too. Any lawyers collecting names yet?
Darius of Burlington, NJ
I just recently lost reverse in my 2000 BMW 323i. The car has about
170,000 miles on it. I'm the original owner. Fortunately, the
mechanic estimates the rebuild to be about $2,000. Unfortunately,
this is just the latest in a laundry list of problems with this
particular vehicle. Over the years I've had to replace all 4 window
regulators at roughly $350 a pop. A transmission sensor blew just
after the warranty ran out, rendering the transmission useless. It
cost about $500 to replace. As well, both intake manifold sensors
blew within six months of each other (both after the warranty
expired). The first cost $700 and the second about $450 to replace.
The least expensive, but most annoying and continuous problem with
this car are the light bulbs. I've replaced all of the front and
rear headlights at least 10 times since I've owned the car. The rear
light bulbs are relatively cheap, but the front bulbs run about $25
a piece. I'll never buy another BMW again.
Gaurav of Toronto Canada
I originally posted on 10/14, My 2000 323i would not go in reverse
occasionaly, especially when parked on a incline.
I did some research on google and found that GM 5L40E transmissions
in these cars are labeled as lifetime fluid filled by BMW when GM
themselves advise ATF oil drain and refill on these. (BMW uses
Texaco ATF 7045E, which is in no way a lifetime fill fluid. It is
actually just a Dexron III-h , which degrades over time and mileage
just like any other conventional fluid).
In 2005 GM came out with a much enhanced Dexron specification,
Dexron VI, and they advise all new generation hydramatic GM trannies
to be serviced using this fluid instead
I took my car to local mechanic and dropped down tranny pan, to my
utter surprise the fluid was so burnt and black , with hardly any
not to mention a 5 mm layer of sludge at the bottom. upon changing
filter and refil with around 7 quarts of Dexron VI($5/quart),
transmission is so smooth just as new and back in "all gears".
For the people who are seeing intermittent no reverse, It may be
well worth a try to change transmission fluid and filter (100 dollar
parts and 1.5 hr labour), I personally feel Dexron VI is superior to
"mysterious" fluid from BMW dealer ($20/quart)
Aaron of Nashville, TN
It seems that I may be the latest victim. 2000 323i, with 77,000
miles. I have the no reverse problem as of yesterday afternoon.
This is only 2000 miles after my warranty to 75k miles expired.
Dan of State College, PA
i just today purchased a used Bmw 540i for $3600 thinking it was a
steal and was in great condition and yes at the time it had reverse
i drove it back to my home and showed the rest of my family and went
to back it out of the drivewat and there was no reverse i have never
had a bmw before and was unaware of the problem and there's nothing
i can do accept for swear and be pissed at bmw, oh yeah and push it
out of my driveway so i can get my other cars out
Susan of San Diego, CA (Followup) (10/26/07)
I originally posted on 10/02/07. My 2000 323ci convertible,like all
the others, suddenly lost reverse. I received an initial estimate of
$5,000 for the repair from my local "German Motors" mechanic and had
the car towed back to my home. I found this wonderful website by
chance when I googled "BMW reverse problems". I immediately began my
conversations and documentation of the problem with BMW NA. I, too,
was stuck with only a customer service contact (no other BMW
representative is "customer facing"). After a week of discussions, I
had my car towed to BMW of San Diego. They worked with me and in the
end BMW NA covered the cost of parts under warranty leaving me with
only the $880 labor bill. My car is well-maintained and has 58,000
miles on it. Although, in my case, BMW handled the situation well, I
am still disappointed that this is not the standard by which they
handle this entire situation.
Caludia of Elk Grove, CA (10/25/07)
Last week I "tried" to put my car in reverse and only reved the
motor. Needless to say, it is a 2000 323i. It has 80k on it. I
bought it in Germany. I don't hold out much hope for being helped
with paying for a new transmission. I thought I was buying a quality
Jessica of Irvine, CA (10/25/07)
2000 323Ci with 70k miles will not reverse, and this car had the
transmission replaced a few years ago already!
I found a local transmission shop in Fargo, ND that was willing to
dig into the problem. Before he started ripping into the
transmission, he reset the computer that controls the transmission
and it corrected the problem. This may not be the fix for many of
the problems on this board, but worked in my case. There were no
error lights on, so we did not expect it to fix the problem, but it
worked. It is just hard to believe that a cerified BMW mechanic
could not identify the problem, but the mechanic at this shop
figured it out. Thanks "A Transmission City"
Peter of United Kingdom (10/25/07)
I am experiencing the dreaded no reverse with my 2000 series 735i at
the moment. It was towed to my local main BMW dealer and I am still
waiting to hear what they have to say. Will keep you posted.
McDonough, GA (10/23/07)
I have a 2000 323I Wagon with 86000 miles on it and just like all
the rest my reverse stopped working one night while backing out of
my driveway. Also, like all the rest the local BWM shop is saying
that I need a new transmission. We purchased a BWM because of it
reputation but after we fix the car, I am going to sell it because I
do not want to drive a car that the manufacturer does not stand
Dave of Flint, MI (10/22/07)
This is a follow-up to Dave's original complaint back in June...
Here is an interesting thought ...
Two or three times, while my 2000 323i was under warranty, I took my
car to the dealer to locate what I felt was a "high frequency"
vibration (high frequency meaning quicker than the rotation of the
tires) at around 30-50 mph. Each time the mechanics seemed puzzled,
but felt the vibration also. Each time they also blamed it on my
wheels and tires. I reluctantly took the car home, trusting the
professionalism of my BMW service department.
Now I am starting to wonder if this vibration is coming from the
"butter dish" component that broke apart (photos found on this site
under documents: Tranny Autopsy).
If so, maybe some of the folks who are still under warranty can
demand the dealer locates the true cause of this vibration and maybe
get their transmission fixed prior to the warranty expiring.
Or ... maybe this will help some of us who were experiencing the
"slow destruction" of the transmission and have a record of symptoms
of the problem BEFORE our cars were out of warranty...
Any thoughts would be appreciated!
ORIGINAL POST from
back in June 2007
My car has fallen prey to the 2000 323i no reverse issue, at 126,000
miles (26,000 out of warranty) This happened very suddenly with no
warnings at all. My dealer suggested it would need a new
transmission and I might call BMWNA for assistance. I called BMWNA
and they asked me to have the car diagnosed ( $107.00 ). Once this
was done, I called my rep at BMWNA and she mentioned she would get
back to me within 1-3 days. She did call back rather quickly and was
happy to let me know they and the dealership had agreed to share 50%
of the cost of repairs ( approx $2450.00 ).
I felt this was still a bit much out of my pocket as there seems to
be many customers having this very same issue. I was prepared to
offer to pay for the full labor costs for the repair if BMW would
pay for the rebuilt transmission. My rep at BMWNA suggested I speak
with the service manager at the dealership. I stopped by the
dealership this morning, and was basically told that mistakenly this
agreement was made for another customer and I should have not
received the offer/call from BMWNA.
The Dealership said they were sorry and that I would have to pay
full price for the repair. I mentioned to the Service Director that
a simple search on Google ( 323i no reverse ) brings up a wealth of
customers discussing this problem.
The night before I copied about 50-60 pages of this information to
show the dealer and the service director shunned my efforts,
mentioning how un-important these forums are. Interesting comment,
as while my car was being diagnosed the day before, I did read a
publication from BMW that was lying in the dealership waiting room,
I believe it was called After Sales, an article on how important BMW
feels internet forums, blogs, and chat rooms are, both presently and
even more so in the future. The Service Director told me the life
expectancy of an automatic transmission is about 120,000 and I was
lucky to get that!!!! He said I should just replace tranny in my
The Service Manager was of no help as I haven't been taking my car to
their dealership for repairs. Am I to be penalized for fixing my own
car??? As I enjoy working on my car, I have taken care of my brakes,
oil changes, heater repairs, window repairs, tailgate repairs,
etc... I am very frustrated by the fact that my BMW has such an
unreliable transmission, but am appalled at the fact that I was
offered assistance from BMWNA and then had it taken away, because
someone made a communication error on their behalf!!!! Very
un-professional! I have left a voice message with my rep Jen at
BMWNA ealier this morning and am waiting to hear her response.
***UPDATE*** I have just heard back from my rep at BMWNA and she
mentioned she was very sorry for the confusion, but BMWNA was no
longer offering to assist me with my transmission issue. This seems
to be a World-Class Customer Service Blunder to say the least....to
of Washington DC (10/19/07)
Same situation as everyone else here and on the Consumers Affairs
site. I own a 2000 323i (with 84k miles). A couple of weeks ago, I
put my car in reverse, trying to leave a parking space and nothing
occurred. It felt as though it was in neutral. I was able to finally
inch out of the space. The following day I had the same problem at
my home, but it would not even inch back. I had it towed to the
dealer and the estimate was $5,500 however the dealer did come down
to $5,000. I sent an email to BMW of America and received the same
response as many others regarding the "normal wear" of the car. I
was insulted. I could not believe the number of people who had the
same problem until I stumbled upon the many sites highlighting this
problem. I use the subway during the week and do not put many miles
on my car. I am definitely ready for a class action.
of Portland, OR (10/18/07)
A couple weeks ago went to reverse and nothing happened. The car
didn't even feel it tried engaging into gear. I have a 2000 323i
steptronic automatic tranny. I took it to a transmission place and
they said they would have to start pulling the transmission apart to
find out the issue. Most likely it would result in a new or rebuilt
transmission. It was odd though, although the reverse hadn't worked
all that day it started working and has worked since. I'm still very
unsure about the reliability and am prepared to push out of a spot
every time I park. I need to know if this is able to turn into a
class action case? Have any lawyers confirmed that this is doable
of Los Angeles, CA (10/17/07)
I own a 2000 BMW 323i sedan and have had to replace the
transmission, as the car would not go on reverse. To top it off,
there is only 30,000 miles on my car. We need to get a class action
suit together because understandably the car is 7 years old, but a
transmission should not need to be replaced after 30,000 miles.
of Rosemead, CA (10/14/07)
Today I am very sad that my 2000 323i has a huge expensive problem.
I went online to research and discover that many individuals share
the same pain. I too cannot reverse, driving forward is ok, but
reversing is not working. Im soo sad, I know it will cost me a lot
to fix and I still owe money on this piece of crap!!!! If I knew
about this problem on this car and model, I would not have purchased
this car. I really can't believe BMW, would not acknowledge this
problem and would not offer to recall these cars. Someone please
help us sue BMW!!!
of Toronto, CA (10/14/07)
Just bought a automatic BMW 323i with 270,000 KMs. For the first few
days there was no problem with reverse gear in the car. Lately,
reverse gear does not engage, so far only if the car is parked in
incline/slope. Not sure if its the same "no reverse" problem as
everyone else's. I think at 270K KMs it is not abnormal to get
transmission issues. But I'm appalled at BMW's callous attitude
towards thousands of customers who experienced this problem in their
brand new cars as early as few 10000s KMs.
of Cupertino, CA (10/9/07)
I have a 2000 323i that was been serviced perfectly since day one. I
lost reverse with no warning and like everyone else have the same
symptoms. Bottom line, I have the GM piece of crap transmission in
mine (what is GM doing in my BMW in the 1st place?) and the cost to
replace is looking to be around $5-$6000!
Can you say class action suit? Shame on you BMW!
of Queens, NY (10/4/07)
My boyfriend drove my car today which gets serviced regularly with
BMW. He told me there is no reverse. How can that be? It only works
when the fluid is hot. Is that what is happening to everyone or does
your reverse not work at all?
I will be bringing my car to Hassle BMW. I have to wait two weeks
because they are so busy they would not be able to look at the car
I hope I do not have to replace my transmission. My car is finally
paid off and it would kill me to spend another $7000 on it right
If that's what I need, I will be writing a letter to BMW corporate
office. This seems to be a problem with the 2000 3 series. They need
to own up to their problems. If GM can recall and replace the
transmissions why can't BMW?
of Youngstown, OH (10/3/07)
I was the proud owner of a 2000 323i in May of 2005. The car was
perfect with only around 60K miles. By August of that year I
experienced the transmission problem of "no reverse." I took it to
the shop and they said it needed a fluid change. From previous
research on the Internet, I knew that a fluid change was not going
to fix the problem. Sure enough they called me and said I needed
another transmission. My warranty covered 50% of parts and labor on
the $4,000 bill so I ended up having to pay roughly 2 grand out of
my pocket. I still have the car today, but BMW will lose my future
business. I would never purchase another one as there are too many
individuals who had the same problem and BMW has done nothing but
hide behind their denials. Go ahead BMW and claim that this is not a
common problem, the thousands of complaints must be all coincidence.
owner of San Diego, CA (10/2/07)
2000 323 ci with 58,000 miles on it with all service records. My
cute little BMW convertible is a total lemon! Last month it was the
water pump ($580). This week it won't go into reverse -- mechanics
say it will cost $5000 to put in a new transmission - BMW you've got
to be kidding. How can you ignore a problem that is obviously a
problem in the manufacturing and design of your automobiles?
New Zealand (10/2/07)
Like almost all of you, I too have experienced the dreaded 'no
reverse' issue. I have a BMW 325i 2000 model which I purchased 2nd
hand in Feb 07. It had only done 45,000kms which is still pretty low
mileage. I have been so pleased with the car until about 2 months ago
when I started having the odd problem putting the car into reverse
only it would be like I had moved it into neutral but with the
annoying reverse bell still sounding. I found that occasionally I
could get the car pushed backwards and could drive for a few km's,
park and then I could engage reverse without an issue. This behavior
kept happening for several weeks until I got too nervous to drive
the car anywhere. When it happened again in my garage at home, I
then drove straight to the nearest BMW dealership and told them the
issue. They had the car for 1.5 weeks and could not find the
problem- they said all the diagnostics were fine and they could not
make the car not engage in reverse. Frustrated, I collected the car
and for a week it was fine. The following week, it happened again, I
drove to the supermarket and still no reverse. Pushed the car out of
the parking space and drove back home. Still no reverse. I then
drove the car straight to the same BMW dealership and got the
service manager to come out and sit in the car "you try it" I said.
