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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 09-01-2011, 09:47 AM
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tim330i tim330i is offline
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BMW is recalling 2002-2005 325i, 325xi, 330i and 330xi - 241,000 cars effected!

BMW recall for E46 tail lights

Effected vehicles
325I - 2002-2005
325XI - 2002-2005
330I - 2002-2005
330XI - 2002-2005

Manufacturer: BMW OF NORTH AMERICA, LLC Mfr's Report Date: AUG 25, 2011
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 11V438000
Component: EXTERIOR LIGHTING:TURN SIGNAL
Potential Number of Units Affected: 241,000

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

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

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

NHTSA Details - http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/recalls...intVersion=YES
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  #2  
Old 09-01-2011, 09:56 AM
E46_Ci E46_Ci is offline
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You beat me to it! lol

This is good news for all those affected. Now VW needs to do the same with the A4 Jetta... those are plagued with tail light issues.

Now, let's see what can be done with the ZKW Xenons.
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  #3  
Old 09-01-2011, 10:06 AM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E46_Ci View Post
Now, let's see what can be done with the ZKW Xenons.
I wouldn`t hold my breath on THAT one.... the taillight issue is a cheap & easy fix for them, it only requires a piece of wire to solve the problem.

The Xenon issue would cost them a bundle....I`m sure they`d rather not even *think* about that....

(Plus, I`m sure their lawyers would find a way to weasel out of it, claiming that "headlights are a wear & tear item")
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  #4  
Old 09-01-2011, 10:28 AM
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RSPDiver RSPDiver is offline
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Speaking of not getting your hopes up, I just called BMW NA, and they said there are no open recalls for my VIN. Thing is, I've already had this problem and had to repair/replace one light. She said to try back in a week or so, and I told her I would, and escallate at that time if there is still nothing. MFers, pulled this shiz with the DISA valve issue, too. Starting to wonder if my VIN is incorrect in their system!
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  #5  
Old 09-01-2011, 11:26 AM
Toona79 Toona79 is offline
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mine was fixed under CPO 3years ago wonder if they'll give me my 50 bucks back??
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  #6  
Old 09-01-2011, 11:29 AM
Bilstein Bilstein is offline
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RSPDiver, as Tim's post said, THE SAFETY RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING OCTOBER 2011.

So when a dealer punches in the last 7 characters of your VIN there's currently no recall flag popping up on his screen. And hence he thinks there's no open recall for your car. Wait until Mid October.
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  #7  
Old 09-01-2011, 12:29 PM
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Plaz Plaz is offline
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Affected.
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  #8  
Old 09-01-2011, 03:21 PM
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djstrachan djstrachan is offline
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Had this problem and recently fixed both rear lights myself. Much cheaper than having to drive to the dealer and let them have my car fo 3 hrs.

Took me about 20 minutes to do both and cost about $3.!!
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2004 325i - Sport package - 5MT- clears - CDV mod - M3 gauge faces w/silver gauge rings & red needles - SS exhaust tips - strut tower brace - Hotchkis anti-sway bars -50% tint - shadow grills - roof spoiler - silver CF trim
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  #9  
Old 09-01-2011, 06:34 PM
chansta chansta is offline
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lol a little late by bmw.
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  #10  
Old 09-02-2011, 06:50 AM
im im is offline
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Rather a large year range..Would not be surprised that although a very large number of units have been repaired due to complaints at vehicle owner cost, it still required someone getting sued to bring the current action.
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  #11  
Old 09-02-2011, 08:36 AM
TenzoR TenzoR is offline
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This may be a dumb question but what was the fix? I haven't had any problems
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  #12  
Old 09-02-2011, 08:57 AM
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djstrachan djstrachan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TenzoR View Post
This may be a dumb question but what was the fix? I haven't had any problems
The problem is caused by he use of too small a ground wire in the lighting fixture. OVer time, the wire fails to carry the current and you get a light burned out warning.

By tapping into the existing ground with a second wire (i used a larger gauge) and attaching it to the spare ground terminal on the "plate" of the light fixture, you eliminate the problem.

It takes a few inches of wire, a couple 1/4" connectors and in my case some electrical tabs that are designed to join a new wire to an existing one.

If you search here for "tail light problem" (or something like that) you will find a DIY with pictures.
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I'm not a pessimist. At some point the world sh!ts on everybody. Pretending it ain't sh!t makes you an idiot, not an optimist.

