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Complaints about BMW 3 Series - No Reverse

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Mike of Middletown, NY (1/3/08)
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.

Chad of Frisco, TX (12/31/07)
I just 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.

Emilio of Chicago, IL (12/28/07)
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.

Mike of San Francisco, CA (12/28/07)
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.

Michael of Rockland, Ontario (12/27/07)
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!!!!!

Yong of Brooklyn, NY (12/26/07)
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 the mechanic.
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.

Renee of Northern Michigan (12/24/07)
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!

Saud of Los Angeles, CA (12/19/07)
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?

Kyle of Syracuse, NY (12/18/07)
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.

Pete of California (12/13/07)
I own a 1999 323I BMW. I lost the reverse at 156,000 miles.

Sergio of Stratford, Ct (12/12/07)
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.

Charbel of Macomb, MI (12/2/07)
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.

Griselle of Puerto Rico (12/1/07)
Add 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.

James of Franklin, TN (11/28/07)
Same 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.

Charlie (11/27/07)
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?

Ron of Orleans Ontario Canada (11/27/07)
I 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.

Daniel of Tacoma, WA (11/25/07)
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.

Brady of Sacramento, CA (11/23/07)
I have 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,
PA (11/19/07)
A 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 (11/12/07)
Sent 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 (11/12/07)
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 (11/5/07)
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 (11/5/07)
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 (11/4/07)
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 ATF composition,
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 (11/3/07)
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. nice.

Dan of State College, PA (11/2/07)
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 car!

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!

Seymour (10/25/07)
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.

Paul of 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 behind.

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 car.

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 be continued...

Beverly 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.

Eric 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 case?

Anita 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.

Diana 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.

David 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!

Nicole 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 right now.
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 now.
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?

CJ 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.

Unhappy BMW 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?

Lyndal of 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.

Elizabeth of 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!!

Albert of 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).

Alfonso of Texas (9/22/07)
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 GA (09/20/07)
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.

of N/A (09/18/07)
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 http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/

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 week.

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 to $4,000.

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 replacement.

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 BMW.

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 recalled it.

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 warranty.

Ivy of Lawton OK (07/24/07)
I took my BMW323i to this dealership because my transmission wouldn't 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 TOYOTA.

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 BMW.

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 afford.

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 driving experience.

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 owners.

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 acting up.

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 problem.

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 elsewhere here.

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 car.

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 model).

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 bmw-sucks@lisabrewster.com 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 cases.

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 automobile.

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 her drive.

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 again, unfortunately.

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 wheels!

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 else.

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 issue.

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. Unacceptable situation!

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 against BMW.

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 this problem.

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 recall/class action.

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 looted.

The cost of repair was mentioned at $6K at BMW dealership. I am considering getting a used part with labor it should cost around $2-2500.

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 gone.

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 G.M.C.

2500.00 repair

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 works.

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 the malfunction.

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 neutral gear.

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.

Major cost.

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 replacement).

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 response:

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 liable.

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 much, right???

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 3,800.

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 repair.

Will be out of pocket $3,500.00. If they give me a break on the problem.....

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 site.

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 transmission.

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 parts.

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 $5,000!

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 repair sheet.

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 repair.

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.