He said "you are right- no reverse- I'll drive it up on the hoist
right away and get the boys to have a look later on this afternoon".
That was Saturday. I got a call on Monday afternoon to say they
weren't really sure what the issue was but they thought it was the
soleniod (pressure regulator) for converter/ clutch. They told me
this would cost about NZ$600 to replace so I told them to go-ahead.
I got a call on Tuesday to tell me that they had replaced the
solenoid and the car would still not go into reverse. I was not
happy! I asked them what the next step was and they said that they
still did not know what was wrong but they thought it was an
internal clutch fault.
Louisville KY (09/27/07)
I own a 2001 330i BMW. I bought the car with 35,000 miles in 2003. A
couple months ago, at about 100,000 miles, reverse stopped working
with no warning. It looks like I am not the only one with this
problem. I was able to deal with replacing the drive shaft,
replacing the wishbone suspension, the water pump falling into the
radiator, loosing all the coolant due to faulty parts, replacing all
four power window thingies, replacing the software in the power
mirrors, not to mention the little things like the sunroof not
working and the cd player eats cds, but the transmission is the last
straw!! I have been more than patient and now this. I have been told
that the transmission now needs to be replaced!!
Camarillo CA (9/26/07)
I bought my 2000 323i certified used in 2001. Only previous tranny
issues were related to big clunking sound when i would shift into
reverse and a rear-end clunk when accelerating from a coast. Then on
same the same day I picked up my car from service inspection I at
the dealer, reverse failed (just after turning 95k).
I have a 00' 323i and it's the second tranny I have to put and my
car has 135k miles I think this car are defect since a tranny to
fail at less than 100k miles is not acceptable most of the other
cars can pass 100k with no problems. this cars are really expensive
I believe we should have a better quality cars. but this is my last
BMW I will buy.
Jay of Marietta
Early last year, my 323, which was/is very well maintained and
driven only by me, began having auto tranny problems...it started
slipping. I am not a hotdog driver and probably drive more like an
old man than a hot-rodder. I never had any problem getting the car
into reverse, however. Anyway, long story short, I had to have a new
(re-built, which is all that is available evidently) auto tranny.
The cost was only $3,641. Most people don't realize that these
trannies are made by GM France. I will NEVER buy another BMW.
Donna of Cumming GA (09/18/07)
As I can see from this forum, I'm but one of many who
need a new transmission in their 2000 BMW 323. Just as all the
others, my one owner vehicle has been serviced as recommended and
just suddenly won't operate in reverse. I have been told replacing
with a rebuilt transmission will cost me $3000. I have also replaced
all the power window motors at least once in this vehicle. I have
been a loyal BMW owner since 1990 but I'm having serious second
thoughts after this experience.
Cyrus of Savannah GA (09/18/07)
I have a BMW 323ci convertible just like everybody
else I've experienced the same problem left for work put my car in
reverse and it would not move acted like it was in neutral, took it
to Critz BMW to find out the problem and they said it is my
transmission my car has only 74,000 miles the year of my car is a
2000. The cost they told me would be 5,600 to fix. I owe about
14,000 thousand on my car and this is a tremendous amount of money I
should be enjoying my car but instead I'm still paying for it and
its park because I can't afford to fix it. When i purchased my
vehicle I asked alot of questions that they either avoided or
changed the subject that should have sent up Red Flags then for but
I wanted that car BMW advertises Precision and Excellence but after
reading this site they have alot of disgruntle and disappointed
consumers. BMW needs to reassess these problems and restore their
good name before its to late PLEASE KEEP ME INFORM THANK YOU FOR
LISTENING> CYRUS HUNTER waiting to ride again in Savannah Ga.
Vicky of Kennesaw GA (09/17/07)
I just read other complaints about the BMW
transmission going on automobiles. on 9/14 at in the evening I
stopped at Walmart to pick up some items. When I tried to back up my
328I 2000 BMW, the reverse did not work. I took my car to the
dealership United BMW; and they said they could not find anything
wrong so it has to be internal and I would need a new transmission.
Up to that point, i never had a problem with my car not going into
reverse. If these cars have transmissions issue, then why isn't BMW
doing something about it. They are making it appear that it is just
something with the car itself or the mileage on the vehicle. This is
crazy - they should be fixing these automobiles.
Amber of Baltimore MD (09/17/07)
I was leaving for class and went to put my
1999 328i into reverse and it wouldn't move. I have it towed to BMW
and they gave me a $7100 estimate. Its $5,800 for the transmission
and $1100 for labor. This is crazy. I'm a student and I do not have
this type of money to fork out for a new transmission. Please help
make more people aware of this.
Transmission failed (no reverse) January 07 on my 2000 323i WITH
ONLY 28,000. miles on it!!!!!! Dealership Service Mgr. told me I was
denied "assistance" from them because I was out of warranty (by
time, not miles) and I did not continue to have it serviced with
them after the warranty expired" !!! " (As if the transmission going
out at 28,000 miles wasn't bad enough, the blatant, nonchalant
attitudes of BMW representatives are outrageous!) "Fought" with
dealership, field service engineer and BMW NA for weeks before
taking it to an independent BMW service shop to have it replaced. My
actual repair invoice notes: "worn/defective transmission" and
""flush trans cooling line note: OIL VV DARK BLACK! NASTY with 28k
on it". They even took pictures of the defective transmission. I
have been in contact with a transmission manufacturer in Michigan
who contends there will be a release in a trade magazine which
describes this transmission design defect. Now what????
James of Tucson AZ (09/16/07)
I have a 2000 323i sedan with 77k the car has been extremely well
taken care of. all services done in order. My transmission light
comes on all the time now with the service engine soon. I brought it
to them and the could not read the faults so they consulted with BMW
America to determine what they read. We short story is you need to
replace the transmission. They told me I never need to replace the
fluid on tranny caused it sealed. I ask them to replace it at 30k
and 60k and they said no reason to. So I believed them. So no I they
are wanting $5,700 to replace the tranny which is un heard of. I
feel ripped off. They said the tranny fluid is burned. I asked why
did you not replace it when I asked. They no reason to.
Luvard of Anderson SC (09/15/07)
2000 BMW 323i won't go to reverse. No warning, all of a sudden
the car wouldn't go into reverse. BMW cost to repair is $4000+.
Lord, I hope we get a recall on these or the class action lawsuit. I
had no idea this problem was relevant to so many people.
Frank of Port Chester NY (09/14/07)
I've previously reported my problem with the failure of my 2000 BMW
323i to go in reverse gear -- and BMW's refusal to own up to the
problem. What's new is I have a copy of the technical report BMW
sent to its service technicians advising them that the Steptronic
transmission made by GM would no longer be used in these cars.
Obviously the reason was BMW knew the transmission was a bad one
since GM recalled it in its own vehicles and made matters right with
its customers. BMW, however, simply discontinued its use of the
transmission and has left its customers on the hook for the full
cost of replacing the transmission. If you have my make, model and
year, you'll be in the same predicament as me. If you want a copy of
the technical service report.
Brian of Alexandria VA (09/10/07)
The transmission on my 2001 BMW 330i, on which I have less than 50k
miles, is shot. I went to put it in reverse last week, and nothing
happened. Apparently, this is a common problem with this make and
model of car. I'm looking at a $5,500 repair bill! Apparently, the
transmission can't be rebuilt.
Jeff of Athens GA (09/06/07)
The transmission just went on our 2000 323i wagon. It has 127k
miles. WONT GO IN REVERSE!! Shocking I know. I was at the airport
leaving on a three week business trip when my wife (who just dropped
me off) calls me in tears telling me she stopped to get a cup of
coffee and the car wouldn't go in reverse. BMW really needs to step
up to the plate on this problem. We still owe over $8000 on our car
and now it looks like another $3000 will have to be spent. Why is
BMW using a GM transmission anyway?
Ann Marie of St. Paul MN (09/02/07)
My BMW 323i - the REVERSE is no longer working - it has only
100K miles on it.
This could cost $4000 to $5000
Elaina of Longview WA (09/01/07)
My turn ! Add me to the list of NO REVERSE in my BMW 323I.
89,000 miles , 5k to replace. BMW claims ignorance to the issue.Time
to get vocal people!
Jenni of San Jose CA (08/29/07)
BMW 2000 323i sedan will not reverse. Happened all of a sudden
to meticulously maintained car. Similar experience like those posted
on the site. We need a recall! I have filed a complaint at
Estimated cost of $3500.
Jorge of Miami FL (08/26/07)
I have a BMW 2000 323i that fails to go into reverse. The dealer
wants 6000 to replace same. After some research I've found this to
be a prevalent problem with this model.
Kevin of Middletown NJ (08/25/07)
Well, I see here that the problem I have with my BMW 323i is not
new. I didn't realize it was so wide spread.. Yesterday I started
the car as normal and attempted to back out of my drive way. I put
the car in reverse and nothing,, the car wouldn't move. The day
before the car was fine and drove normal, no noise, no problem. It
seemed as if the Transmission goblins came over night.. Obviously a
big expensive problem that is occurring more then what BMW can say
is normal wear and tear. This car is well taken care of and all
service and Maint is done by BMW.. WHY ISN'T THERE A RECALL.. BMW is
giving a pat answer claiming they are not aware of any tranny
problems.. COME-ON BMW step up to the plate and at least help out
with some of the cost. I hope every one up here that has this
complaint is forwarding this around the NET,, so that we can help
others from getting burned by this Co.. and the way it treats it's
costumers.. The Co. has record profits this year and now we can see
why.. They WON'T stand behind what they sell and REFUSE to
acknowledge that there is a problem with these tranny's
Brad of Mount Juliet TN (08/22/07)
I owned a 1999 BMW 328i 4 door and sold it to my girlfriend about 2
years ago. It has about 120,000 miles on it now and has recently
experience the same problem that others have been describing on this
site. It will not go into reverse and acts as if it is neutral. The
general assumption seems to be that it will require a transmission
replacement that costs about $7000. I have researched it a little
and found that there was a class action lawsuit (Kevin Daugherty v.
BMW of North America, LLC) filed, but I cannot find the result of
that lawsuit nor can I find anyone to contact that is willing to
help me add my girlfriends name to the class. Does anyone know the
result of this case? I found that they have recalled the 1999
5-series auto transmission saying PASSENGER VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH A
5HP24 AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION. PREMATURE WEAR OF THE RING GEAR CAN
OCCUR, LEADING TO THE LOSS OF 1ST, 2ND, 3RD, AND REVERSE GEARS. I'm
not sure if this is the same automatic transmission that is in the
3-series, but it obviously has had similar problems.I also found a
description of what may be causing this problem.First site say, The
problem is probably a dowel pin that has fallen out. On a 323i, the
owner took his story to a news channel and BMW agreed to give him a
new transmission for free and charge him only for labor -- a savings
of $4,000. I also read that BMW used a GM transmission in several of
their models for a few years. Yet another site says Your
transmission (a GM sourced transmission BTW) has what BMW claims as
a Lifetime fill tranmission fluid. There're no dipsticks or refill
cap in the engine compartment as others here have suggested.
Changing your fluid now is redundant, because you already have a
problem in the transmission. There are no repairs possible by BMW;
because BMW does not supply parts for this transmission, they only
offer complete rebuilt trannies. Cost: $6,000 installed.
You have 4 choices now. 1. Quickly trade the car in and buy another
new/used car from a dealer (w/o telling them the problem) before you
completely lose the revese gear - the least expensive and safest
choice. 2. Pay the $6,000 (a costly option considering the market
price of this car now). 3. Print out all the articles you find
online (like what I did before) and Fedex to BMW USA to request for
help (ask them nicely in the letter). If you're lucky, they'll cut
the price in half (which they offered me). But it's a long process.
4. Convert the car to Manual Transmission. I know of this place that
does it, www.theeurodepot.com. It is only a matter of time now
before you completely lose your reverse gear.
To diagnose this, on a good day when you CAN get reverse gear, step
on the brakes and step on the pedal lightly. You'll see your
transmission slipping (revs going up higher and higher w/o any
resistance). This site describes the problem the best and offers an
alternative solution. - The reverse is controlled by a clutch drum
that has some very weak machining and very thin wall where a snap
ring holding the clutch plates in is secured. This clutch drum is
available (new) as an OEM part from a parts house.
The drum looks like its cast out of some cheap pot metal and then
machined.About 270 degrees of the drum edge is broken off. This
removes the pressure point of the snap ring that the clutch plates
press against. I guess it starts to crack and works its way around
the drum until it just breaks free - then No reverse. The real scary
part is that when the shop dropped the pan, it was totally clean -
all the broken pieces shown were laying on top of the valve body.
The tech said that none of the parts were small enough to get into
the valve body.My tranny guy said the new drum has been reengineered
and is much stronger than the unit shown in the pics.
The service is probably going to be somewhere around two grand. This
is the web address to the above site. http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?referrerid=50100&t=468165.
I appologize for the choppy post but, I was doing research as I
posted and had to add several thing and don't have time to revise
it. I hope this helps, and I think its about time for a recall.
Update me on the class action lawsuit if any of you hear anything.
Kathleen of Cincinnati OH (08/21/07)
I drove to work as usual with no problems. Upon leaving the office
for the day, my 2001 330i BMW would not shift into reverse gear. I
had the car towed to the BMW Store, where I was informed the car
needed a new transmission. The cost of the new transmission is
$4800.00. It turns out I actually received a rebuilt transmission
rather than a new one. The BMW Store kept my car for about a month
while the rebuilt transmission was shipped here from Germany. The
transmission failed to enter reverse gear @ per the repair paperwork
@ 80,000 miles. I took the car back to the The BMW Store for another
issue and was informed of recall regarding the transmission, but
they indicated it had nothing to do with the reverse gear failure.