2004 325i - Sport package - 5MT- clears - CDV mod - M3 gauge faces w/silver gauge rings & red needles - SS exhaust tips - strut tower brace - Hotchkis anti-sway bars -50% tint - shadow grills - roof spoiler - silver CF trim
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  #13  
Old 09-04-2011, 12:39 PM
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pointandgo pointandgo is online now
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There is more to this recall than meets the eye. NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) began an investigation of the tail light issue in April of 2009. They elevated the investigation on 8/7/09 and again on 12/18/09. This is an indication to any manufacturer that the agency is not so subtly pushing for a "voluntary" recall. Nevertheless, BMW stubbornly refused. The correspondence between BMW and NHTSA is available for all to see; Google: NHTSA Defect Investigations. The final ODI investigation was EA09019.

In all my years of following NHTSA investigations and recalls, I have seldom seen a manufacturer fight so hard to resist the agency's desire to conduct a recall. One of the documents posted shows that there was a July, 2011 meeting with NHTSA and BMW representatives; no doubt heavy arm twisting on the part of NHTSA.

For those who had the tail light repaired at the dealer, the repair may have been very expensive if out of warranty. Under recall rules (statute), some repairs made prior to a recall may be covered for a certain time period, I'm not sure about DIY.

I had posted in this forum a long time ago for members to keep their receipts.
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F30 328i
E90 328i
E92 335i 6MT
E46 M3 6MT
E39 528i 5MT
MBz W140 S320
MBz W124 300E (slammed)
(unmentionables in between)
'71 AMC Javelin (4-Spd Stick on the floor)
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  #14  
Old 09-04-2011, 12:50 PM
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pointandgo pointandgo is online now
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Unless there are any unusual aspects to this recall, I believe this will apply:
Note: The NHTSA/ODI Engineering Analysis was opened 12/18/2009.

If I Had a Defect Repaired at My Own Expense Before a Manufacturer's Recall, Am I Legally Entitled to Reimbursement from the Manufacturer?

Yes, under certain conditions. Manufacturers are required to provide reimbursement for certain owner's costs to remedy defect conditions prior to a recall. Manufacturers are required to reimburse owners for costs incurred to remedy a defect based on a start date of either NHTSA's opening date of an Engineering Analysis or one year prior to the manufacturer's notification of a defect to NHTSA, whichever is earlier. The closing date of eligibility for reimbursement of repair of a motor vehicle is 10 days after the manufacturer mails the last of the owner notices informing owners of a cost-free safety defect recall. For replacement equipment, the closing date is either the same as for motor vehicles or 30 days after the manufacturer's closing of its efforts to provide public notice of the existence of a defect, whichever is later. Documentation of the requested costs is required.

While this is a new requirement, manufacturers have in the past often voluntarily agreed to absorb such costs, and have provided refunds to consumers who had defects corrected prior to a recall, providing that consumers have been able to present documentation to prove that the earlier repairs remedied the defect in question.
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F30 328i
E90 328i
E92 335i 6MT
E46 M3 6MT
E39 528i 5MT
MBz W140 S320
MBz W124 300E (slammed)
(unmentionables in between)
'71 AMC Javelin (4-Spd Stick on the floor)
'67 Pontiac Firebird 'cabrio' (1st car - "the leaker")
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  #15  
Old 09-05-2011, 07:05 PM
numindast numindast is offline
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Super. Nice of BMW to finally, Finally, FINALLY acknowledge the problem. My dealer SA said "what problem? You must have damaged your car, have you been in a crash recently?" which of course promptly ended my very-short relationship with that SA *and* his dealership employer.

Of course, I fixed it myself: first by doing the "official" DIY in our wiki on one side, and then realizing I could do it much, much easier with my boat electrical repair kit. I've had no dim, or non-existant, taillight bulbs since then. It's all about providing a proper, hearty ground connection to the taillamp assemblies.
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  #16  
Old 09-05-2011, 07:32 PM
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pointandgo pointandgo is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by numindast View Post
Super. Nice of BMW to finally, Finally, FINALLY acknowledge the problem. My dealer SA said "what problem? You must have damaged your car, have you been in a crash recently?" which of course promptly ended my very-short relationship with that SA *and* his dealership employer.

Of course, I fixed it myself: first by doing the "official" DIY in our wiki on one side, and then realizing I could do it much, much easier with my boat electrical repair kit. I've had no dim, or non-existant, taillight bulbs since then. It's all about providing a proper, hearty ground connection to the taillamp assemblies.
The DIY was simple for those so inclined (brown wire splice), but MANY payed $200 per side to have this fixed. BMW reported more than 30,000 dealership repairs...I estimate that it cost owners more than $6,000,000 in repair costs while BMW NA fought NHTSA tooth and nail for years to have this obvious defect become a recall as NHTSA sought. I'm very disappointed in BMW's attitude.
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F30 328i
E90 328i
E92 335i 6MT
E46 M3 6MT
E39 528i 5MT
MBz W140 S320
MBz W124 300E (slammed)
(unmentionables in between)
'71 AMC Javelin (4-Spd Stick on the floor)
'67 Pontiac Firebird 'cabrio' (1st car - "the leaker")
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Member: BMW CCA
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  #17  
Old 09-05-2011, 07:53 PM
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djstrachan djstrachan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pointandgo View Post
The DIY was simple for those so inclined (brown wire splice), but MANY payed $200 per side to have this fixed. BMW reported more than 30,000 dealership repairs...I estimate that it cost owners more than $6,000,000 in repair costs while BMW NA fought NHTSA tooth and nail for years to have this obvious defect become a recall as NHTSA sought. I'm very disappointed in BMW's attitude.
WOW!! I'm $395.00 up on those folks for having done it myself. Another example of the value of this site!!

