Interesting enough, I just changed the actuator for my 2007 328xi and the lights and noise dissapeared. Well, the lights on the dashboard had to be reset I guess everyone had to do that. I took the old motor apart just to see that platic gear everyone is talking about. The gear was not looking used and it looks metal to me. I still don't know what was wrong, the only weird thing is the curve shape of that gear on the actuator, not sure how a new one looks like. I am glad I got the car fixed, I hope it is permanent.
Any idea what could have been wrong by looking at these (pretty bad) pictures?