The BMW Store replaced some sort of control module that reportedly
controlled shift points. If anyone is anticipating a CLASS ACTION
suit regarding their failed transmission, I too am very interested
in entering the ClASS. With so many failed units we should
collectively take out a one page add in the USA Today and make
America aware of our problems with BMW's non responsiveness. Maybe
that would persuade them to become a RESPONSIBLE CORPORATE COMPANY.
I have always wanted a BMW and was warned repeatedly against the
purchase. I must say this is the worst financial decision I have
made in my LIFE. I love and have pampered my car. It still let me
down. Back to Toyota..........
Norma of Santa Rita, Guam (08/20/07)
Bought a 1997 528i series with less than 50,000, and been having
some engine troubles. Advised the service dept that it seemed there
was some problems with the transmission, a few times.
They have fixed little issues, but two weeks ago the car stalled
while driving to work, and now they tell me that it is the
transmission and it will cost $4700. We are in a very small island
and when I bought the car it had about 38,000 miles, so I only use
it for commuting to work about 6 to 7 miles two to three times a
I understand it is an older car, but can't comprehend the
transmission failing with less than 50,000 miles, and costing so
much to fix. I don't have that kind of money, and I won't be taking
the vehicle back to the states when we go back in less than a year,
it is too costly to ship from Guam. So, as I have just found out, it
seems that BMW's are having serious problems with the transmission
and wanted to join and see what can be done. Thanks, Norma
Garrett of Carlsbad CA (08/19/07)
2000/ BMW 323I, won't go into reverse. Car has 61,000 miles runs
great but the other day the car just stopped going into reverse. It
acts like it is in neutral. After a little research this looks like
a very common problem. Something needs to be done.
John of Memphis TN (08/17/07)
After reading this site I feel lucky that i made it this far without
this issue. I've driven my 1999 BMW 323I for the past year with no
problems. I bought it used at an extremely discounted price, but now
i see why. I got up for a 4 AM road trip and my car lost its reverse
gear. I didn't try to drive it, i thought it was a dealer mistake
because i just had it serviced the day before. I came inside to do a
quick web search and found this site. Boy am I disappointed.
Ethan of Mesa AZ (08/16/07)
I just bought a 2000 BMW 323i from the original owner who has had
every scheduled maintenance and inspection performed since he bought
it from the dealership. He only used Shell gas and has never taken
it through a car wash (i.e. only washed it by hand). This guy is a
meticulous fanatic, the perfect person you want to buy a car from.
However, after only having the car for a week, it would no longer go
into reverse. I had the BMW dealership inspect the car (about a week
ago) before it was shipped out and they didn't pick up on the
problem. Car has 105,325 miles. Tranny replacement will run $3,000
Joanne of Scottsdale AZ (08/06/07)
One day my car just stopped going into reverse. The local BMW wants
$7,000. to replace it. I don't have an extra $7,000. so my car is
just sitting in my garage and I'm using my teenage daughter's car
when necessary. After reading about all of the other similar
complaints, I'M MAD!!! Please consider the recommendation we might
make to BMW as a group. So many of us have demonstrated how
ineffective our efforts are as individuals. If we can pool our
number, the fruits of our individual investigations, the power of
our number speaking with one voice to BMW about our transmission
problems . . . maybe we can successfully encourage them to take a
different tack with all of us.
Avanish of Ashland MA (08/02/07)
My 2000 BMW 323i with about 90K miles will no longer drive in
reverse. It appears to be the same transmission problem everyone is
describing here. I had no idea that problem was so widespread.
Svetlana of San Francisco CA (08/01/07)
My 2003 BMW 330i has 85K miles and is in very good condition.
Recently, however, a Service Engine Soon light came on. The dealer
diagnosed a problem and informed me that I needed a new torq
converter because the gasket was leaking, however, the car was
driving just fine. They told me that if I dodn't replace it now then
doen the road the whole transmission might fail and need
I feel ripped off having paid $3,000 for a torq converter on a car
that drove fine. An independent mechanic told me that it's a common
problem that BMW is aware of, but the company refused to help out
with the cost, stating that there were too many miles on my car. The
life of the transmission is supposed to be way longer than 85K
miles. Too bad, BMW said.
Michael of Cocoa FL (07/31/07)
I own a 2000, automatic transmission, 323i BMW. It will
intermittently fail to go in reverse. It will behave as if it's in
neutral. All other gears work fine... and reverse will 'sometimes'
work again after about 20 minutes of driving. This has resulted in
much lateness, headache and injury. Unluckily for me, I parked
outside a store in a dip. When I got back and tried to pull out of
my parking spot, nothing happened. I spent about an hour trying to
push my car uphill out of my spot in 100 degree Florida sun. A good
samaritan finally helped and I was on my way... along with burn
blisters covering my palms and fingers due to contact with the 100
degree paint on my car while pushing. BMW technician said he had no
idea what was wrong and suggested replacement. I also have a problem
where the A/C will only blow at full blast. No low, medium or
high... only full blast. Oh, and of course every single power
windows motor has broken. The passenger side motor has actually
broken twice now.
Ed of Seattle WA (07/31/07)
BMW 2000 323i transmission problem. My BMW 323i has 50,000 miles and
this weekend reverse totally quit. I come to find that this is a
common problem. Car has had regular servicing through BMW dealer.
Repair will cost about $4,700. Any recourse? Any sign that BMW will
admit general problem, and have recall or pay for rebuilt engine?
Anthony of Carlsbad CA (07/27/07)
Last Night MY 2001 330CI lost reverse,I called the dealer and they
are aware of the problem but there is no recall. How many people
have to complain about this to get BMW to repair their faulty
product. I am in disbelief.
The estimate for the repair is 4K I could not believe it. SHAME ON
Fay of Monterey Park CA (07/25/07)
My 2001 BMW 330i is in good condition, but the transmission has
failed and I can't put the car in reverse. My car has about 85,000
mile on it. It's going to cost me $3360 to replace it w/a re-built.
I don't think this is supposed to happen and I already know BMW's
response will be to not take responsibility since they never
Marvin of Staten Island NY (07/24/07)
My beautiful dream car, 2000BMW 323, Sport Package, Sun Roof, you
name it, meticulously maintained by BMW ONLY and their recommended
intervals - would not back-up out of a public parking spot. Will not
go in reverse. No warning. No lights showing. Only 68,000. Driven
ONLY by me and my wife, treated like a baby - bought new directly
from BMW through Pentaogn Sales while in ITALY. My wife cried.
Haven't taken it to BMW yet to waste $150 on diagnosis, but after
reading the other posts I'm sure the outcome will be the same.
Devesh of Pennington NJ (07/24/07)
Transmission Problems - 1998 740iL I bought a CPO BMW 740iL with
35000 miles. Now I have 65600 miles on the car and I too am having
issues with the transmission. While the car was under CPO warranty,
I had taken the car to the Dealership when I was getting a CHECK
TRANS message, which I have service records for. The dealership
refused to acknowledge the error, saying that they could not read
the code on the computer. Well now the transmission won't go in park
or reverse and needs to be replaced and the car is out of CP
Ivy of Lawton OK (07/24/07)
I took my BMW323i to this dealership because my transmission
go in reverse they wanted to charge me $5100.00 to replace it they
said they do not rebuild transmissions I recently fought in Iraq for
24 months so my car hasn't even hit 60000 miles yet, and there isn't a
warning light notifying me of the problem, I really hate coming home
from a war and having to possibly pay 51000 dollars to be able to
get to work. Now I'm researching this problem online and now I realize
this has been an ongoing problem with BMW but yet they claim its not
their fault. This Model should be recalled.
Shawn of Harlan KY (07/24/07)
No Reverse at 87k miles. 00 323I Dealer quotes $4300 to replace
transmission. I filed complaint at http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/
There are only two complaints filed. All of you people need to file
your complaints if you expect any relief. It only takes a minute.
William of St, Louis MO (07/23/07)
Transmission failure on a 2000 BMW 323 Ci with 65000 miles. Car will
not shift into reverse, similar to other complaints on your site.
BMW dealer service says the transmission needs to be replaced for
$4436. They also say that there is no maintenance that needs to be
performed on the transmission, driver technique has no bearing, that
it is just a failure of an internal seal.
Marvin of Staten Island NY (07/23/07)
I own a beautiful 2000 BMW 323i which I purchased while living in
Italy. The car has only been driven by me and my wife. It has been
maintained by BMW at the recommended intervals throughout the seven
years we've owned it. Last week my wife tried to leave her parking
lot after work on a slight up-hill grade. The car would not go into
reverse. The gear stick does, but the transmission does not send the
power. Fortunately she was not in a dark parking lot late at night,
because we had no light warning us that the transmission was about
to fail. The car works fine in all other gears and will backup on a
level grade, just not uphill. I was about to take the car in for
diagnosis, but it looks like I should save the money and see what I
can get for the car in its pitiful state. My wife loved this car and
actually cried when she realized that after only 68,000 miles and
lots of $$$ paid to the BMW dealer in order to maintain the resale
value of this truly beautiful automobile, we are now stuck with a
repair bill that approaches the trade-in value of the car. I STILL
INTEND TO APPROACH BMW OF NORTH AMERICA, AND IN DEUTSCHLAND, BUT, I
DO NOT HOLD OUT MUCH HOPE. SADLY, WE WILL PROBABLY GO BACK TO
David of Gastonia NC (07/19/07)
reverse went out in my transmission on my 2000 323ci yesterday, had
it diagnosed at a repair shop and said that it would need to be
replaced, i only have 66,000 miles on it, and bought the car less
than a year ago. after reading on the internet i see that this is a
common problem that BMW denies. why isnt there a recall?
after buying the car less than a yr ago, i still owe $12,000 on it.
not only can i not sell or trade it in, but i am stuck with this car
for which i cannot afford to pay $5,000-6,000 to have repaired.
there needs to be some type of class action lawsuit made against
Amy of Seattle WA (07/17/07)
Just like all of you my 2000 BMW 323ci will not go into reverse. I
bought the car a month ago with 100K miles and have had it happen
several times. I love the car but cannot believe that BMW will not
do a recall with all similar complaints. I'm not dropping 6K after
just buying the car for 11K. Guess I will be using that AAA for
awhile. I would join a class action in a heartbeat.
Dan of Naugatuck CT (07/11/07)
On 7/7/2007, my 2000 BMW 323ci stopped going in reverse for no
apparent reason. In doing some quick research on the internet, this
reverse problem seems to be a chronic problem experienced by many.
My car has been meticulously cared for and driven non-aggressively
and it ONLY has 77K miles on it. The car is not driven in the
winter. I bought it with 9k miles on it. I expect a high cost to
repair this and that is unacceptable le to me as the car has such
low miles on it and there also appears to be a major problem going
on with BMW transmissions in the first place. I will gladly join a
class acton suit if there is one in the works or will be.
Walter of New York City NY (07/09/07)
In 2001 I bought a 2000 323i at BMW of Manhattan for $28,000. In
mid-June 2007, the car stopped going in reverse with only 58,000
miles on it. BMW is a company-owned dealership. I took my car there
only to be told that they don't know what's wrong. We don't rebuild
transmissions here, we only install new ones. I was told. For that
useless information they charged me over $300. The cost for a new
transmission at this dealership is more than $7,000 which I can't
Rahul of Los Altos CA (07/05/07)
2000 BMW 323i will not move when in reverse gear; the car behaves as
if it is Neutral. This happened suddenly, with no warning. The car
had no issues leading up to this, no warning lights, etc. The car
has been immaculately maintained and serviced. There are literally
hundreds of complaints on the web, including at your forum, about
this identical problem on this model and year (2000 BMW 323). To
anyone else with the same problem: PLEASE FILE A COMPLAINT WITH THE
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at: http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/
They are the agency responsible for recalls and need to hear from
you in order to do something.
Gerry of Merrick NY (06/29/07)
My 2000 BMW 323 suddenly stopped going in reverse. Hassel said I
need an entire new transmission for $5200. When I searched the net, I
see HUNDREDS of the exact same failure. I will continue arguing
with HASSEL, as this has class action written all over it
Alex of Little Rock AR (06/23/07)
On June 21st, 2006, the exact same thing happened to me. My 2000 BMW
323i suddenly quit going into reverse. I researched the issue that
day and saw this post so of course was prepared for what was to
come. This is just appalling!
Transmission has to be replaced, $4500. I have called the customer
service department at BMW and they are supposed to get back to me.
Not real confident obviously!
Shawn of Harlan KY (06/21/07)
We have a 2000 BMW 323I bought new. Yesterday at 87k miles the
transmission refused to enter reverse. The car has been dealer
maintained and the only obvious explanation is that the cars are not
designed nor produced to last. Cars that cost 1/3 the price provide
better utility. I like the way the car handles but there are other
cars that handle as well and they last. I have owned 3 Volvos, 2
Mercedes an MG and this BMW in the foreign vehicle category and this
car has been the worst. 2 years ago the thermostat had to be changed
and the dealer in Nashville did not manage to get the coolant
refilled and we had to buy a head 10 days after they worked on it.
The dealer steadfastly refused to take responsibility. (The class of
that place is only as deep as their suits and prices) My daughter
drives the car and she is not mechanical...neither is the dealer.
The car is in good condition but has had major engine work and now
has a bad transmission. What's it worth? $3 grand? or spend $6k on a
transmission and sell it for $8 or $9K. The car cost $38k in 2000.
With interest I spent $45k on it. The head cost me $3k. So I have
$48k in the car...it's now worth $3k in this condition. 87k miles
divided by $45k...The car costs $.52/mile to own. I have had my
William of Chicago IL (06/20/07)
On June 8, 2007 I was driving my 2002 BMW 325Ci (manual
transmission) convertible when I came to a stop light. As I
down-shifted I noticed that the clutch was hard to press down and it
was difficult to change gears. When the light changed and I again
tried to put the car in gear, the clutch couldn't be depressed and I
could not shift gears so I was stuck in the middle of the street.