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I'm not a pessimist. At some point the world sh!ts on everybody. Pretending it ain't sh!t makes you an idiot, not an optimist.

2004 325i - Sport package - 5MT- clears - CDV mod - M3 gauge faces w/silver gauge rings & red needles - SS exhaust tips - strut tower brace - Hotchkis anti-sway bars -50% tint - shadow grills - roof spoiler - silver CF trim
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  #18  
Old 09-06-2011, 11:47 AM
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bwillia bwillia is offline
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Who hasn't had this problem? The year range for this recall is actually too narrow. All the E9X's have the same problem. I have had all the tail light sockets and bulbs changed twice on my 07 328xi coupe!
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  #19  
Old 09-07-2011, 11:52 AM
Steelcitybeemer Steelcitybeemer is offline
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This is fantastic! My right rear has been going on and off for about a week now. Perfect timing BMW!
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  #20  
Old 09-07-2011, 12:15 PM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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For some odd reason, I`ve never heard of this problem affecting coupes....any feedback or opinions on that angle ?

And as far as BMWNA`s attitude goes, well, let`s just say the new corporate motto should be "We`re Only In It For The Money" . Things have certainly changed since I bought my first Bimmer in 1980....back then, there was not much plastic on those cars, the owner`s manual was quite informative, like a mini-Bentley manual, (they actually expected and encouraged you to work on your own car....what a concept ! :-), and the toolkit was about twice the size of the current one.
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  #21  
Old 09-07-2011, 02:19 PM
terefpat terefpat is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 325i
What about '01?

I have had issues with all of my taillights/blinkers for years. I own a 2001 325i. What about my fix? As a matter of fact, I just spent money on my left taillight and right front blinker! The fact is, most of those are probably past their second owners who probably don't give a rat's *%# about this recall.
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  #22  
Old 09-07-2011, 02:35 PM
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pointandgo pointandgo is online now
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Bummer for all those outside of the recall range. This is specifically aimed at issues related to the open ground connection and over-heating/melting of the 8-pin connector in the tail light assy. of the targeted E46s.
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F30 328i
E90 328i
E92 335i 6MT
E46 M3 6MT
E39 528i 5MT
MBz W140 S320
MBz W124 300E (slammed)
(unmentionables in between)
'71 AMC Javelin (4-Spd Stick on the floor)
'67 Pontiac Firebird 'cabrio' (1st car - "the leaker")
------------------------------------------------------------------------
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  #23  
Old 09-13-2011, 11:00 AM
LDV330i LDV330i is offline
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Long Time Coming

WOW. Why did it takes this long for this recall?

BMW has known about this issue for years and issued a TSB. 3 years ago I took my car to the dealer for this issue and was told it would be $400 for the repairs. I told my SA that I was aware of the TSB (which covered in-warranty cars) and would like BMW good will assist. The tailights were repaired free of charge. Wonder how many people ended up paying for the repairs?
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  #24  
Old 09-13-2011, 01:01 PM
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Scott ZHP Scott ZHP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LDV330i View Post
I told my SA that I was aware of the TSB (which covered in-warranty cars) and would like BMW good will assist. The tailights were repaired free of charge. Wonder how many people ended up paying for the repairs?
Mine did the exact same thing; it was out of warranty, but my SA got it covered under goodwill, both sides done.

Wifes X5 has been melting tail light sockets since it was new. Can't BMW engineer a quality light cluster?
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  #25  
Old 09-13-2011, 07:16 PM
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mr_clueless mr_clueless is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSPDiver View Post
Speaking of not getting your hopes up, I just called BMW NA, and they said there are no open recalls for my VIN. Thing is, I've already had this problem and had to repair/replace one light. She said to try back in a week or so, and I told her I would, and escallate at that time if there is still nothing. MFers, pulled this shiz with the DISA valve issue, too. Starting to wonder if my VIN is incorrect in their system!
I haven't tried calling, but I did have to replace one of them at my expense. I wonder if they will reimburse me for that.
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