The car only has 35,000 miles on it because I usually only drive it
on weekends (I bought the car in 2002 with 6,000 miles on it). When
I finally got it towed to Perillo BMW in Chicago they told me that
the clutch was gone. Then they later told me that the transmission
was also shot, but since they didn't do transmission repairs I would
have to send it to a transmission specialist. Perillo BMW has now
replaced the clutch at a cost to me of $1,400+ and shipped it to
AAMCO (transmission specialists) for the transmission work.
I ham 59 years old and have been driving cars with manual
transmissions since I was 19 which means I'm not a novice when it
comes to driving a stick. To name a few of the cars I've driven over
the years is a mustang Mach I, an Old 442, a Camaro Z28, and a
Corvette. Never did I have a clutch or transmission problem with
any of these cars.
With the BMW being the most expensive of them all you can Imagine my
surprise when I was informed that both the clutch and the
transmission had failed with only 35,000 miles. Fortunately (I hope)
I had purchased an extended warranty when the original one expired
and I am presently waiting to hear from the warranty provider as to
whether-or-not I am going to have to end up paying for a new
transmission. When I bought the BMW, I thought I was definitely
moving up in class by buying a so-called luxury automobile but it
looks like I should have stayed true to American made cars. Any
assistance or advice you might be willing to proffer regarding this
matter would be greatly appreciated.
George of Sacramento CA (06/19/07)
My BMW 323i is immaculate, routinely maintained, and has just under
50,000 miles. Today, June 19th, 2007, the reverse stopped
responding. Otherwise the transmission seems fine. I have just seen
the January 2007 report about such problems plaguing BMW 3 Series
C E of Kennewick WA (06/19/07)
My 1987 BMW has been my jewel since I bought it. Not long ago I had
a new BMW transmission put into it. It has only been 32,000 and now
the reverse does not work. The transmission was replaced 9 years
ago. The car is in storage much of the time. It doesn't seem right
that a transmission from BMW with so little miles on it should start
David of Noblesville IN (06/19/07)
I posted that my 2000 BMW 323i transmission failed in reverse about
2 weeks ago. Any word on an attorney taking this as a class action
suit against BMW? It is amazing how many posts there are on this
blog, not to mention all the BMW owners with the same problem who
don't use the internet or participate in blogs!!!
Joanne of Phoenix AZ (06/15/07)
One day my car just stopped going into reverse. The local BMW wants
$7,000. to replace it. I don't have an extra $7,000. so my car is
just sitting in my garage and I'm using my teenage daughter's car
when necessary. After reading about all of the other similar
complaints, I'M MAD!!!
Dolle of Atlanta GA (06/13/07)
My 2000 323 iT (wagon) with 102,000 miles will not go into reverse. I
have read numerous stories form others that are having the same
problem with their BMW.
I have not received a quote yet. but from my understanding, it will
need a new transmission.
Kevin of Redlands CA (06/12/07)
I own a 2000 323Ci convertible. I live just 3 miles from work, and
travel a lot, so the car has only 56,000+ miles on it. The car is in
excellent condition and serviced regularly. On Friday June 8, 2007,
I put the car in reverse and it wouldn't move. By shifting in and
out of reverse, I was able to back out of the space and drive the
car home. The next day it failed again. I took the car to the
dealer, who asked if the warning light came on and I said no. So
they charge $138.00 for an inspection. The service manager indicated
they send their computer check to BMW (corporate US) and they verify
the problem. I was told the reverse clutch drum was broken, it was a
non-repairable item, and the transmission would have to be replaced
with a factory rebuilt. I was told it was a rare occurrence and was
not a function of age or wear and tear on the car.
Kevin of Redlands CA (06/12/07)
I own a 2000 323Ci BMW convertible. I live 3 miles from work and
travel a lot. The car has only 56,000+ miles on it; just less than 7
years old. The car is excellent condition. The reverse get went out
suddenly and BMW says nothing can be done but replace the
transmission at a hefty price. In investigating a repair, rather
than expensive replacement, I discovered 322 other such complaints,
and all said the same thing. BMW disavows any knowledge of this
Steve of Camarillo CA (06/11/07)
I purchased my 1994 740iL new with the full realization that I would
experience substantially higher-than-Toyota repair costs. However,
for $60k+ I also expected things to be better made and last longer
than they did. The engine had a small ping from the get go and
finally the dealer replaced it at 65K mi on warranty. From then on
the car has had a variety of other minor problems, for example leaky
valve cover gaskets (3 times). At around 140K miles I started having
transmission problems in reverse gear similar to those described
However, in my case reverse could be engaged by revving the engine a
bit at which time reverse would catch with a disconcerting (but
anticipated) jerk. Now at 145K miles reverse gear seems to work
normally and the problem has been transferred to all forward gears.
As before the forward gear(s) will begin to catch with some engine
revving but now it's a two-stage jerk-jerk process before full gear
engagement is accomplished. Unfortunately, like others I was told by
my dealer, and by in independent repair shop, that only
factory-rebuilt transmissions are available.
The latter shop asked me how enamored I was of my car because at
$5k the rebuilt transmission would cost more than the car was worth.
At this point I'm looking for a used transmission on E-Bay and a new
car at the local (Toyota) Lexus dealer. I've heard the same thing
from others with German car experience. BMW (and Porsche and MB)
buyers heed: Always sell before the drivetrain warranty expires.
Alvin of Vancouver, Canada (06/11/07)
I'm the original owner of a 2000 323I with the automatic
transmission. The car is carefully driven and cared for. For the
past 7 years, Vancouver Brian Jessel BMW has performed all of the
maintenance. It now has 75000 KM. This morning when I went to back
my car out of the driveway, it would not go into reverse. It feels
like it's in neutral. When I checked on the Internet, I was shocked
to see how many other BMW owners are experiencing the same problem.
It is obvious that the problem is caused by the factory defect on
the transmission. BMW should take responsibility to fix the problem
at their cost.
Yesenia of Fallbrook CA (06/06/07)
I am a student and i drive about 30 miles to college about 4 times a
week. My job is also 10 miles away from my job. As i was leaving my
work one day,i put my car on reverse and tried to leave the parking
lot, i could not get my car on reverse but it would still drive. I
had to have two other people help me push the car out and drive it
home. Now i have to spend all this money fixing the car and that is
something i wasn't expecting because i thought BMW was a reliable
Lisar of San Diego CA (06/05/07)
Hello again, my fellow forward-driving BMW comrades. I posted about
my experience a few weeks ago, but since then I've found a few more
interesting tidbits of information I thought people browsing this
list would appreciate. I mentioned this website to my mechanic, and
how frequently the 99-00 3 series appears to have this issue.
He ended up doing some research on his end and said that there
aren't any bulletins released on the type of transmission I/we have
(called the 5L40e), but there was something released on the next
model transmission that went into service in 2000 (called the ZL
So I did some research on our happy little GM 5L40e, and found that
Cadillac started using it in the 2003 CTS, which has no less than 30
service bulletins released on the transmission...two of which are
specifically for failure in reverse. Why is Cadillac willing to at
least admit to known issues with this transmission, but BMW won't?
My mechanic also told me about what all he went through to try to
find the parts he needed to rebuild. BMW doesn't sell any parts,
period (only rebuilt transmissions), and GM won't honor their
warranty if the part is to be installed in a BMW. Owners of these
cars really are stuck with a non-serviceable transmission that is
prone to failure.
This got me thinking, though...several people have reported on this
page that they have contacted BMW, only to be told they aren't aware
of any known transmission issues. But since it's almost impossible
for mechanics to get parts to fix them, most cars are being repaired
with a rebuilt transmission ordered through a BMW dealership. I
expect this must be a fairly significant number of transmissions
being rebuilt and shipped back out. SOMEBODY at BMW is keeping track
of this number.
I've published everything I've discovered on my website (url below),
and I think I've uncovered enough shenanigans from BMW that it's
time to step up to them to make our voices heard a bit louder.
The number one thing we can do right now is to stop being passive,
to create as much noise about our problems as we can to create an
Internet backlash that will demand answers from BMW. I'm going to
ping some class action lawyers to see how much of an actual case
we've got here, but if BMW starts getting enough negative press,
they'll be forced in a position to preserve their reputation.
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want tips
on what you can do. http://www.lisabrewster.com/111/life/5000-crash-course-in-bmw-transmissions/
David of Noblesville IN (06/04/07)
The transmission failed after 90,000 miles of use. The vehicle will
no longer go into reverse. I have read many other posts about BMW's
on your site with the exact same complaint. BMW wants $7900 to
replace the transmission and will not admit there is something wrong
with their transmissions. All the posts on your site are BMW's with
the same range of age and mileage, and all lose their reverse. If a
class action lawsuit is started I am willing to participate.
I still owe $11,000 for the vehicle. Fair market value is around
$10,500. BMW wants $7900 to replace the transmission that has failed
in thousands of cars after less than 100,000 miles of use in most
Brenda of Centreville VA (06/02/07)
My 2000 BMW 323i experienced the exact same problem as mentioned by
dozens of other people on this site. The reverse one day just
stopped working. The car has 107,000 miles on it and other than the
tranmission is in immaculate condition. Has anyone tried to address
this problem to BMW as a safety hazard? What if you're stuck on a
railroad track in traffic and you can't reverse? Needless to say I
am dismayed and appalled that BMW chose to use inferior GM products
in their ultimate driving machine.
David of San Luis Obispo CA (06/01/07)
Similar to other complaints, my BMW 330CI with 75K miles lost the
reverse gear after routine, normal use. Cost to replace with rebuilt
tranny is $4K that I am unwilling going to have to approve. I will
not, however, get work done through dealer where I have had
inconsistent and expensive experiences. I lost the reverse gear as I
was moving backwards and actually resulted in my having to stop the
moving vehicle by brake power instead of using the engine RPMs to
regulate the pace as would be normal operation. Good thing no one
was behind me at the time. This vehicle was purchased 2 years ago
through their CPO program (Certified Pre Owned) which supposedly has
stringent inspection criteria. In fact, I had to bring it back into
the dealer the first day of ownership!
As with others, BMW dealer played dumb. Never happened before and I
just don't read those consumer websites were commonly heard when
interacting with them. Needless to say, I would join a class action
suit in a heartbeat as this reliability is just plain unacceptable.
I contacted the dealer to ask for a goodwill warranty. As expected,
they did not call back this afternoon as promised.
John of Lawrenceville GA (05/31/07)
I bought a 2000 740il from a used car dealership when I bought the
car it had less than 100,000 miles on it but it looked pristine in
every way. I drove the car for about 3,000 miles and all of a sudden
one day the reverse gear stopped working. When I browsed the
Internet, I understood many other people were having similar
problems. I think this is a problem that is too common among BMWs. I
believe that the manufacturer should recall this problem. When I
brought my car to a transmission place for them to analyze the
problem, they informed me that I would have to have the transmission
replaced or fixed. I was informed that it would cost roughly around
$4,000 to $6,000. Before I bought a BMW, I thought that it was a
durable car. Now I realize that it is a terrible car. I thought the
BMW stood for Bavarian Motor Works from my experience I realized
that I was wrong. I now understand that BMW stands for BEWARE MOTOR
WRECKS! That should be the proper name for this automobile company.
Yewmeng of Alta Loma CA (05/30/07)
I share the grief of most BMW owners. My 1999 323i left me with no
reverse a few weeks ago at 140,000 miles. The car has been very well
maintained with full service record to date and everyone knows
maintenance of a BMW doesn't come cheap to begin with and then the
unexpected comes up. I have taken my car to three places for an
evaluation and each tells me it needs a new transmission that will
cost me $6000. I have previously owned cars other than BMW that have
gone over 200,000 miles without any major problem.
As the original owner of my 323i, I thought I bought a good reliable
luxury car but instead its a piece of nightmare machinery. I am
surprise that BMW knowing of this problem hasn't elected to claim
responsibility and compensate for this failure. I have lost brand
loyalty to BMW and will never recommend a BMW to anyone. I guess BMW
should advertise reverse as an optional feature! Just for thoughts
for those who are thinking of fixing the transmission - How would
you know that the problem will not arise again after replacement?
This creates an unsettling feeling, always questioning whether the
car you are driving in (regardless of the brand) will reverse
without a hitch. If a class action lawsuit is ever filed, I am
willing to participate.
Connie of Newton NC (05/30/07)
I to am having problems with the reverse gear not working on the 3
series BMW. I have a 2000 323i that has been maintained by Hendrick
Automotive in Hickory NC. The reverse gear just suddenly stopped
working with no indication of trouble. The car has 104000 miles. I
have also received the stock response from BMW stating the see no
issues with the transmission reverse gear. The parts are costing me
2700.00 to have the transmission rebuilt by a qualified mechanic.
Unforeseen financial hit on my budget.
Anthony of Charleston SC (05/29/07)
My complaint is like so many others that have spoken out about BMW
transmissions. My wife drives our 2000 BMW 323IT wagon. We went
outside yesterday to take a drive only to find that the transmission
would not go into reverse. The car has only 72000 miles. This is
rediculous, and BMW who has made Millions of dollars from the sale of
this vehicle throughout the world should stand up and do the
Honorable thing and have a RECALL!! for this problem.
Kennyon of Denton TX (05/23/07)
My 2000 328Ci transmission failed to go into reverse.
I almost done paying for this car and don't feel I should pay
thousands of dollars in repairs that should be covered.
Benny of Port Charlotte FL (05/23/07)
my wife's 2000 323i lost reverse at 98,000 miles. BMW claims there
are no defects with this transmission, I have learned that the trans
in this car is made by GM. If I wanted GM parts I would have
purchased a chevy. I drive this car now because my wife is not strong
enough to push this car out of parking spaces. I guess this car is
the ultimate driving forward machine.
Randolph of Bronx NY (05/22/07)
I bought a used 2000 BMW 323i in March of 2006 with 48,000 miles on
it. Just a week ago, with 63,000 miles, the reverse doesn't work. I
took it to Lee miles on Monday May 14 and it still isn't fixed. Lee
miles said this shouldn't be a problem at 63,000 miles. I'm so
disappointed in BMW.
Lisa of San Diego CA (05/21/07)
I bought a used 1999 BMW 323i about a year ago, and last week I
experienced the same thing everyone else here has...got in my car on
Monday morning and found that it wouldn't go in reverse. I had it
towed to a BMW shop and they quoted me $6000 to replace the
transmission. The car has just over 100,000 miles on it, and they're
advising me to sell it as-is (not to them, so I don't think they're
being dishonest), because in their experience more will go wrong.
I still think I'm going to take their advice, because this is
absolutely ridiculous. General advice, though...you'll get a much
better price from a transmission shop than a BMW garage. I was
quoted $4600 for a rebuilt transmission from the dealer, and
approximately $1000 in labor.
Rebuilt transmissions are available on eBay for about $1300, and the
transmission shops are quoting between $1600 and $3000 before
inspection. I really do like this car, but I've seen nothing so far
to be worth the extra cost and hassle of maintaining a German
X Roads Motors of Newfoundland NJ (05/20/07)
2000 323ci had demo ride customer loves ca r, ready to sign deal
decides to move car ;no reverse ,thought it was fluid level no
dipstick?. Have mechanic check fluid, took pan off saw big particles
reports tranny shot at 36000 miles BMW
will eat profits
Charlesl of Addison TX (05/19/07)
Just last month I purchased a year 2000 323i BMW for my wife. She
really loves the car. The car was extremely well taken care of by
the previous owner. I checked the CarFax before making the purchase
and it showed no problems. However, just yesterday, we were sitting
at a Sonic drive-thru eating. After we finished eating, I put the
car into reverse but the ar remained in neutral.
We had to push the car out of a busy Sonic. After we go home, I
tried the reverse and it worked just fine. I decided to check on the
internet and found your site. I went to the BMW dealer telling him
that this is a common problem and asking if there is a recall. He
said no and said the he could have the car reprogrammed at about
$600 or have thr transmission replaced at about $5000 if that does
not work. I think that's crazy.
There has got o be someone out there who really understands the
problem. The dealers appear to have no clue and do not acknowledge a
solution other than replacing the transmission. I wish that I had
never bought the car, but it's what my wife wanted and so I traded
away a perfectly good 2002 Passat for a car that I'm afraid to have
Angel of Wayne NJ (05/18/07)
Same problem just like everyone else, I thought it was just my bad
luck with BMW's. I come from a FORD Racing family. Never had any
problems twice. What was I thinking buying a BMW. I purchased a new
96'318ti limited edition. This car has had a host of problems
(Window regulators, leaking water from the canvas rag top, etc...) I
need another transmission. This is my second time replacing this
thing. Costing me $3,200.00 the first time and now my BMW Specialist
is telling me it will cost around $4000.00 w/o labor cost for a new
one from BMW. This is crazy BMW needs to step up to the plate and
recall. Is BMW a MILLION DOLLAR rip- off company? mmmm
Gregory of Pacific Grove CA (05/16/07)
I was very surprised when my lightly used 2000 BMW 323 with only
50,000 miles lost it's reverse. Now after reading many complaints
here with the same issue I think it is time for BMW to step up and
correct this problem.
Jen of Fishers IN (05/10/07)
In 1998 we purchased a brand new 525i and Z3 automatic. We
immediately got rid of the 5 series because it had problems, and now
I'm continuing to have problems with my Z. I have 140k miles on it
and have been very good about the service and prevention. Recently
I've noticed some strange shuddering when accelerating in what would
be the lower gears and have had a very weird noise when I turn the
steering wheel. Upon reading the complaints here about
transmissions, I'm very concerned that I, too, need a new one. I
just had oil and filter service at an outside location and have been
told it is likely riding strangely due to a problem with the
transmission. Cost to replace, based on 3 separate estimates? At
least $5000. I wonder if this is a defect?? Before I noticed this
sound, I pre-emptively changed the battery and spark plugs, thinking
that's why it might be acting up. However, this might have been the
wrong problem, as I'm definitely not a mechanic. The local
dealership is notorious for acting snobby, and it is a turnoff. When
we ditched our 525, we went to Lexus for that, and they're the best.
No service problems like the BMWs. I will never purchase another BMW
Scott of San Diego CA (05/10/07)
We have owned our 2000 323i for 5 years and have enjoyed it
immensely. Now with 82,000 miles on the car we are experiencing
troubles in reverse gear and starting out in first. The car is 6
months out of warranty and we are told we need a new transmission by
both an independent BMW mechanic and the dealer. Estimate for
replacing the transmission with a factory reconditioned transmission
is between $4300 and $5150 (bet you can guess which estimate is the
dealer's). We will need to take a second mortgage on the car loan to
pay for the repair. I'm not sure the car is worth it but we need
Steven of Dublin OH (05/10/07)
My 2000 BMW 323i experienced the exact same problem as mentioned by
dozens of other people on this site. The reverse one day just
stopped working. The car has 76,000 miles on it. Based on my
research on this site, I decided to contact BMW North America to
complain about the situation. Ironically enough BMW NA is located 3
miles from my house in Hilliard, OH.
After complaining about the problem, they instructed me to take the
car to my local dealership for review. After paying $136 they
confirmed that I did indeed need a new transmission. Here is where
my story changes from everyone else. The local dealership and BMW NA
discussed my situation and BMW NA agreed to pay for 50% of the
repair for my car. This still amounts to almost $3000 but it is much
cheaper than $6000. I am guessing BMW NA agreed to the 50% because I
am a repeat customer. My first car was a brand new BMW 540i that was
recalled under lemon law.
The second BMW is this car which had such a major problem. I also
told them I was in the process of purchasing a BMW 330i when this
car died. Because of this, I believe they worked with me to make
sure they did not lose a repeat customer. The resolution to my saga
is as follows. Given the fact that the transmission problem occurred
just 4 weeks after I also had to replace a $1200 electronic throttle
control, I decided to sell the car to a transmission repair shop as
oppose to going through with the repair. I am just too nervous about
additional problems with this car.
If a class action lawsuit is ever filed on this situation I am
willing to participate. On a side note, I can't believe I am saying
this, I still enjoy BMWs. They just drive better than other cars. I
purchased a 1 year old 330i from an auction earlier this week. The
key going forward, maintain the factory warranty. The repair cost
risks are too high to be out of warranty. Best of luck to everyone
J of Bay Shore NY (05/10/07)
I'm the original owner of a 2001 325CI and at 93K miles I've been
told by my mechanic - a BMW specialist, that I need to replace my
transmission. After what I'm assuming was a thorough inspection, he
stated that the synchro and two gears were damaged, and that
replacement would cost less than to rebuild it. I've taken good care
of this car. I was under the impression that with the proper
maintenance, it could last a couple hundred thousand miles - I was
wrong. This smells of an engineering problem that was missed by
BMW's LACK OF QUALITY CONTROL. So, what are my options? Spend
$4K-$5K on a new or used transmission and set the timer to see when
the replacement will fail. If BMW is going to sell their products at
a premium, it is my opinion that they should be accountable when
their products don't perform as advertised.
Dan of Brossard NC (05/03/07)
I owned a used BMW X5 2002 3.0. At 115,000KM the automatic
transmission has been broken. I had a NISSAN Maxima 1995, the engine
and the transmission are still working fine after 300,000KM. No
wonder the sales of these Japanese are climbing up in recent years.
Russ Engs of Cambridge OTHER (04/27/07)
I purchased a 4 year old 1994 BMW 740i in early 1998 and, as the car
had 50,000 miles on it, I also purchased an extended $2500 warranty
to cover the car for an extra 3 years or 40,000 miles. That was a
good decision as things started going wrong with this car on the
trip home from the dealer! They have continued to go wrong on
practically a weekly basis over the past 9 years.
Things have broken on this car that would never break over the
entire lifetime of any other car! Dozens of things were repaired or
replaced under the zero-deductible extended warranty (they lost
their shirts on me!) including the transmission which failed at
65,000 miles and cost them over $6000 to replace. The second
transmission failed (exactly the same problem as the first one)at
95,000 miles and this time (because the warranty had expired) it
cost us $6800 to replace it with a remanufactured one.
Now, at 130,000 miles, the third transmission has failed (it's stuck
in 4th gear fail-safe mode) and I refuse to spend another $7000 on a
car that has many other things wrong with it that I have not fixed
yet and at this point is probably worth less than $1000. I will
likely just drive it to the wrecker and sell it as scrap metal.
Unfortunately, the car still looks like it's showroom new (I
constantly wash, wax, and detail my cars) but between us and the
warranty company, this lemon has received tens of thousands of
dollars in mechanical repairs since we purchased it. My wife says
that she will divorce me if I ever even think about buying another
BMW product (which I certainly won't). I just hope that this posting
is able to discourage anyone else who may be thinking of purchasing
a used BMW.
Learn from my mistake and don't do it!
Jorge of Arlington TX (04/26/07)
I own a 2000 model 323 BMW with the automatic transmission. This car
has been well taken care of and serviced by bmw until 100k miles,
and now with 118k miles, the car has no reverse. I have a Ford van
with 298k miles and still on original motor and trans. This car is
supposed to be a great German automobile, not true. I found out this
defect happens to many 323 owners, and is not corrected by bmw.
Sonny of Waikoloa HI (04/26/07)
I would just like to add my complaint to the many others already out
there about their BMWs. I bought my 323i brand new in 2000.It's a
beatiful car, runs well and handles beautifully. Aside from the
front signal lights burning out every 2 months, I had no problems
with it. I maintained it in excellent condition and brought it only
to authorized service centers for maintenance. At 69,000 miles in
2007, an average of 10K miles a year, the car would not back up. The
gear would go into reverse but it wouldn't back up. I thought I
would check my transmission fluid level but I found out that there
was no dipstick for transmission fluid level. My only recourse was
to bring it to a shop and have the transmission checked, which in a
BMW, is an expensive proposition. Not to mention that in Hawaii's
big island there is not one authorized BMW repair shop. What other
recourse do I have, shell out $4,000 to $5,000 for another
transmission or just run the car to the ground. Either prospect is a
waste of an otherwise excellent car. This is the last time I will
buy a BMW.
Maxine of Newark NJ (04/25/07)
1999 323i.. Excellent condition! No reverse! My car is clean, looks
great, runs well But, reverse is shot. I had to be pushed into my
parking space- at work. C'mon. BMW had a recall on the 99 7 series,
for the same issue, but nothing for the 3 Series... is it a money
Mihai of Brampton, Canada (04/24/07)
Parked the car in front of the store, did my shopping and tried to
leave the parking spot using reverse. Surprise, reverse will not
work. Call dealer ship ‚Äď told him the story, he said quote 300
class transmission is made by GM so no surprise on that. I think a
recall by BMW should be done cost me almost 4k
Elizabeth of Miami FL (04/17/07)
I took in my car for service at South Motors BMW on 4/13/07 (2006
750LI) where I purchased the vehicle in November of 2006 for some
issues I was having with my Bluetooth, BMW Assist, I-Drive knob and
system and wind noise after receiving terrible service I finally
picked up my car on 04/16/07 at approximately 7:00p.m. and at
approximately 8:30p.m. my car gave had an abrupt noise went from
neutral to reverse then drive and suddenly went to a dead stop in
the middle of the road and totally shut down and gave me a
transmission error. After waiting approximately 2.25hrs roadside
assistance showed up and I'm still waiting for BMW to tell me what's
actually wrong with my car. This is a safety issue and I will not
drive this care with two small children under these conditions. The
last conversation I had with Michael Rodriguez he stated that the
battery was in low voltage but didn't know why and will have foreman
drive the vehicle this evening for further review.
Gary of Little Rock AR (04/15/07)
My 2000 BMW 323Ci is well maintained, always by BMW, carefully
driven and cared for. With 96,000 miles, just over the 6 year
warranty limit (but under 100,000 miles) the transmission failed.
Nearly $4000 later, the transmission was recently repaired. I read
several accounts of similar problems with BMW transmissions.
Although the dealer was very cooperative and attempted to get BMW to
cover at least part of the expense, no luck. I paid in full.
Kathleen of Reading MA (04/11/07)
7 yrs ago I purchased my first new) BMW a 2000 323i from BMW of
Peabody MA.I have taken exceptional care of my car and all of the
maintained has been performed by the same dealer. At 104,000 miles my
car ran smoothly until the other day when in reverse it hesitated
just once, I thought nothing of this until the next day when I put
the car in reverse and SURPRISE the reverse gear failed to engaged,
it felt like it was in neutral. It drives fine in forward gear. I'm
very lucky this happened in the safety of my driveway and not on the
highway in the city at night.
Robert of New Haven CT (04/10/07)
I have owned a 2000 328I for five years and maintained and serviced
it perfectly. It now has 115K miles and after three separate
occasions of the car not engaging in reverse, I took it to BMW of
Bridgeport for inspection. Being that the car runs perfectly 98% of
the time I did not expect the worst. After being charged the
standard $120, I was informed that I need to Replace Transmission!
The invoice read - 132225 Recommend Replace Trans. Interrogated
Fault Memory. No Faults Stored in EGS. Inspected Trans. Assembly-No
Leaks. They wanted to replace the transmission for $6800.00. They
also told me that they had not heard about the problem. After
searching the Internet I see that this must have happened to
thousands of BMW Owners. BMW is screwing us all for not owning up
and making good on this obviously very common defect.
Amanda of Rio Rancho NM (04/10/07)
I bought my beautiful 323i in hopes of finally having the luxury of
driving a reliable car. Like so many others, I was unaware of the
transmission failures which plague BMWs. I tried to back out of my
driveway one night and the car didn't move. The dealership acted
surprised when I explained the problem and explained that I needed to
replace the transmission. With less then 100k miles, this is
unacceptable! How has BMW grown in sales when they are selling
faulty cars and refuse to accommodate the owners of these cars?
Bob of Lake Forest IL (04/09/07)
Own a 2000 323iT station wagon with only 52K miles (heated garage
kept/full maintenance history). Without warning, no reverse gear.
Diagnostic test performed - need new transmission. No goodwill or
participation provided. Dealer wants $4653. No confidence in BMW.
Anthony of Manalapan NJ (04/02/07)
I have a 2000 323i BMW with an automatic transmission that failed
just over 100k. The car would no longer go into reverse.
Anthony of North Adams MA (04/01/07)
I had purchased in 2000 a brand new BMW 323i with the sports package
and steptronic. I was informed this was the first year for sealed
transmissions and need no for service....ever. Well....one cold
winter day i turned on the car. put the car in reverse and went no
where. Not only did i not move but the car burped out about a quart
or so of tranny fluid out of the overflow.
I have had it to numerous BMW dealers who tell me there is nothing
wrong with the transmission or maybe it is too cold where i live. I
am sorry to say that I would not buy another BMW given the service
and understanding I have not received with regards to this car! I
thought they were the ultimate driving machines? If I could drive it
maybe i could see.
Virginia of El Paso TX (03/31/07)
On March 30, 2007, I took my car to wash and then home. I attempted
to reverse my 2000 BMW 323i in my driveway, but it did not go into
gear. I thought i was putting it on neutral, but it wasn't, it was
on Reverse. It drives just find in drive. I bought my car used, and
have taken car of it on regularly basis. I am very disappointed with
BMW to hear of all the list of others that have taken the cars
without BMW taken the responsibility of all the complaints. My car
sits in a garage, along with all the others, I do not have the money
to pay for repair and still pay for the car payment. How
disappointing. I would like to join the others on filing a complaint
Can get to work. Recently had surgery and i need to get to doctor's
appointment visits. This is a tremendous inconvenience!
Rob of Tyler TX (03/29/07)
2000 CI BMW Reverse out at 108659 miles. Looks like I have the same
problem as many have had. Forward works fine but no reverse. I
thought it might be a easy fix so I came to the net and found this
site to see it won't be an easy fix, just expensive! Needs to be a
recall on this problem. GOOD LUCK!!
Marek of Yonkers NY (03/26/07)
I bought the 1993 740IL few months ago with 100 000 miles on it and
I have the same problem with reverse gear This is not a new problem
for BMW The BMW from early 90 have the same problem!!!!!!
Steve of Littleton CO (03/23/07)
I was driving my son to daycare like every other day and when trying
to leave my car would not go into reverse! I have 60K miles on my
330ci over the course of 7 years (so not a lot of driving going
on...) I called BMW to schedule my diagnostic, but after performing
a quick search realized I won't have to wait to understand what the
problem is... I called BMW Customer Relations to discuss the matter
and informed them of the literally thousands of people experiencing
this problem and hinted at the potential for a law suit, but of
course they played dumb and 'will try' to work with me to see what
they can do, which we all know will be nothing... This is just
great! 4 words people: Class Action Law Suit... PLEASE I WANT AN
ATTORNEY TO CONTACT ME... THERE IS AN EASY CASE HERE JUST WAITING
FOR YOU! AND I'M CERTAIN EVERYONE WILL BE HAPPY TO COME ON BOARD!
Rogelio of Lancaster MA (03/21/07)
On Saturday March 17, 2007, I got into my 2000 BMW323i to go to work
and when I put the car in reverse it wouldn't move, it felt like it
was a second neutral gear. The car drives perfectly in the forward
gears but will not go into reverse. I took the car to the above
mentioned dealership and this was the report I got from them: 76148
FAULTY TRANS CHECKED FOR FAULTS W/DIS EGS FAULTS STORED NOT
CURRENTLY SET, NOT CAUSING CONDITION. NO LEAKS, FLUID LEVEL OK, NEED
TO REPLACE TRANSMISSION. ESTIMATE TO REPLACE TRANSMISSION COMPLETE
$4693. I was charged $119.95 for the drivability diagnosis. They
said that it is unknown why this happened, but reading on this web
site I came to find out that this is a very common problem to those
who own a 2000 BMW 323 series and that BMW NA is very well aware of
I am very disappointed because I still owe money on this car and
can't come up with the close to $5000 needed to do the repair, BMW
should repair this problem because there is no doubt about it that
this is an engineering error. This is going to cause accidents and
people are going to die due to a faulty transmission in the 323
series. BMW should do something before it is to late and some
innocent people pay with their lives for their mistake.
Right now my car is sitting in the garage, I'm making payments on it
and I'm not able to drive it, I don't have a second car and have
been forced to walk to work during these extremely cold march
mornings. Thanks BMW The Ultimate Driving Machine or should I say
The Ultimate Driveway Machine??
Mark of Fullerton CA (03/21/07)
My 2000 328I BMW (85000 miles) will not go into reverse. Based on
the many other complaints I see on this web site I am not the only
unhappy BMW owner to have this same problem.
Carrie of Louisville KY (03/19/07)
I purchased a 2000 BMW 323i sedan about a year a ago and recently am
not able to put vehicle in reverse nor does it shift in 2nd gear. I
am so disappointed because I have a new car payment and no car to
drive at the moment until I can come up with the money to fix my
reliable BMW. I am having huge regrets on purchasing this vehicle.
The car only has 78,000 miles on it. I wish BMW would own up to
their mistakes and fix them in order to keep their reputation of a
high quality car maker.
Melissa of Fallbrook CA (03/14/07)
I own a 1998 BMW 325i. I have always taken excellent care of it and
have had regular maintenance checkups on the car. Recently the water
pump went out and I had it replaced. The very same day while parked
at the grocery store the car suddenly would not go in reverse. I
took it to the BMW dealer and they put it on their computer, charged
me $145. and told me they couldn't find anything wrong with it.
They never mentioned that others have reported the same problem. The
very next day it did the same thing again. Now it has happened 3
times since BMW said there was nothing wrong with it. The dealer
says that the transmission needs replacing and quoted me a price of
$5600. This is ridiculous. They also are telling me that it probably
isn't worth fixing. It has only 99,000 miles on it--BMW's are
suppose to last longer than that! I am in the military and I can't
afford another $5600. The water pump cost me $460.
Steven of AZ (03/14/07)
When I was leaving for work this morning, my 2000 BMW 323i would not
engage in reverse, and has not done it all day. I don't know what
course of action to take. The dealer says that a new transmission is
needed, at a cost of $3500. Unfortunately, the cost of such a repair
on a car worth less than 10k is not worth it.
Carissa of Redondo Beach CA (03/13/07)
My 323i BMW 4-door sedan (2000 model, 82,000 miles) will not reverse
since March 8, 2007. I drove the car to the dealership where they
told me it was most likely the transmission. All other gears were
fine and working. I regularly serviced and maintained the car. It
was as if the reverse gear was another neutral. I could place it
into reverse, but there was no power at all. After they looked at
it, they said I needed a new transmission for $5200.
I had spent about $20,000 buying the car about 2 years ago, so I was
upset that I couldn't get another year out of it. Of course, my
certified pre-owned warranty expired in September 2006, so the
dealership would do nothing for me.
You expect to get at least 100,000 miles out of any car, especially
a BMW. Another garage is quoting me $4500 parts, labor and tax. Not
sure what to do. I see on this site that this is happening a lot to
this model at this mileage. It believe that it is ripe for a
Robert of Columbia SC (03/13/07)
I posted a few days ago about reverse gear failing. Transmission was
4650. Here is the GREAT thing. I spoke with BMW and a service
manager and they repaired the vehicle under a good will warranty.
BMW ate the 4650 and all I had to pay was labor charges of 580! My
faith has been restored.
Felix of Maspeth NY (03/10/07)
I own a 2001 330ci and until now it has received the best care
possible. My car is in excellent condition, always garaged and never
abused but just yesterday my car would not go into reverse. It feels
as if it's in neutral.
There are hundreds of reports on this website alone of people
experiencing the same problem, there must be thousands of people all
together with the same problem which have not reported it on this
site. BMW needs to fix this problem ASAP, there is no way I can
afford to pay almost $5000 in repairs. I already owe money on the
car and if I can't drive it then i can't go to work and make the
monthly payments. T
his can cause major problems for my credit in the future. If this is
not a Class Action Law suit then i don't know what is !!! HELP!!!
has anyone been able to resolve this by not paying thousands to fix
this reverse transmission problem.
H.p of Troy MI (03/09/07)
March 2nd, 2007 As I was trying to reverse my 2000 328i at the
parking spot on Friday night, it failed on me. I called BMW
dealership immediately. The service manager told me that most
likely, i need a new transmission. The repair for a brand new one is
6000. I was speechless. What I don't understand about this ultimate
driving machine is ---how can this happen all of sudden without
having any warning in advance? How? My transmission failed on me at
125000 miles. I probably can understand it broke at this mileage,
but not at 32000 miles like others. But still....
Kevin of San Jose CA (03/06/07)
My transmission's reverse function FAILED!!!!! Just like the
thousands of other people who report transmission problems with
their BMW's reverse function, I am experiencing the same. Its been
evident since around 75K miles, and now is more and more evident by
the day. Before it used to randomly go out, on a weekly basis, now
its at least once a day! This problem is so widespread, its
completely ridiculous that BMW wont recall it!!!
The most unbearable thing is pushing the car out of the parking lot
at work...so embarrassing! But that's not the worst, One time it
wouldn't go into reverse in the garage, so I had to push it out, and
caught my hand between the door and the end of the garage, suffering
a deep gash in 3 of my fingers.
Karen of N. Bellmore NY (03/06/07)
At 4200 miles the car does not shift gears, and is bucking all over
the place. Called for Roadside to come pick up the car from my house
and 5 hours later, an idiot shows up with a battery charger. So in 6
hours I got nowhere, have a car with transmission failure and nobody
gives a shit.
First and last BMW I will ever buy. Horrible service, thank God I
wasn't stranded somewhere or I'd be dead by now.
Michael of Los Angeles CA (03/05/07)
My reverse stopped working on my 2000 323i with only 56,000 miles on
it. Car is in great shape otherwise. This is definitely not normal
wear and tear.
I will have to pay over $3000 to have the transmission fixed.
Claude of Toronto, Canada (03/04/07)
Mar 03,2007.Owner 2000 BMW 323i....On Mar 1,2007 as i went in my car
things were as normal as can be. I drove to my destination and upon
ready to depart my car was unable to go in reverse which i found
strange. I then contacted the BMW dealership and they told me i have
a transmission problem and will cost up to $7500.00 CDN. Needless to
say i was shocked. I hope that BMW Canada take a look into this as
this is obviously a serious problem.
Robert of Columbia SC (03/04/07)
My 2000 BMW 323i with 55000 miles had reverse transmission failure
this weekend. I put it in reverse to back up to a gas pump and my
engine started revving as if it was in neutral. When I stumbled
across this site, I was shocked to see how many other BMW owner are
experiencing the same issue. SOMETHING IS WRONG!!! BMW needs to
issue a recall immediately! I will never own another BMW. EVER! BMW
is rolling in the dough over the transmission failures. Markup on
the tranny and
Greg of Draper UT (03/02/07)
Transmission failure in 2001 BMW 330I. Only 70k miles. BMW refuses
to acknowledge the problem, or help with repair costs. Independent
shop rebuilt transmission. Cost $3500.00 Total loss of faith in BMW
Jason of West Hollywood CA (02/24/07)
This morning when i went to back my 2000 323i Wagon out of my
driveway, there was no reverse gear - it felt like i was in neutral.
I pushed the car out of my driveway and drove the car to the BMW
dealership. I was told that the transmission was shot. Now that I
see your site, i realize that this must be a flaw. This happened
with absolutely NO warning. The car has been great for 70k miles!!!!
Shilpa of Glen Allen VA (02/16/07)
My 2000 323i would not go into reverse. When I took it to the local
BMW dealer in Richmond, VA I was told my transmission has failed and
will need to be replaced.
This is shocking for a car in the high end luxury. I have taken
excellent care of the car with all regular maintenance.
I thought why it happened to me and then was shocked to see so many
similar complaints especially in the recent months. Even more
shocking is the lack of response and concern from BMW. I am going to
file a complaint with consumer court if you are interested email me
at susheel_Saboo@yahoo.com. This is crazy unacceptable. I cannot
afford a $6K repair on a car with KBB value of under $10K. I feel
The cost of repair was mentioned at $6K at BMW dealership. I am
considering getting a used part with labor it should cost around
Linda of Evanston IL (02/15/07)
Yesterday I went to back my 2000 BMW 323i out of the garage. It went
about 5 feet in reverse, then nothing. I had it towed to my
mechanic--sure enough, the reverse clutch in the transmission is
It is going to cost me at least $3000 to have it fixed. I plan to go
see the dealer tomorrow to complain, but after reading other
comments on this website, do not expect anything to happen. My car
has only 51,000 miles on it and I have taken excellent care of the
vehicle. I am shocked that this has happened--the whole reason I
bought a BMW was because I thought it was a quality vehicle.
In addition to the $3000 it will cost me to have a new transmission,
I am without the use of my car for at least a week.
Paula Vergili of San Jose CA (02/14/07)
my automatic bmw quite working with 72,000 miles. I have come to
find out the my transmission is not a bmw German transmission its
Pedro of Scarsdale NY (02/11/07)
I have and 2001 X5 4.4 with 75k miles, about 6 months ago, the
reverse is not working properly. I have to warm it up before it
Sometimes I have to wait too long before it works.
Richard of E. Northport NY (02/11/07)
Without any hint of trouble my 2000 BMW 323i [66k mi] would not go
into reverse gear.
Justin of South Boston MA (02/02/07)
My 2001 BMW 325i with 34,000 miles needs a new transmission. It has
been to 2 dealers and both are claiming the same thing. BMW North
American could care less about quality and service of the vehicles
they put on the road. I have contacted them and told them the entire
story yet they do nothing for safety or the satisfaction of owners.
They need to recall the vehicle before people get in accidents over
Stefan of Richmond VA (02/02/07)
Transmission Failed on 2000 BMW 323i - Reverse gear.
Andrew of Martinsville NJ (02/02/07)
I leased a new 2006 BMW 325xi. After about 2 months of driving, i
found that the car has a tendency to hesitate when you demand sudden
acceleration. This delay is on the order of 0.5 to 3 seconds and is
unpredictable. If you try to pass someone or left turn in traffic or
get on highway, you get in trouble very fast. The car simply does
not respond to acceleration demands. Its been to the dealer 3 times
for this in 6 months, but all they say is problem not verified. Ok
so i asked my personal mechanic to analyze the problem.
He said that the transmission needs to decide if it is going to
downshift or not and it requires several seconds. In fact, if the
car is in a turn, the rear wheels are going at different speeds and
the acceleration delay could be as long as 5 seconds before it
decides to shift or not. While it is deciding this, it holds off the
acceleration and the car goes nowhere. Horns blow at you, screeching
brakes and the usual finger is what i get. So its lemon law time.
Their entire fleet of cars does this because they all use the same
motor controller. All of the loaners i had all have the same
problem. If you are a car affionado, stay away from BMW and its
ridiculous motor controller. when cars had throttle linkages, we
never experienced this kind of thing. Can't wait to get rid of this
thing. regards, Andrew
Linda of Duncanville AL (02/01/07)
The car is a 2000 323ci convertible. I had the 100,000 mile service
completed in September 2006. The car has never had a problem and all
of a sudden it will no go into reverse. Upon research I have found
numerous people with the 323 series have had the same problem. The
dealer said it will cost $5000 for repairs.
Young of Fairfax VA (01/30/07)
I bought a 2001 325ci manual transmission used with 48k miles. Car
ran great for almost 4 years (except normal wear and tear like
brakes and tires). Driving this morning and hear and feel a large
CLUNK finding out i no longer have 2nd gear.
Made some calls and luckily got referred to a few places that will
rebuild for about 1200 + 150 to ship and 500 to install. Rebuilding
is the best route from what I hear and can be found at junk yards
(get a clutch if available with it as you will most likely need one
soon). Something definitely needs to be done about this. I take
phenomenal care of my car and baby it.
Should not be an expense on the owner if it happens more often than
not. was seriously considering an m3 and now in the process of
getting a more reliable car (Infiniti). Best of luck to all of you
as I too am an unsatisfied owner.
Silas of Arnold MD (01/23/07)
I bought my 2000 BMW 323i in good condition in June of 2006. Not
even two months later did my reverse gear fail to engage. Luckily, I
was able to somehow get the car to go in reverse again by shifting
through the gears, possibly realigning something in my gearbox. A
week later, it happened again, so I took it to my mechanic who
replaced the gear box, a rather cheap repair of only $300.
Everything seemed to be going fine until around Christmas time. I
used the same remedy as before and was able to drive around for a
few weeks. I got fed up with the problem again, so I went to my
mechanic who was not able to find anything wrong with the gear box,
meaning it must be in the transmission. It is estimated around $4000
to replace the transmission. Hopefully, something can be worked out
with BMW for some sort of compensation.
Fortunately, I was not in any sort of moving traffic where reverse
was absolutely necessary. It has/will cost me approximately $5000 in
total to fix the problem.
Nanayaw of Dayton OH (01/21/07)
I thought I was the first to have this happen to. I was backing up my
2000 BMW 323i and it wouldn't move. It sounded as if it was in a
I took this to the mechanic and he told me I'm going to need a new
transmission that would cost me at least $4000.This was a car of 99k
miles that I'd bought just over a year. I was really disappointed
and i thought I'd just carelessly wrecked my car. But i just realize
there are lots of people who have been through this problem and
need, and that it needs immediate resolution. I thought BMW made the
best cars but they've really lost my confidence.
Stanislav of Mercer Island WA (01/21/07)
Yet another to what seems like a long list of unhappy BMW series 3
owners. The transmission stopped working in Reverse.
Maggie of Bolingbrook IL (01/12/07)
I am currently paying on a BMW 330 CSI and just hit 72000 miles i
was not aware that BMW don't have a warranty on the motor and
drive train.. I feel jilted because I believe this car was well worth
the price I paid for it. It is my second BMW and I traded that one
in my this one. I was satisfied and was content to be a BMW
owner, but recently this was changed.. It seems my prize car just
started to fall apart. From the molding around the doors and windows
to a major transmission problem. The transmission problem hit hard
because without warning the car just up and failed to go in reverse.
I went to the internet to price another transmission and the price
for a new one is crazy from 4000 to 6000 dollars and since the
dealers dont believe in rebuilding the transmission i feel that i
will be without my cars for months. I also learned that this is a
ongoing problem that is happening to a lot of the 3 series BMW but
because it is not a safety issue they they recalling. Well when my
car refuse to go into reverse i was on a hill trying to get around a
stall vehicle . I must have rolls at least 15 feet before i realize
what was happening .
Daren of Monterey Park CA (01/12/07)
i tried to put my car in reverse today and it was like the car was
in neutral i am very disappointed with bmw and the fact there is no
recall. this is ridiculous.
Don of Dayton OH (01/07/07)
Lost reverse gear on my 2001 330Ci convertible at about 53,000
miles. The car has an automatic transmission. Repair costs at a
local dealership was $4048. Corresponded with BMWNA several times
but got no resolution to the problem. Numerous other people have
complained of this problem with BMW automatic transmissions but BMW
refuses to correct the problem.
Loss of use of the car for a week and a $4048 expense on my part.
Robert of Lawrenceville GA (01/06/07)
I purchased my 2002 BMW X5 new 5 years ago and it has 89,000 miles.
About a month ago, we started experiencing problems with the
transmission when the car was first started for the day. When we put
it in reverse, it required high RPM's to get it to move.
I had an independent mechanic look at it, and he said I needed to
have the dealer look at it. I called my local dealer, and they
pretty much told me this was normal behavior and not to worry about
it. The next day, the transmission completely failed while going up
a hill, and the car started rolling backwards while in drive with
high engine RPM's.
After being towed to the dealer, they reported that the transmission
fluid smelled burnt, and I needed a new one at a cost of $5,600.
They could never explain what happened other than something started
slipping, and caused the eventual failure. I have a complaint into
BMW corporate, who says they will have a customer representative
contact me soon. Today, the vehicle completely failed on the road
with an engine failure message (1 week after transmission
Phuong of Dallas TX (01/05/07)
My sister has a 2000 BMW 323 with about 100k miles and the reverse
gear does not work. After searching the web, I found a large number
of people with very similar issue. BMW will not step forward to make
this their issue. I believe because this is not a safety issue, BMW
will not recall this issue with the reverse gear not working.
Leon of Bellflower CA (01/04/07)
I contacted CustomerRelations@bmwusa.com. The following is their
Dear Mr. Merriweather: Thank you for contacting BMW of North
America, LLC regarding the transmission on your 2000 323i. I
apologize for the issues and inconvenience you have experienced with
this BMW. We are unaware of any widespread concern regarding the
transmission. However, the actual length of life of any given
vehicle part is dependent on a number of factors including care,
maintenance, use, and climate.
During the life of a vehicle, it is natural to expect that some
parts may have to be replaced due to mechanical failures, or normal
wear and tear. For this reason, we do not have an estimated life
expectancy for components or parts of a vehicle. If you have any
further questions, please reply to this e-mail or contact the
Customer Relations and Services Department at 1-800-831-1117, Monday
through Friday from 9:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M., Eastern Standard Time.
Again, thank you for contacting BMW. Sincerely, Casey Roach Customer
Relations and Services Representative
BMW's new transmission will cost me $3250, plus installation. AAMCO
wants $3850. Multiply that by the number of problems with the 3
series, the X3, and X5 raggedy transmission problems. There should
be a class action suit against BMW.
Leon of Bellflower CA (01/02/07)
I have had a one owner, very clean 2000 BMW 323 Sport Wagon that
just turned over to 72K miles. The only problem, for Christmas 2006,
it stopped going into reverse. I've read a lot of complaints today
about other BMW 3 Series lovers having the same problem.
It's going to cost me $4000, so it's going to sit for quite a long
time. Thanks BMW!
Gerald of Eau Claire WI (12/30/06)
I recently purchased a 2001 330i. While performing some spirited
driving - as bimmer enthusiasts call it - the transmission slipped
at 85MPH. The car redlined for approximately five seconds (as I
waited for the car to shift). It didn't. Finally I eased off the
accelerator and pulled off the exit ramp. After coming to a stop -
the car would not shift in reverse or anything above 1st gear. In
first gear - it was limited to 10MPH. The vehicle had been inspected
by a local foreign vehicle shop - although I don't think I got much
of an inspection.
No one was hurt and the transmission is still being inspected by a
local transmission shop. The mechanic claims that the car also needs
a new CV JOINT - a piece connected to the drive train. There are two
joints to their drive trains (a CV joint, as he calls it, and a Flex
Joint). If it's not the flex joint a completely new driveshaft will
also have to be installed - in addition to the transmission
overhaul. My estimates are $3,500.00
Jason of Brooklyn NY (12/14/06)
I own a 2000 BMW 323i Sedan. It is in excellent condition. However,
last night I put the car in reverse and it would not back up at all.
The car has only 38,000 miles on it. It has no problem with the
drive function. I have read on this site that the same problem is
occurring with other BMW 323i owners. They should recall this car so
this problem can be fixed.
Christy of Greensboro NC (12/13/06)
Purchased 1999 328I and recently transmission has failed. Reading
other complaints it's clear that BMW has a problem with their
transmissions. This set me back $2500.00. The car was pre-owned but
well taken care of. All service records have been maintained. They
need to do a recall on the 3 series model.
Katie of Raleigh NC (12/12/06)
I am floored! I am going through this same thing with my 3 series. I
just hit 100K this past week and not 4 miles after the 100K mark, my
meticulously well taken care of BMW will not shift into reverse!!! I
went to the dealer and they told us it was the first they had ever
heard of it, but after seeing all the complaints here, I definitely
do not believe that they were not well aware of the potential of
this issue happening. I was on the road when this happened and God
forbid I needed to get into reverse to detour or some other reason
like that!! I am extremely angry and feel very much taken advantage
of by the folks at BMW who have made the decision not to recall this
model or make the necessary payments to cover the cost of repair
considering they have known all along this could happen.
I don't know about the rest of you guys but my anger at having to
pay $5000 for the part alone is still fresh and I'm in a fighting
mood. I hope there is something in the works to remedy this grave
misdeed and restore consumer confidence in the BMW brand. If you,
like me feel you should be treated better, I suggest you send a
letter or call BMW North America and fight for your rights.
Joo of Huntington Beach CA (12/11/06)
I have a 2000 BMW 328. I just hit 65,000 miles on it and the car
stopped going in reverse. We took it in and they say it's the
transmission and it will cost 6k to fix. It's absolutely ridiculous
that this is happening. I've had many cars and none of them ever had
a transmission problem, let alone any big mechanical issue at 65,000
miles. We need to do a class action suit as BMW don't seem to care
and didn't do a recall. My husband almost ran over a lady while
trying to push the car in reverse. It's dangerous and BMW will be
It will cost about $6,000 to fix. My husband almost ran over a lady
while trying to push the car in reverse. He also almost threw his
back out. It's dangerous and BMW will be liable if anything happens.
Sean of North Liberty IA (12/10/06)
I bought a 2000 BMW 323i a couple of years ago and have treated it
well. Today I attempted to run to the store and when I put it in
reverse, nothing happened. It was like the vehicle was in neutral. I
don't have a warranty and still owe a few thousand. This is
ridiculous as there is no way I will be able to afford a new
transmission. This seems like a pretty common problem and BMW should
take responsibility and take care of their customers. This should
NOT be tolerated and we should unite to have them face this issue
and make them realize that their product they provide should be able
to go backwards as well as forwards. I don't think we are asking to
I don't know how I am going to be able to economically afford this.
Now I will have to find another car and also have a payment for a
hunk a junk that is stuck in the garage. This is extremely unfair
to the consumer. I am at a lost.
Pat of Durango CO (12/09/06)
I have a 2000 BMW320ci. It has less than 36000 miles. I have kept it
meticulously, serviced regularly, and don't even drive it during the
snowy months of the year. Today, I proceed to back out of my parking
space at work, and the car will not go into reverse. I had a
coworker push me back, and I drove home, not problem in forward. I
have looked on your sight, and see that this is a major problem with
this year and series. Dang...how could this be. I purchased this
vehicle as a certified pre-owned vehicle. I cannot afford to put
five-thousand dollars into this car. I am a widow, with two boys who
are now driving. I haven't taken it into the dealer, as we don't
have one in this mountain town. The people who work on my car can't
believe that this could be the transmission, but from all I read on
your site, it probably will be. How can BMW ignore this. I was
getting ready to sell this car and buy one of their SUVs. Now i know
I will not. I am doing research into the lemon laws. BMW should
stand up for their reputation and recall these vehicles.
Monica of New York NY (12/07/06)
Today, I dropped off my 2000 BMW 323i at the dealer for routine
repairs. When I received the car back, I was told the transmission
was not working in reverse and sure enough, it is damaged (while the
car was in their custody). The cost of repairs are $5000. When I saw
this site, I was amazed. I believe there should be a Class Action
Lawsuit here. The car has 100K miles, and in reverse I am sure less
than half a mile. This is clearly a manufacturing defect. The dealer
notified BMW North America, but they are only offering a discount.
Alexander of Raleigh NC (12/06/06)
I have a 2001 BMW 330i (70k miles) sedan. Today I put my car in
reverse and I heard a pop in the transmission. Next thing I know the
engine revs but the car does not move. I immediately took my car to
the mechanic and they are saying that I will need to replace my
transmission. My repair bill is $4,700 for a new transmission. I at
this point am very disappointed BMW. All these complaints and no
recall. This reverse issue seems to be a common problem with the 3
series. I will I would have known that their transmissions would
give out so early. I should have bought a Toyota Camry or
something. Now I will be out of pocket for a very expensive repair.
Ivan of Burlingame CA (12/04/06)
Automatic Transmission failed at 97K. Gears are still operational,
but transmission fluid pours out from the breather.
Shop tells me I need to rebuild the transmission at a cost of over
Amy of San Diego CA (12/04/06)
My 2000 BMW Ci has $75,000k miles on it and yesterday, it would no
longer go in reverse. The dealer is giving me an estimate of $7300
to fix the transmission. I think it's deplorable that with so many
complaints by other consumers, BMW isn't issuing a transmission
recall. This is insane.
M of Greensboro NC (11/21/06)
My 328i has been meticulously maintained, and though a 1999 model,
has done only 46K miles. Now the gearshift won't spring back to the
center, neutral position, making changing gears a pain, and it's
easy to miss a gear. BMW say it's not their problem - so presumably
it's ok for a BMW gearbox to break before it's done even 50K miles.
I would expect a Chevy or a Ford dealer to blush in shame if their
gearbox had a problem before 50K, but BMW could only express their
regret. My regret is that this will likely cost well over $3000.
Frank of Port Chester NY (11/14/06)
My 2000 BMW 323i, despite being excellently cared for, will not go
in reverse. Apparently the automatic transmission has failed, just
as it has for so many other owners who have complained here and on
other websites. The problem occurred without any warning, and I am
staggered by the cost of the repair. This recurring problem with
this make/model/year deserves a recall. Loyal BMW buyers are being
hosed while BMW is making additional money off the repair!!!
Araceli of Fontana CA (11/13/06)
2002 BMW 325i transmission failed at 60,200 miles. Cost of repair
estimated at $4,500.00. Reading this website, it appears that this
is common and BMW should issue recall or cover the cost of the
Will be out of pocket $3,500.00. If they give me a break on the
Karen of San Ramon CA (11/09/06)
At just 48k miles, my 2000 BMW 323i needs a new transmission.
Estimated cost between $5-6k. Can't believe it...
Derek of Galesburg IL (11/07/06)
My 2000 BMW 323i had been driving normally, then one day I went to
back out of the drive and the engine revved much faster than the car
went in reverse. It can still limp in reverse, but something is
seriously wrong. It looks like I made it farther than many, as my
car has 109K miles on it.
I took the car to my mechanic, and they said it will be between
$4500-$5000 for the repair.
Lee of MN (11/05/06)
Problems = money = more problems = more money!!!! Two years ago, I
bought a 2000 BMW 323i. It didn't have high mileage and was in fairly
great condition. I took great care of it, regular maintenance, oil
change, etc. Recently my car started having problems. For the past
couple months I have put in so much money, that I could have bought
a brand new car! First I replaced my radiator, then computer,
steering hydraulic, control arm, and many other parts. For the past
months, every other week something would go wrong! A thousand after
another thousand after another and money wasted for nothing. It's
like one part broke, fixed it, then another broke, and another, and
half of the car has been replaced with new parts from Germany, and
still keeps on breaking. Soon, I will have a brand new car with an
old body. Last week I got into the car, put it in reverse, but it
doesn't go, just revs. Luckily I was parked up hill, so I put the
car in neutral and rolled back. It drives perfectly forward, just
not in reverse. Now I need a new transmission. I heard that BMWs up
to year 1999 are assembled in Germany, that's why they run great and
for a long time. BMWs year 2000 and up, are assembled in Mexico, and
those are just a cheap excuse for a Top Performance German Vehicle
For the big money I pay for an expensive logo, I expect to get out
of it what I put in!!!
Kirk of New York NY (11/01/06)
My 2000 323i will not reverse! the car has over $9,000 dollars of
work done at BMW in the last 5 months. after doing some research, i
have found this problem to be common among BMW 3 series yet BMW has
not issued a recall.
BMW has informed me that the car will need a new transmission and
has estimated the cost at $4,500 dollars.
Alan of Monterey Park CA (10/24/06)
The transmission of my BMW 323i (Year 2000) could not get into the
reverse mode on October 23, 2006 suddenly without any warning. I
have had only $75,000 miles on it. There are many other BMW 3 series
owners having the same problem, as shown in the Consumer Affairs web
To fix it, I was informed by a technician that I had to replace the
transmission at $5000 cost to me.
Shirley of Lake Stevens WA (10/23/06)
I bought a 2000 323I BMW 1.5 years ago. My car had one previous
owner besides myself. The other owner took excellent care of the car
as I have. I have all the service records on the car. The other
owner and my self have taken the car to BMW for scheduled service.
My car has 77,000 miles on it and no reverse. I took my car to the
dealership where it was purchased and they told me it needed a new
transmission with a price tag of 5000. My car now sits in my garage.
I can not believe after reading all these complaints that nothing
has been done to establish some recourse for all these people
including myself. I own a business and take care of the people
(customers) that take care of me and keep me in business. I have let
my customers know about my situation and will do my best to prevent
anyone from purchasing a BMW. These transmissions need recalled.
David of Boca Raton FL (10/10/06)
Bought a BMW 325, then the transmission went at 95,000 miles.
Supposedly BMW's can drive for 200,000 miles, so why did the
transmission go in 5 years? Mechanic is telling me $7,000 for new
transmission or $4,000 for rebuilt transmission.
Jean of Fairfax VA (10/10/06)
We bought a 2000 BMW 323i which currently only has about 66,000
miles on it. The car will shift into reverse, but will not actually
move backwards. It just sits there revving. The car will drive
forward. We were told that the transmission and the transmission
thermometer need to be replaced for a cost of $4,500. We've done all
the necessary maintenance on this vehicle. I've searched the web and
found many other complaints about the same issue. I filed a
complaint with BMW, but of course, they're not taking
responsibility. These cars should have been recalled to replace the
I was stranded at work when the car broke down. Now, I'm without my
car and also don't have the extra money to put towards a repair of
$4,500. For a high end car, this is unacceptable. This will be my
first and last BMW purchase.
Gino of Harrisburg PA (10/08/06)
I bought a 2000 BMW 323i w/ 45,000 mil on it back in June 2004 now
in Oct 2006 w/ 88,000 mil, I get off work and get in my car then put
it in reverse and guess what I had no reverse. I just don't know why
so far no one has done anything about this issue legally, all these
owners need to get together and put a stop to this nonsense and take
it to a higher court. I personally will not take my car to BMW to
get fixed since I've seen from all of you how bad their customer
service are and pricy their service is. I don't know what I'll do at
the moment but I'll make sure someone will bring this up in a higher
court system and file a complaint against them. I feel bad for
whoever paid $60,000 and had to pay from out of pocket to get it
replaced but I would've def made sure that dealer would see me in
court for this. I am not saying that I will not buy another BMW
their engines are awsome and strong I think the newer BMWs like new
7s are great but b4 I buy it I'll make sure to get some good reviews
on it before buying it.
This problem could cost me $4,500-$5,000 out of pocket based on what
everyone have paid for it.
Matthew of San Diego CA (10/02/06)
BMW 323i, reverse gear broke, new transmission required. What a
scam. Hundreds of others in my same situation, hundreds of others
are about to be in my same situation.
Broke, broke, broke, broke, broke, debt, debt, debt, debt.
Teri of Huntington Beach CA (10/01/06)
I purchased a certified pre-owned 2000 323 BMW from a BMW
dealership. I have maintained all regular checkups. At 88,000 miles,
the transmission died. As stated by several other BMW owners, the
car would not go in reverse.
The cost was around $4500 for repair. BMW should recall their faulty
Taylor of Westminster CO (09/29/06)
As many others have mentioned, my 2001 BMW 325i recently needed a
new transmission after failing to engage reverse. This repair cost
me roughly $4000 to rectify, none of which was covered by BMW NA.
This is absolutely absurd for a 5 year old car that stickered for
more than $40K. I have kept up with all required and optional
maintenance, so I am certain that I'm not to blame. This was my
first BMW, and it's going to be the last - next time I'll be buying
an Audi or a Mercedes.
Brooke of Annapolis, MD (09/16/06)
In January of '05, I got a 1994 BMW 740i with 63,000 miles. Eight
months and 3,000 miles later, the transmission needs to be replaced.
I guess I shouldn't complain as it is a 12 year old car, but it only
has 66,000 miles on it. (I have a Mazda with 100,000 miles which has
never had a problem.) Then I find out it will cost upwards of
Now I read this has been a consistent problem. My first and I am
sure my last BMW.
Anne of Durham, NC (09/06/06)
Bought a 2000 BMW 323i in 1999. It only has 76,000 miles on it and
it too will not drive in reverse. We were also told we will need to
replace the transmission for around $5000.
This is totally unacceptable for a luxury car and to see so many
models with the same problem makes me wonder why there hasn't been a
recall. Can we say LEMON?
Wandy of Scarborough, Ontario, Canada (08/11/06)
My BMW was purchased in year 2000, which was a year 2001 model 330i,
and was very pleased with the car and service until a few months
ago. The car will stall in the middle of the road for no reason.
This happened couples times within 6 months, and as of today, the
reverse gear is gone. Now, my R is just like N, but all the other
gears work fine. I did a search on the web, I found a many posts
that indicate the same problem as mine in Consumer Affairs web site.
As indicated by other BMW drivers, the problem is caused by the
factory defect on the transmission. However, I have complained to
the dealer, and they just ignore me, and say I should be responsible
by myself. I can't believe that this is happening on a car worth
over $60k in just under 6 years with low mileages (only
80,000+km).Also, I have done all the regular check ups and oil
changes as recommended by the BMW technician. This caused me so
inconvenience and I need to take bus to work. I think the BMW should
responsible to fix the problem at their cost. To this point, I have
lost the overall enjoyment of the car and furthermore, I am
disappointed in the BMW service.
John of Half Moon Bay CA (07/27/06)
Our 2001 BMW X5 with about 81000 miles on it refused to go into
reverse in Cupertino on June 30, 2006. We immediately drove it to
Stevens Creek BMW in Santa Clara. We left it with an after hours
A very helpful service department employee gave us a loaner car. For
the next two weeks we tried to discover what the problem and the
solution was and to get it solved. Tom Zigler said that the
automatic transmission was broken and had to be replaced. He said
that it could be replaced only with a rebuilt transmission not with
a new one. He said that BMW would not sell a new transmission for
installation in a new car.
We asked Tom several times if there was any way to get a new
transmission. If there was anything we could do to get a new
transmission. If there was anyone else we could talk to get at least
an option to get a new transmission. Each time the answer was No. I
asked Tom at least 2 times what was likely to be the problem. He
said he didn't know. They have no instruments or tools to see or get
inside the transmission. Finally we agreed to the rebuilt
transmission, it was installed, and we picked up the car on July 21.
Tom was as helpful as he could be but he was totally stymied by BMW
policy. We have never driven this car off road. We have never towed
anything. We have kept up with all scheduled maintenance.
Yang of San Francisco CA (07/16/06)
My 2000 BMW 323i transmission failed at 83,000 miles. It will not go
in reverse and it seems this problem is a common one and is a defect
in the product that requires a recall. Damage is estimated at
$4,800.00 to rebuild the transmission. I looked around at BMW
enthusiast forums and many that have the 2000 BMW 323i had to
replace their transmission.
Courtney of Baltimore MD (07/07/06)
I parked my 2000 323i (144k miles) this morning in the parking
garage and I tried to adjust my car by putting it into reverse. And
to my surprise the reverse doesnít work anymore. I started noticing
problems a few years ago but each time I complained they (Northwest
BMW in Randallstown) never found a problem. I called the dealership
today and I was quoted a fee of ~$4500 for repair. This is insane, I
think Iíve had this problem all along and no one really ever took
the time at the dealership to investigate properly. I am very
disheartened about the whole situation because I am now waiting to
get my car towed home. The BMW manufacturers should have recalled
this vehicle model several years ago.
Matt of Middle Village NY (06/20/06)
I am very upset about how BMW is handling my current situation with
my 2000 323i. I recently spoke to the dealer due to the reverse
drive going out. The dealer found out that the automatic
transmission needs to be replaced. I am not the only one that has
faced this problem, I am disappointed that BMW isn't willing to
cover the cost or even share the cost with me since it is ridiculous
that the transmission can only last few years/60,000 miles. I am
beginning to lose trust in the BMW's quality and reliability. Many
others are having the same problem but BMW is not willing to
recognize the fact that their transmission is flawed.
Keith of Tallapoosa GA (06/02/06)
I purchased a new 2000 BMW 323I for my daughter in 2000. At 65,000
miles the reverse gear went out and will not travel only in the
forward gears. The dealership, and other repair shops, have
estimated the cost of replacement at about $4,500.00. That is
outrageous for a car that is supposed to be the best built car in
the world. I have read so many reports of the 3 series transmissions
failing to go into reverse that there has to be a defect known to
BMW. They must be forced to correct this as I can not afford the
P. of Washington DC (05/17/06)
My 2000 BMW 323i transmission failed at 53,000 miles. It Will not go
in reverse and it seems this problem is common and is a defect in
product that requires a recall. Damage is estimated at $4,500.00 to
replace with a rebuilt transmission. I bought the car from VOB BMW
in Rockville, Maryland. I had a lot of problems prior to this one,
but this one is extremely expensive to repair. I contacted BMW USA
and VOB BMW when I started having this problem. They did not even
give me a chance to check the car. Nothing !
Now, I the reverse does not work at all, I have it in the shop for
the last 3 days, I do not have an extra car, so I have to go to work
by bus and metro.
John of Toronto (03/14/06)
BMW 323i transmission fails at 103,000 Kilometers. Will not go in
reverse and it seems this problem is common and is a defect in
product that requires a recall. Damage is estimated at $6,500.00 to
replace with a rebuilt transmission.